The gluteal muscles are a group of muscles which make up the buttocks
Back of the hips, linked to the hip joint.
Attach to the pelvis and the femur.
Gluteus Maximus – largest component in terms of size and depth. This doesn’t work unless demands are high (e.g. running, deep stretches).
Gluteus Minimus – smallest component in terms of size and depth. Partly covered by the Gluteus Maximus
Gluteus Medius – in the middle of the other two glutes in terms of size and depth. Partly covered by the Gluteus Maximus.
Work opposite the adductor muscles on the front and inside of the hips.
Abduct the hip
Flex and extend the leg at the hip.
Prevent adduction - contract and stabilise the hip when walking/running.
NB. Large amounts of walking, running or cycling can create tight glutes / hips.
Lotus / Half Lotus (Padmasana) - As the glutes prevent adduction they can cause limitations
Cobblers pose (Baddha Konasana) - As the glutes prevent adduction they can cause limitations
Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) – the gluteus maximus resists flexion at the hip joint in front of the leg, supporting the body weight and stopping the hip dropping too low.
Backbends – Most people will naturally tighten the buttocks to help extend the hip joint when pushing up into a backbend.
This muscle group has an impact on the hips. Read more about the Hip Joint in a separate article.
You can also read separate articles on other muscles around the hip joint:
The Gluteals (this article is one of the topics in the series)
The Deep Six Lateral Rotators