The legs contain many muscle groups that support, balance, and propel the body. The muscles of the leg must provide tremendous strength while simultaneously allowing for subtle adjustments. In many cases, we do not notice the subtle adjustments our muscles constantly perform. Experts divide each section of the leg into several groups or regions to more easily describe the location of each muscle. The hip has four groups, the thighs have three, and the lower legs have four.


1. Muscles of the Leg: Gluteal Group

The majority of the muscles in the groin and buttocks areas belong to the gluteal group, which contains three primary muscles: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. The gluteus maximus is the biggest and makes up a large portion of the hips and buttocks. The gluteus medius is a broad muscle that sits on the outer surface of the pelvis. Just below the gluteus medius is the smaller gluteus minimus. These muscles allow for anatomical motions such as extension, abduction, and rotation at the hip joint. The gluteus maximus also helps support the knee.

leg muscle maps Idris Guluzade / Getty Images

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