What Does the Gluteus Maximus Do?

The gluteus maximus is the most important muscle in the extension and outward rotation of the hip joint. These muscles stabilize the hip joint and relieve the pressure of the femur, strengthening the structure of the leg overall. The two gluteus maximus muscles are also the largest and most powerful muscles in the human body.

The gluteus maximus attaches at the tailbone at the top and inserts into the femur below the muscle. It is the outermost muscle in the gluteal region, overlaying several smaller muscles. It is the primary muscle powering standing and ascending stairs. Indeed, it is involved in nearly all types of human locomotion, including walking, running, bicycling and crawling. It is also important in maintaining an erect posture while standing.

Due to its importance, problems with the gluteus maximus have significant repercussions. For less intensive activities, such as merely standing or relaxed walking, other muscles often compensate, but for specific tasks such as standing or going up stairs, gluteus maximus problems are debilitating. Numerous problems can affect the gluteus maximus. Nerve problems are likely candidates as are tendinitis and bursitis. Because of its size and nature, the gluteus maximus muscle can conceal underlying infections, risking a worse condition before detection.