Human Movement Science & Functional Anatomy of the:

Deep Rotators of the Hip: 

  • Gemelli
  • Obturators
  • Quadratus Femoris
  • Note: Piriformis discussed separately

by Brent Brookbush MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

Deep Rotators of the Hip via -

Anatomy (in order from superior to inferior):

Whats in a name:

  • Obturator - from the latin root obturare, meaning to "block an opening."  The obturators "block" the obturator foramen of the ischium.
  • Gemellus - is a diminutive of the Latin word geminus (think of the zodiac sign "Gemini") meaning a twin.  There are two gemelli muscles similar in size shape and function.
  • Quadratus Femoris - Latin root quadratus means square shaped and femoris is obviosely in reference to the femur.  "A square shaped muscle on the femur"


Gemellus Superior

  • Origin: External surface of the spine of the ischium (11).
  • Insertion: With a common tendon shared by the obturator internus and gemellus ingerior into the medial surface of the greater trochanter of the femur.
  • Nerve: Nerve to the gemellus superior via the sacral plexus originating from Nerve roots S1, S2 and sometimes L5
  • Action: External rotation and horizontal abduction of the hip

Obturator Internus

  • Origin: Internal or pelvic surface of the obturator membrane and margin of the obturator foramen, pelvic surface of the ischium posterior and proximal to the obturator foramen, and to a slight extent the obturator fascia (11).
  • Insertion: With a common tendon shared by the gemelli into the medial surface of the greater trochanter of the femur, proximal to the trochanteric fossa.

    • The obturator internus makes a nearly 90º as it passes through the lesser sciatic notch which is