Master Deep Gluteal Muscles with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Deep Gluteal Muscles

Deep-diver Glute-eel Muscles
The deep gluteal muscles are important to gait and lower limb motion. The general action of these muscles is to laterally rotate and abduct the leg, along with stabilizing the hip joint. Structures in this anatomic area include the sacrotuberous ligament, gluteus minimus, piriformis, obturator internus, quadratus femoris and gemelli muscles.
Lateral Rotation and Abduction
Laterally Rotating to Ladder and Abs-abducting

With exception to the gluteus minimus, these muscles work to laterally rotate and abduct (move away from midline) the leg.

Gluteus Minimus
Glute-eel with Mini-ass

The gluteus minimus is the smallest and deepest of three gluteus muscles. This muscle is innervated by the superior gluteal nerve and can lead to "Trendelenberg gait" if paralyzed, as this muscle's main actions are abduction and medial rotation of the leg. It also works to stabilize the hip.

Medially Rotates Leg
Medially Rotated Legs

In addition to abducting the leg, the gluteus minimus helps to medially rotate the leg.


The piriformis is a pear-shaped or pyramid-shaped muscle in the deep gluteal region. It originates from the anterior sacrum and inserts on the greater trochanter of the femur. Patients can suffer from "piriformis syndrome," causing pain and neuropathy in the buttocks. This occurs due to irritation of the sciatic nerve, which passes under the piriformis muscle.

Superior Gemellus
Superior Gem-melons

The superior gemellus is a small muscle which originates at the spine of the ischium and inserts into the medial surface of the greater trochanter. It inserts at the same site as the inferior gemellus, hence their naming, as gemelli is the italian word for twins.

Obturator Internus
Operator Entering

The obturator internis is a deep gluteal muscle which is part of the lesser pelvis. It originates at the anterolateral wall of the pelvis and inserts on the greater trochanter of the proximal femur. This muscle is essential to abduction and lateral rotation of the leg, along with stabilizing the femoral head.

Inferior Gemellus
Inferior Gem-melons

The inferior gemellus is a small muscle which arises from the upper tuberosity of the ischiam and inserts on the medial surface of the greater trochanter. It inserts at the same site as the superior gemellus, hence their naming, as gemelli is the italian word for twins.

Quadratus Femoris
Quad-rat Femur

The quadratus femoris is a flat, quadrilateral muscle which acts to laterally rotate and abduct the leg, as well as stabilize the femoral head in the acetabulum. It originates at the ischial tuberosity and inserts on the posterior head of the femur.

Sacrotuberous Ligament

This ligament is in the posterior pelvis and is triangular in form. It runs from the sacrum to the tuberosity of the ischium. The sacrotuberous ligament is clinically significant because the pudendal nerve can become entrapped here, leading to perineal pain.

Unlock all 9 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

Take the Deep Gluteal Muscles Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Medicine (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,210,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medicine (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medicine (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medicine (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medicine (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.