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Gluteus medius



Gluteus medius - posterior
Gluteus medius -lateral
Gluteus medius - anterior
Gluteus medius - posterolateral

General information

  • This section is strictly limited to anatomy, you might be looking for clinical relevant information which is found under the clinical chapters -- muscles section, click here to go to that page


  • Partly superficial
  • Deep to gluteus maximus
  • Superficial gluteus minimus


  • Crista iliaca
    • Inferior along, and between the anterior and posterior gluteal lines


  • Trochanter major femur
    • Laterally

Main function

  • Hip
    • Abduction
    • Flexion
    • Medial rotation (anterior fibers)
    • Extension
    • Lateral rotation (posterior fibers)
  • Pelvis
    • Posterior tilt (posterior fibers)
    • Anterior tilt (anterior fibers)

Secondary function

  • Pelvis
    • Depression
    • Ipsilateral rotation (anterior fibers)
    • Contralateral rotation (posterior fibers)

Nerve innervation

  • Segmental
    • L4-S1
  • Peripheral
    • Superior gluteal nerve

Arterial supply

  • Superior gluteal artery

Palpation superior part

  • Patient position
    • Sidelying
  • Feel along the patient's iliac crest, move your fingers just inferior to the crest
  • Follow the fibers inferior until you reach the superolateral limitation of gluteus maximus that is just above the middle and lower part of gluteus medius
  • Ask the patient to perform abduction of the hip and feel for the fibers of the gluteus medius

Palpation anterior part

  • Place your fingers just posteriorly and inferiorly to SIAS (spina iliaca anterior superior) and feel for the anterior fibers of the gluteus medius
  • To distinguish the anterior part more clearly, ask the patient to flex and medial rotate the hip
  • Note that it may be difficult to distinguish the anterior fibers of gluteus medius and tensor fascia latae

Strength test

  • Patient position
    • Sidelying with the side which is tested the most superior part
  • Fixate the patient's pelvis with your one hand
  • Position the patient's leg so that the knee is in extension, the hip is abducted and with some degree of extension and lateral rotation
    • Note that the pelvis is not rotated back, this will lead to the tensor fascia latae and gluteus minimus becoming more active during the testing of abduction
  • Give resistance towards the distal part of the patient's leg and down towards the ankle in the direction of adduction and slight flexion, so that the patient is giving force in abduction and extension