Glute Min The Smallest Of Your Gluteal Muscles
Gluteus minimus commonly referred to as glute min is the smallest of the three gluteal muscles, which include gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Glute min lies beneath the other two gluteal muscles in the buttocks and like glute med is a fan-shaped muscle. It arises from the outer surface of the ilium and shares similar functioning as gluteus medius in stabilizing the hip and pelvis during walking and similar upright activities. With both gluteus medius and minimus acting to stabilise the hip and pelvis in upright postures when the opposite leg is lifted from the ground.
Anatomy Of Gluteus Minimus
As mentioned above glute min is a fan-shaped muscle located deep to gluteus medius. It arises from the outer surface of the ilium (part of the large pelvic bone) and its fibers converge and end in a tendon which inserts into the anterior border of the greater trochanter (which is a bony prominence at the top of the thigh bone, near the hip joint).
The Functional Role Of Glute Min
Both gluteus minimus and gluteus medius abduct the thigh when the leg is not weight bearing and can assist with hip extension movements. As well as these movements they can both act to internally and externally rotate the hip depending on the position the hip is in. Along with the glute med and tensor fasciæ latæ (TFL), glute min assists as being one of the primary internal rotators of the hip joint.
Functionally gluteus minimus’ main action is in supporting the body when standing on the one limb, working in conjunction with gluteus medius and TFL to do so. Weakness of glute min can lead to weakness in abducting the leg and individuals with glute min weakness may compensate for this weakness in standing and walking by adopting the “tell tale” Trendelenburg gait pattern. A Trendelenburg gait pattern is caused by weakness of the abductor muscles of the lower limb and the “Trendelenburg sign” is said to be “positive” if, when standing on one leg the pelvis drops down on the side opposite to the stance leg.
Functionally gluteus medius and glute min muscles act almost as one muscle group and along with TFL are all crucial in maintaining biomechanically efficient upright postures. Weakness with anyone of glute min, glute med, or TFL may subsequently overload the other two muscles and contribute to a variety of musculoskeletal conditions including contributing to hip pathology, knee pain, back pain…
Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic provides this information as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance on Gluteus Minimus The Muscle Of The Week should consult his or her personal trainer, physiotherapist, general practitioner or other appropriately skilled practitioner.