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The "Weakly" Muscle - The Gluteus Maximus

ORIGIN:      

Fascia of the gluteus medius, the external surface of the ilium behind the posterior gluteal line, the fascia of the erector spinae, the dorsal surface of the sacrum, the lateral margin of the coccyx, and the sacrotuberous ligament.  

INSERTION:     

The upper fibers attach to the posterior part of the ITB and the fascia lata.  The lower fibers attach to the gluteal tuberosity of the proximal femur.   

ACTION:      

Extension of the femur from the flexed position in the hip joint, lateral stabilization of the hip and knee joints, and external rotation of the femur.        

REFERRED PAIN:

In the picture you can see the “X’s.”  These mark the areas where trigger points can be located. The red stippled area is the area where pain can be referred.  Although the gluteus maximus doesn’t have a broad reach in terms of referral pain points, it can be involved in many other systems which are discussed below.  

DISCUSSION:

In my opinion the Gluteus Maximum is probably one of the most important muscles in the body.  Easily makes the top 5 in order of importance.  In todays day and age, “Glute Amnesia” is epidemic and it causes dysfunctions up and down the kinetic chain.  Weak glutes can cause:  low back pain, hip pain, tight hamstrings, tight hip flexors, tight calves, plantar fasciitis, achilles issues, and the list goes on and on. 

TEST YOURSELF:

In the seated position, see if you can fire your right glute without firing any other muscle.  Then fire the left glute.  Make sure you are aware of what is happening at the pelvic floor (Kegel Muscle).  If you cannot separate the gluteus from the pelvic floor, you have a dysfunction which is correctable. If you do the glute dance as described above, then you have a set of glutes!  If you are unsure if you are using any other structures or if you have any of the symptoms listed about, take the time to get them checked.  I always say, “If all I did was help people connect to their glutes and their core, I’d fix 75% of the people that walked through the door.” 

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