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Inferior Gemellus Muscle
Muscular System

Inferior Gemellus Muscle

Musculus gemellus inferior

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Quick Facts

Origin: Ischial tuberosity.

Insertion: Medial aspect of greater trochanter of femur.

Action: Laterally rotates and transversely abducts thigh at hip joint.

Innervation: Nerve to quadratus femoris (L5-S1).

Arterial Supply: Medial circumflex femoral artery.

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The inferior gemellus muscle originates from the lateral aspect of the ischial tuberosity.


The fibers of the inferior gemellus muscle travel laterally and insert, via a tendon that blends with the tendon of the obturator internus muscle, onto the medial aspect of the greater trochanter of the femur.

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The inferior gemellus muscle is one of the deep gluteal muscles. It is the larger of the two gemelli muscles, the other being the superior gemellus, and is a narrow convergent type of skeletal muscle.

It is located:

- superficial to the capsule of the hip joint;

- deep to the gluteus maximus muscle and the sciatic nerve;

- superior to the quadratus femoris muscle;

- inferior to the obturator internus muscle.

Actions & Testing

The inferior gemellus, obturator internus and superior gemellus muscles work as a unit, collectively known as the triceps coxae, and are involved in multiple actions:

- laterally rotate the thigh at the hip joint;

- transversely abduct the thigh at the hip joint (i.e., they abduct the flexed thigh along the transverse plane).

The inferior gemellus muscle cannot be tested in isolation, therefore all three muscles of the triceps coxae are tested simultaneously by transversely abducting the thigh at the hip joint against resistance (Standring, 2016).


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

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