With so many words for what we collectively know as our “glutes”, they must be important! But what, exactly, are they? Our glutes are comprised of 3 muscles: the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. The maximus is the largest and is primarily responsible for hip extension; moving the thigh backwards in respect to our trunk (ex., during walking or in rising from a chair) and also rotates the thigh out with respect to the body. The medius and minimus perform similar functions. Depending on the position of the hip, these muscles help to rotate the thigh in and out. One of the most important roles of the gluteus medius is as a stabilizer of the hip and pelvis when standing on one leg. It keeps the pelvis level and prevents the hip from dropping out to the side or the trunk from leaning over to one side. Thus, it plays a huge role in walking, running or any one- legged and balance activities.
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A big thank you to Amira Ranney, PT at Pivot Physical Therapy for contributing this article to our newsletter.