Gluteus Maximus GLOOteus MAKsimus

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Gluteus Medius


Purvottanasana: The gluteus maximus contracts in this asana. Its external rotation componentis counteracted by contraction of the gluteus medius (anterior fibers), tensor fascia lata and adductor group. (Accentuate this by pressing down the ball of the foot.)


Contracted Gluteus Maximus

Utthanasana: The gluteus maximus stretches in this and other asanas flexing the trunk and hips.

Gluteus Maximus Stretch


Gluteus Médius

Gluteus Medium

The gluteus medius presents a medium-sized, fan-shaped muscle located forward of the gluteus maximus, which partially covers it. The gluteus medius inserts on the tip of the greater trochanter (a protuberance on the proximal femur to which muscles attach). The gluteus medius covers the gluteus minimus.

Direction and placement of muscle fibers determines the movement produced by contraction. Anterior fibers internally rotate and middle fibers abduct the femur. When the femuris fixed in place, as in one-legged standing poses, contracting the gluteus medius tilts the pelvis, maintaining balance.

We are largely unaware of the gluteus medius, though it is constantly active and balances the pelvis when standing and walking. Contract it in backbends to counterbalance the external rotation of the hips produced by contraction of the gluteus maximus.

Tightness in the gluteus medius limits postures that require extensive external rotation of the femur at the hip (e.g. lotus posture). Weakness limits one-legged standing poses.

Gluteus Medius (GLOO -te-us ME-de-us)


Outer surface of ilium below the iliac crest and anterior to the gluteus maximus origin.

Gluteus Medius Mit Trochanter


Superior surface of greater trochanter of the proximal femur.

Proximal Gluteus Medius Muscle

Gluteus Minimus

This see-through image of the gluteus medius illustrates the position of the gluteus minimus, which has a similar function.


Outer surface of the ilium below and anterior to the gluteus medius origin.

Gluteus Minimus


Anterior portion of the greater trochanter.

Tensor Fasciae Latae Insertion


(iliiteus minimus, tensor fascia lata and piriformis.


Adductor group and quadratus femoris.

Gluteus Maximus InsertionGluteal Muscle Gluteus MaximusPiriformis AntagonistGluteus Maximus InsertionChakras Gluteus Muscles And Hips

Innervation & chakra illuminated

Superior gluteal nerve (lumbar spinal nerves 4 and 5, and sacral spinal nerve 1)

Chakra illuminated: First

Gluteus Medius (GLOO -te-us ME-de-us)


Abducts and internally rotates hip. Stabilizes pelvis during walking. Posterior fibers may externally rotate thigh.

The gluteus medius contracts and abducts the bent leg in janusirasana. Anterior fibers also medially rotate the thigh, protecting the knee.

The gluteus medius contracts and abducts the straight leg, lifting itin ardhachandrasana.

Marichyasana Muscles


Contracting the gluteus medius in marichyasana IV accentuates the twist. This isometric contraction awakens the gluteus medius.

Contracting the gluteus medius in the back leg of parivrtta trikonasana accentuates the twist from the trunk by rotating the femur.

Gluteus Medius Sacro Illiac Trikonasana Sacro Illiac TrikonasanaHip External Rotation Stretch


Vatayanasana: Externally rotating the hip stretches the gluteus medius (especially the anterior fibers). All poses with a lotus component to the hips (external rotation) accomplish this.


Urdhvadhanurasana: Contracting the anterior fibers of the gluteus medius internally rotates the hips and releases stress at the sacroiliac joint created by contracting the gluteus maximus (to extend the hip).

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The Chakra Checklist

The Chakra Checklist

The chakras are described as being aligned in an ascending column from the base of the back to the top of the head. New Age practices frequently associate each chakra with a particular color.

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