(Gluteus maximus, medius, minimus and piriformis)

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Study GuideQuick Reference - Posterior Hip

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In this lecture we will be discussing the Muscles of the Posterior Hip: Gluteus maximus, medius, minimus and piriformis.


  • 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 (pluralmaxima), neuter of maximus “greatest,” which is superlative of magnus “great, large” (see magnum). (Etymology Online)
    • Medius - medium (adj.) 1660s, "average," from medium (n.). The Latin adjective was medius. Meaning "intermediate" is from 1796. As a size designation from 1711. (Etymology Online)
    • Minimus - minimum (n.) 1660s, "smallest portion into which matter is divisible," from Latin minimum "smallest" (thing), neuter of minimus "smallest, least," superlative of minor "smaller" (see minor). Meaning "least amount attainable" is from 1670s. (Etymology Online)
  • Piriformis - From roots:
    • pear (n.) Old English pere, peru "pear," common West Germanic (Middle Dutch, Middle Low German pere, Old High German pira, bira, Dutch peer), from Vulgar Latin *pera, variant of Latin pira, plural (taken for fem. singular) of pirum "pear," a loan word from