The hip muscles are in the region of the top of the thigh and buttocks. These muscles work to move the hip, pelvis, knee, and thigh. They are important in the posture and overall structure of the human body. Many of these are large muscles that work in concert with muscles of the thigh and lower leg and others in the body to allow humans to walk, stand, sit and make many of the motions we take for granted.
The Hip Muscles of the Human Body
The gluteus maximus begins on the outer surface of the ilium, sacrum, and coccyx and ends near the top of the femur. It helps to both extend and rotate the thigh at the hip as well as being responsible for helping to extend the knee. Its nerve impulses are supplied from the brain via the inferior gluteal nerve. The gluteus medius and gluteus minimus begin at the outer surface of the ilium and end at a protrusion near the head of the femur. The former abducts the hip and tilts the pelvis when walking. The latter abducts the hip and plays a role in rotating the thigh. Both are supplied impulses via the superior gluteal nerve. The tensor fasciae latae begins and ends in the region of the ilium. This muscle aids the gluteus maximus in extending the knee joint. It, too, receives nerve impulses from the brain by way of the superior gluteal nerve.
The piriformis starts at the sacrum and ends near the head of the femur. It together with the other muscles to follow works to achieve lateral rotation of the thigh. This muscle is stimulated by impulses that travel from the sacral nerves labeled S1 and S2. The other muscles involved in this complex motion include the superior gemellus which like all of the rest of the hip muscles ends near the top of the femur. The gemellus starts at the spine of the ischium. This muscle as well as most of the remaining hip muscles is stimulated by the nerves of the sacral plexus. The other hip muscles include the obturator internus, the inferior gemellus, the obturator externus, which is the only of these muscles to get impulses from the brain from the obturator nerve, and the quadratus femoris.
Other structures that support the hip muscles
Muscles must, of course, have blood supply to both carry nutrients to the muscles and remove waste from the area. The main arteries in this area are all branches of the large internal iliac artery that lies in the pelvis. They include the superior and inferior gluteal arteries as well as the internal pudendal artery. The hip muscles work in conjunction with these structures as well as the tendons and ligaments of the area. The hip is a ball and socket joint and it moves in a variety of ways that require many muscles and nerves in order to keep these movements coordinated and smooth and useful to the body. The hip is a joint that takes a great deal of wear and tear.