Gluteus Maximus

General information

The gluteus maximus is the most superficial of the three gluteal muscles and forms the bulk of the gluteal region. The gluteal hip muscles group is made up of the gluteus maximum, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fasciae latae.

Literal meaning

The greatest muscle of the buttocks.

Interesting information

The superior and inferior parts of this muscle can perform different movements. The superior part abducts the thigh and the inferior part adducts the thigh.

This muscle is also the largest and heaviest muscle in the body and makes up 16% of the cross sectional area of the hip, this allows it to produce a lot of force.


Lateroposterior surface of sacrum and coccyx, gluteal surface of ilium (behind posterior gluteal line), thoracolumbar fascia, Sacrotuberous ligament.


Iliotibial tract, gluteal tuberosity of femur.


Hip joint: Thigh extension, thigh external rotation, thigh abduction (superior part), thigh adduction (inferior part).

Nerve supply

Inferior gluteal nerve (L5, S1, S2).

Blood supply

Inferior gluteal and superior gluteal arteries.

Gluteus Maximus

Relevant research

A case series report results show benefits for the use of gluteus maximus strengthening exercises for those with persistent lumbopelvic pain and positive sacroiliac dysfunction.

Added, M., de Freitas, D. G., Kasawara, K. T., Martin, R. L., & Fukuda, T. Y. (2018). Strengthening the gluteus maximus in subjects with sacroiliac dysfunction. International journal of sports physical therapy, 13(1), 114–120.

Gluteus maximus exercises

The step-up exercise and its variations present the highest levels of gluteus maximus activation, followed by exercises such as deadlifts, hip thrusts, lunges, and squats.

Neto, W. K., Soares, E. G., Vieira, T. L., Aguiar, R., Chola, T. A., Sampaio, V. L., & Gama, E. F. (2020). Gluteus Maximus Activation during Common Strength and Hypertrophy Exercises: A Systematic Review. Journal of sports science & medicine, 19(1), 195–203.


Step up and downs unsupported

Step up and downs unsupported

Stand in front of a bottom step and step up onto the first step with one leg. Then bring the other leg up to the step to meet it. Controlling the movement, lower this same foot back down to the floor, and then the other.

Gluteal contraction isolated with hip extension

Gluteal contraction isolated with hip extension

Lying face down, contract one side of the buttock, then hamstring on the same side and then your lower back, in a controlled fashion, lift your leg straight up.


External rotation table glute stretch

External rotation table glute stretch

Place your foot on a table with the outer part facing the table and with your leg turned inwards. Lean your body forwards slightly to feel the stretch and hold.

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