Gluteus Minimus: Functional Anatomy Guide

Gluteus MinimusThe gluteus minimus (G. gloutos, buttock. L. minimus, smallest) is the smallest and deepest of the three buttock muscles. Its primary responsibility is hip abduction.

It is like a mini version of the gluteus medius, sharing a similar shape, location and function.

The gluteus minimus constitutes part of the superficial gluteal region.

It is in the deepest layer of muscle on the outer hip, lying deep to the gluteus medius and situated anterosuperior to the piriformis.

It originates from the external surface of the ilium. Its parallel-oriented fibers run inferomedially from either end of the muscle toward its midline.

They converge on the anterior greater trochanter, creating a fan-shaped, or radiate muscle architecture.

Also Called

  • Glute min
  • Hips
  • Hip abductor

Origin, Insertion, Action & Nerve Supply

Muscle Origin Insertion Action Nerve Supply
Gluteus Minimus Dorsal surface of the ilium between the anterior gluteal line and inferior gluteal line (just inferior to the gluteus medius origin) Anterior surface of the greater trochanter of the femur
  • Hip abduction
  • Hip internal rotation (anterior fibers)
  • Hip external rotation, when hip is flexed (posterior fibers)
  • Helps maintain level pelvic position
Superior gluteal nerve (L5-S1)

Exercises:

Note: The table below only includes direct gluteus minimus exercises. That is, only exercises that involve hip abduction or internal rotation. All of these exercises are also direct gluteus medius exercises.

There are several other exercises that work the gluteus minimus (and medius) indirectly yet intensely as a stabilizer, including: all standing or lying single leg exercises for the gluteus maximus, quadriceps or hamstrings (e.g. single leg RDL, single leg squat, Bulgarian split squat, single leg glute bridge). In these movements, the gluteus minimus/medius contract isometrically to keep the pelvis level.

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Isometric:
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Stretches & Myofascial Release Techniques:

Stretches

Note: The following techniques are the same as those used to stretch the gluteus medius.

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Self Myofascial Release Techniques

When using these techniques, give special attention to the common trigger points shown in the image below.
gluteus minimus trigger points

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Common Issues:

  • Inhibited/Excessively Lengthened Gluteus Minimus: If the gluteus minimus is inhibited and lengthened, that indicates the gluteus medius is, too. Because these muscles are so much alike, they become dysfunctional for the same reasons. Instead of re-writing what I’ve already written, I will simply link to the relevant information about common gluteus medius issues, which also applies to the gluteus minimus.

Training Notes:

Note: Since the gluteus medius and minimus are so similar in function, they cannot be trained separately. And if one is dysfunctional, the other one probably is, too. As such, for the gluteus minimus training notes below, I’ll refer you to the relevant information for gluteus medius:

  1. If you have a inhibited/excessively lengthened gluteus minimus, please refer to gluteus medius treatment protocols.
  2. For general training advice and tips for gluteus minimus, please refer to gluteus medius training advice.

About the Author Alex

Hey! My name is Alex, and I'm the owner and author of King of the Gym. I started this website back in late 2009 during college, and it has been my pet project ever since. My goal is to help you learn proper weight training and nutrition principles so that you can get strong and build the physique of your dreams!

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