The gluteal muscles

(Musculi glutaei)


The gluteal muscles are the biggest muscles of the body regarding the volume and the second strongest after the masticatory muscle. It is often only referred to the M. Glutaeus maximus. However, the gluteal muscles have to be distinguished between three parts. All together, they serve the motion of the thigh in the hip. Their main functions are stretching and outwards rotation as well as adduction and abduction in the hip joint. The gluteal muscles fulfill an essential function for walking by stretching in the hip joint. The big gluteal muscle is the strongest stretcher in the hip and makes a stretching of the torso possible (i.e. standing up from sitting position).



Big gluteal muscle (M. glutaeus maximus; covers the middle and little gluteal muscle)



Crista iliaca of the ilium and spina iliaca ventralis of the ilium as well as sacrum and coccyx

Base: Femur

Stretching, abduction, adduction, outwards rotation in the hip joint




Middle gluteal muscle (M. glutaeus medius)


Origin: Ilium (crista iliaca and wing of ilium)
Base: Greater trochanter of the femur (Trochanter major)

Abduction, rotation (inwards rotation and bending, outwards rotation and stretching)




Little gluteal muscle (M. glutaeus minimus; completely covered by the middle one)


Origin: Ilium

Greater trochanter of the femur (Trochanter major)


Inner rotation and abduction




Exercise examples





Course of motion:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Toes show sligthly outwards
  • Hold the barbell in upper grip behind the head (place on the trapezius and behind the deltoid muscle)
  • Lower by bending the knees
  • Push the buttocks backwards
  • Move downwards until the thighs are almost parallel to the floor
  • Tense abdominal muscles and quadratus lumborum
  • Heels rest on the floor
  • Keep back upright (as far as possible)
  • Push upwards without complete stretching of the legs



  • Inhale while bending the knees
  • Exhale while stretching the legs


Advices of proof:

  • Avoid bending of the back (tense actively the abdominal muscles)
  • Do not let fall the knees outwards or inwards
  • Place correctly the bar on the neck muscles
  • Avoid lowering too deep
  • Do not bring knees over the tiptoes
  • Avoid stretching completely the knees
  • Adjust weight to the training level



  • Barbells in front (placed on front part of the deltoid muscle)
  • Dumbbells instead of barbell, away from the body in lateral direction
  • One-legged knee-bends (with or without additional weights)
  • Leg press (alternatively)


Kickbacks (Hip stretching on the cable)


Course of motion:

  • Fix the foot strap of the lower cable pull on the ankle
  • Stand in frontal position to the multi-gym
  • Standing leg is slightly bent
  • Keep the torso upright
  • Tense the abdominal muscles
  • Draw up the toes
  • Move the heel backwards/upwards by stretching the hip with slightly bent leg
  • Until you reach the maximum stretching in the hip
  • Return slowly the foot to the starting position without setting down



  • Exhale while stretching the hip
  • Inhale while returning


Advices of proof:

  • Keep the upright position of the torso
  • Avoid moving in the hips
  • Motion comes exclusively out of the hip
  • Do not take a swing



  • Buttock kicks on the floor or a bench (in quadruped position)
  • Lying on a mat (leg lifting with bent or stretched leg)




Course of motion:

  • Stand on the side to the lower cable pull of the multi-gym
  • Fix the foot strap on the ankle (of the foot which is not beside the multi-gym)
  • Stand apart from the multi-gym as far away as possible
  • Stabilize the torso, upright in resting position
  • Hold onto the multi-gym - if necessary
  • Pull the toes towards the body
  • Stretch out the leg in lateral direction as far as possible
  • Slowly returning without setting down



  • Exhale while stretching out the leg
  • Inhale while pulling up the leg


Advices of proof:

  • Avoid moving in the hips
  • Keep torso upright and still
  • Do not set down the foot
  • Adjust the weight



  • In lying position without additional weights (lower leg on the floor)
  • In lying position with both legs lifted from the floor (upper leg is additionally stretched out)
  • Use kettlebells as weights


You can use many versatile training equipment for exercising gluteal muscles to create a varied and motivating workout for strong and well-shaped gluteal muscles:



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