We are going to get a little techie here. Hang in there!
There are a paucity of studies on gluteal function during gait, but here is what is out there.
The upper and lower portions of the glute max shows activity at initial contact and near the end of swing phase, the middle portion additionally just before and after pre-swing. The glute max does not appear to be a postural control muscle, nor is it utilized in static one leg standing, except when a large load is imposed When the center of gravity of the whole body is grossly shifted, the gluteus maximus becomes engaged. The glute max, along with the vasti also assist in deceleration of the body during the first half of stance.
The gluteus medius and minimus appear to play a much more substantial role in propulsion and stabilization during normal gait, contracting from terminal swing to preswing, maximally during early midstance, to prevent contralateral drop of the pelvis. The anterior fibers of both appear important for gait, as they assist the external obliques in forward progression of the pelvis on the side oppposite the stance phase leg, in addition to supplying coronal plane stabilization. A brief burst of activity in midswing assists in medial rotation of the thigh. Gluteus maximus fuction can be affected byaltered biomechanics and the gluteus medius commonly affected by postural faults.
Wow, betcha didn’t know that! Stay tuned for part 3!
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