To train the muscles well, it is important to know them, so let’s get to work and study a little review anatomy of the most remarkable muscles of the gluteal region: the gluteus maximus, median and minor.
They are very important muscles due to their function on the lower limbs in terms of mobility and also on the pelvis, influencing the mobility and stability of the pelvis and spine. Let’s see a little more about each muscle:
Gluteus Maximus Anatomy:
We all know where the buttocks are, but I don’t know if we have stopped to wonder about the anatomy and function of these muscles. The gluteus maximus is in the superficial layer. You can see it isolated in the video above. It is a very powerful and bulky muscle, very thick and very, very strong.
It originates from the posterior part of the sacrum and ileum (which is one of the bones of the pelvis) and goes towards the iliotibial tract and towards the gluteal tuberosity (a bony relief in the femur).
Regarding its function, it is the most important hip extensor; that is, it performs the movement of bringing the thigh back. This action is assisted by other muscles such as the hamstrings (biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimebranous) but, as a whole, they represent less power than the gluteus maximus alone.
It also performs the function of hip external rotation. At the end of the video you can see it. It also performs a function by stabilizing the pelvis, preventing it from leaning forward.
There is also the possibility that part of its fibers performs hip separation (due to its insertion in the iliotibial tract) or hip approximation (insertion in the gluteal tuberosity), although the latter two are actions that it performs with less power.
Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minus Anatomy
It inserts into the ileum and goes to the bony relief called the greater trochanter of the femur (the ball that we notice when superficially palpating the hip).
It is the main abductor muscle of the hip, that is, it works by separating the thigh, bringing it out. It is also very important in the stability of the pelvis.
The gluteus minimus is also seen in the video above. It is a much smaller, deeper, and less powerful muscle. It acts like the gluteus medius, performing hip separation, but it is much weaker.
Anatomical implications when training
There are many more muscles in the gluteal region, but as you can see, the gluteus maximus is the most powerful extender (by far) and the gluteus medius the most powerful separator. That is why gluteal exercises are based on performing this type of movement in various positions (standing, lying down, sitting …) and forms (free weight, machines, group classes …).
Some exercises are performed by bringing the femur back (hip extension) with the knee flexed. This is so because in this way the involvement of the hamstrings is minimized, making the work focus on the gluteus maximus.
As you have seen, both the gluteus maximus and the median are bulky muscles, the largest being the most superficial. That is why load training (eg squats) will be very good for good results.
Exercises with little weight, or raising the leg in the air, without additional load, are useful, but they will be much less effective because they do not put a lot of effort on these strong muscles. Therefore, to work your glutes, do not forget to add load exercises, either your own body weight or extra load.
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