Gluteus Minimus

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Gluteus minimus muscle.

Gluteus minimus muscle is the smallest one of the three gluteal muscles, it lies deep to the gluteus medius muscle. The gluteus minimus is similar to the gluteus medius in function, structure, nerve and blood supply.[1]

The gluteus minimus acts in synergy with the gluteus medius to abduct and internally rotate the thigh, and contributes to the stabilization of the hip and pelvis[2].

Gluteus minimus of right side: outline and attachment-areas.

Origin[edit | edit source]

External surface of the ilium, between the anterior and inferior gluteal lines.[3]

Insertion[edit | edit source]

Gluteus minimus muscle is fan-shaped, it insertes at the anterolateral aspect of the greater trochanter of the femur.[3]

Nerve Supply[edit | edit source]

Superior gluteal nerve (L4, L5, S1)[1][3]

Blood Supply[edit | edit source]

It is supplied by deep branch from superior gluteal artery[1][3]

Action[edit | edit source]

Its main action is hip abduction.

  1. It stabilizes the pelvic during single limb support in the gait, as it is activated on the supported side, to keep the pelvic from dropping on the opposite swing side.
  2. Its anterior segment medially rotates the thigh.[1]
Gluteus minimus muscle.png

Clinical relevance[edit | edit source]

  • Weakness in the gluteus minimus results in trendelenburg gait, where the pelvic drops on the unsupported side.
  • Gluteus minimus trigger points : Glut Minimus is a multipennate muscle with multiple anterior, middle, and posterior trigger points referring strong pain in the lumbar spine and ends at the ankle, following a similar pain pathway of sciatic nerve but without the neurological symptoms of the sciatic nerve such as weakness and numbness.[1] The 4 minute video below is titled - Gluteus Minimus Pain and Trigger Points


Assessment[edit | edit source]

Trendelenburg Gait

Trendelenburg sign is used to assess the strength of the hip abductors (gluteus medius and gluteus minimus). It is done by asking the patient to do single limb support on the tested leg, while observing the patient from behind to observe the pelvic alignment. If the pelvic drops or deviates from the midline it is indicative of hip abductors weakness.[4]

Physical Therapy Management[edit | edit source]

Hip exercises 2.png

The gluteus minimus is composed of 2 distinct segments (anterior and posterior) with 2 different roles, the anterior segment reduces the stresses on the hip antero-superior structures and the posterior segment stabilizes the head of the femur. Atrophy in the anterior segment is associated with increased risk of falls, aging and total hip replacement.

Recommended strengthening exercises include:

  • Exercises that strengthen anterior segment: resisted hip abduction-extension exercise.
  • Exercises that strengthen Posterior segment: single leg bridge, side lie abduction, the resisted hip abduction-extension exercise and single leg squat.
  • Exercises that produced low activity in both segments: side lie clam.
  • Low activity was generated in the anterior segment in the single leg bridge.[7]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Greco AJ, Vilella RC. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Minimus Muscle. InStatPearls [Internet] 2020 Apr 11. StatPearls Publishing.
  2. Ken hub Gluteal muscles Available: (accessed 12.1.2022)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Standring S, Ellis H, Healy J, Johnson D, Williams A, Collins P, Wigley C. Gray's anatomy: the anatomical basis of clinical practice. American Journal of Neuroradiology. 2005 Nov;26(10):2703.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Whiler L, Fong M, Kim S, Ly A, Qin Y, Yeung E, Mathur S. Gluteus medius and minimus muscle structure, strength, and function in healthy adults: brief report. Physiotherapy Canada. 2017;69(3):212-6.
  5. Piva SR, Fitzgerald K, Irrgang JJ, Jones S, Hando BR, Browder DA, Childs JD. Reliability of measures of impairments associated with patellofemoral pain syndrome. BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 2006 Dec 1;7(1):33.
  6. TrPTherapist. Gluteus Minimus Pain and Trigger Points . Available from: [last accessed 18/12/2022]
  7. Moore D, Semciw AI, McClelland J, Wajswelner H, Pizzari T. Rehabilitation Exercises for the Gluteus Minimus Muscle Segments: An Electromyography Study. Journal of sport rehabilitation. 2019 Aug 1;28(6):544-51.