Gluteus Medius

Joe Muscolino

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The gluteus medius on the right side of the body. The piriformis has been ghosted in.

  • The gluteus medius attaches from the external ilium to the greater trochanter of the femur.



  • The entire gluteus medius abducts the thigh at the hip joint and depresses the same-side pelvic bone at the hip joint.
  • The anterior fibers also flex and medially rotate the thigh and anteriorly tilt and ipsilaterally rotate the pelvis at the hip joint.
  • The posterior fibers also extend and laterally rotate the thigh and posteriorly tilt and contralaterally rotate the pelvis at the hip joint.



  • The gluteus medius is sometimes referred to as “the deltoid of the hip.”
  • The major function of the gluteus medius is to stabilize the pelvis in the frontal plane. When the opposite-side foot leaves the ground (“swing-foot”), the pelvis would fall to that side except that the contralateral gluteus medius (on the “stance-side”) pulls the contralateral pelvic bone down toward depression, preventing “swing-side” pelvic bone from depressing.
  • The gluteus medius and gluteus minimus have essentially the same attachments and therefore essentially the same joint actions. The major difference is that the anterior fibers of the deeper gluteus minimus are oriented more horizontally in the transverse (horizontal) plane, therefore these fibers are more active with medial (internal) rotation of the thigh at the hip joint than the anterior fibers of the gluteus medius.