Human Movement Science & Functional Anatomy of the:

Gluteus Maximus

by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, H/FS

Contributing Author, Stefanie DiCarrado DPT, PT, NASM CPT & CES

Introducing the Gluteus Maximus (Snippet from Functional Anatomy 1 @ Rowan U

What’s in a name:

  • Gluteus - gluteus (n.) "buttocks muscle," 1680s, from Modern Latin glutaeus, from Greek gloutos "the rump," in plural, "the buttocks." (Etymology Online)
  • Maximus - maximum (n.) 1740, from French maximum and directly from Latin maximum (plural maxima), neuter of maximus "greatest," which is superlative of magnus "great, large" (see magnum). (Etymology Online)

Glute Max 1


Gluteus Maximus

  • Origin (Listed in order from superolateral-to-inferomedial & superficial-to-deep): Gluteal aponeurosis, posterior gluteal line of the ilium and portion of the bone superior and posterior to it, thoracolumbar fascia, aponeurosis of the erector spinae, long dorsal sacroiliac ligament, posterior surface of the lower part of the sacrum, sacrotuberous ligament, and the side of the coccyx (11, 16)



From Ilium to sacrum to sacrotuberous ligament to ischium Image courtesy of From Ilium to sacrum to sacrotuberous ligament to ischiumImage courtesy of


  • Insertion: The largest portion of this muscle including the proximal/superficial fibers and distal/superficial fibers invest in the iliotibial tract of the fascia lata.  These fibers comprise roughly 67% of the gluteus maximus (15).  Deep/distal fibers insert into the gluteal tuberosity of the femur between attachments of the vastus lateralis and adductor magnus (8).  The deepest/proximal fibers only cross the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) with superior fibers attaching just