Author: Dr Peter de Souza
Last modified: 7 November 2022

The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the gluteal region.

The gluteal region consists of two groups of muscles:

  • Deep group: small muscles which mainly laterally rotate the femur at the hip joint. These include the piriformis, obturator internus, gemellus superior, gemellus inferior, and quadratus femoris.
  • Superficial group: larger muscles which cause abduction and extension of the femur at the hip joint. These include the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimis and the tensor fascia latae.


  • Posterior surface of ilium
  • Posterior superior illiac crest
  • Posterior surface of sacrum and coccyx


  • Primarily to fascia lata at illiotibial tract
  • Upper posterior surface of femur


  • Hip extension
  • Hip lateral rotation
  • Hip abduction (middle and upper fibres)


  • Quadratus femoris branch of nerve to the Quadratus femoris and inferior gemellus: L5, S1

Blood Supply

  • Inferior and superior gluteal arteries
  • First perforating branch of profunda femoral artery