Muscles Of Low Back: Gluteus Maximus

The Gluteus Maximus Helps With The Heavy Lifting

The Gluteus Maximus (or Glutæus Maximus) is the largest and the most superficial of the three gluteal muscles. It gives shape to and has the most influence on the appearance of your back side.

It has many attachments, but put simply, it starts at the posterior gluteal line (its kind of hard to visualize) of the Ilium (your hip bone), and from the posterior (rear) surface of the lower part of the sacrum and the side of the coccyx. It is inserted into, or connects to, the Iliotibial band of the Fascia Lata muscle (which runs down the outside of your leg), while the deeper fibers of the lower portion of the muscle connect to the thighbone.

This muscle works in opposition to the Psoas muscle. Instead of bending the body forward, it helps to arch the body backward. You can see the glutes pumped when some is doing the “superman” exercise.

The Gluteus Maximus is also a main muscle used in many sports such as volleyball, hockey, basketball, soccer, and football. The length of this post won’t let us look at all the Gluteus Maximus does. But it’s most powerful action is to bring your body back to the erect position after stooping. It accomplishes this by drawing the pelvis backward, being assisted by all the hamstring muscles (make a mental note) and the Adductor Magnus muscle.

Squats Will Stretch And Strengthen Gluteus Maximus

The maximus needs a lot of squatting action to keep it flexible and functioning properly. A weak and tender maximus muscle may give you a lot of pain when you are trying to roll over in bed, or even when you are sitting on a firm surface.

Since one of the main actions is to help you stand up straight after bending forward, if it’s weak, this could put more stress on the lower back muscles.

In my opinion, having the combination of weak gluteals + the tight psoas muscle is the biggest contributor to low back strains today. Keeping these guys strong and flexible should be a priority. Especially for anyone who sits for the majority of their waking hours.