Gluteus Minimus Muscle Anatomy

OriginIlium of the hip (between the anterior and inferior gluteal lines)
InsertionGreater trochanter of femur (anterolateral aspect)
ActionHip abduction
Pelvic stability
Hip medial rotation
NerveSuperior gluteal nerve (L4, L5, S1)
ArterySuperior gluteal artery

Location & Overview

The gluteus minimus muscle is one of the three gluteal muscles, accompanied by the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius. As the smallest of the trio, the gluteus minimus plays an important role in hip joint stability and movement during activities like walking and running. Situated in the lateral part of the hip, this fan-shaped muscle is nestled deep within the gluteal region, below the gluteus medius and further beneath the gluteus maximus. The gluteus minimus shares similar characteristics with the gluteus medius, including actions, structure, innervation, and blood supply [1] [2].

Pathologies associated with the gluteus minimus muscle include gluteal tendinopathy and muscle strains. Gluteal tendinopathy occurs when the tendon connecting the muscle to the bone becomes inflamed or degenerated, causing pain in the hip and outer thigh region [3]. Muscle strains can result from overuse, trauma, or inadequate warm-up before engaging in high intensity physical activities.

To strengthen the gluteus minimus and promote its overall health, various exercises can target this muscle. Some effective exercises include side-lying leg lifts, clamshells, lateral band walks, and single-leg squats [4].

gluteus minimus muscle

Here we can see pictured the gluteus minimus muscle in isolation.

Origin & Insertion

Understanding the origin and insertion points of the gluteus minimus provide a deeper understanding of its location and functions. The gluteus minimus’ origin is on the external surface of the ilium, between the anterior and inferior gluteal lines. The ilium is a large, fan-shaped bone which forms the upper part of the hip bone, and the gluteal lines are bony ridges on the ilium’s external surface [5] [6].

The insertion point of the gluteus minimus is on the anterior border of the greater trochanter of the femur. The greater trochanter is a prominent, bony protrusion on the upper part of the femur, located on its lateral side. The anterior border refers to the front edge of this bony landmark [7] [8].

the origin of the gluteus minimus on the ilium

Here we can see pictured the origin of the gluteus minimus on the ilium. Specifically, between the anterior and inferior gluteal lines.

insertion of the gluteus minimus on the greater trochanter

Here we can see pictured the insertion of the gluteus minimus on the greater trochanter of the femur. Specifically, on the anterolateral aspect of the greater trochanter.


The gluteus minimus muscle plays an important role in several key actions at the hip joint, primarily in abduction, stabilising the hip (such as when standing on one leg), and to a lesser degree hip internal rotation. The main actions of the gluteus minimus are abduction and stabilising the pelvis [9] [10] [11]. Abduction involves lifting the leg away from the body’s midline, which is utilised during various activities such as side-stepping or getting out of a car. Abduction is also essential for maintaining stability and balance during single-leg stances, like when walking or running.

While the role of the gluteus minimus in hip internal rotation is less well-established. However, there is evidence to suggest that the anterior portion of the gluteus minimus contributes to this action [12] [13] [14] [14] [15]. Internal rotation involves rotating the thigh bone (femur) inwards, towards the body’s midline, and is important for certain athletic movements and general mobility [16].

Image of a person demonstrating the movement of hip abduction.

This image shows an example of hip abduction, which involves moving the leg out to the side (laterally). The opposite of hip abduction is hip adduction. The gluteus minimus performs hip abduction.

Image of a person demonstrating the movement of internal rotation.

This image depicts an example of hip internal rotation, which involves rotating the leg from the hip joint inwards (medially). Internal rotation is also referred to as medial rotation. The opposite of internal rotation or medial rotation is external rotation or lateral rotation. The gluteus minimus performs hip internal rotation. However, this is not its primary action.


The gluteus minimus is innervated by the superior gluteal nerve, which originates from the lumbosacral plexus with nerve roots L4, L5, and S1. This nerve is responsible for transmitting nerve signals between the gluteus minimus and the central nervous system, allowing for the muscle’s controlled contractions and coordinated movements. The superior gluteal nerve also innervates the gluteus medius and tensor fasciae latae muscles, which share functional similarities with the gluteus minimus, particularly in hip abduction and stabilisation [17] [18].

Blood Supply

The blood supply to the gluteus minimus muscle is primarily provided by the superior gluteal artery, which is a branch of the internal iliac artery. This artery ensures that the muscle receives enough oxygen and nutrients to function effectively. In addition to supplying the gluteus minimus, the superior gluteal artery also provides blood to other nearby muscles, such as the gluteus medius and tensor fasciae latae [19] [20].

Want some flashcards to help you remember this information? Then click the link below:
Gluteus Minimus Flashcards

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