Gluteus Medius- Functional Anatomy

Gluteus medius is a fan shaped muscles on the lateral hip. It overlays the gluteus minimus and is overlapped, in the posterior portion by the gluteus maximus.

It originates from the exterior surface of the ilium between the posterior gluteal line (by the crest) and anterior gluteal lines. The anterior two thirds is covered by and anchored the gluteal aponeurosis of the fascia lata.

It commonly has 3 sections that converge into a single insertion tendon. The posterior border lies anterior to the piriformis and, occasionally, fuses with the piriformis.


It forms a flat tendonous insertion on the superolateral aspect greater trochanter posterior to the tendon(s) of the gluteus minimus. The tendon of the posterior gluteus medius passes under the tendon of the anterior section as they attach to the greater trochanter. Especially on wider, usually female, pelvic structures, the insertion of the two sections pull on the trochanter at nearly right angles from each other.

More commonly reported anomalies include having two distinct sections, fusing with the piriformis and fusing with the gluteus minimus.

Its attachments are better positioned to abduct the hip joint than the gluteus minimus but it is still very involved in medial rotation when the hip is flexed. This abduction shifts the pelvis collaterally when the foot is fixed.

It works with the TFL muscle and the contralateral quadratus lumborum in suspending the opposite hip while the ipsilateral hip is weight-bearing and the contralateral leg swings.



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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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