Biggest Muscle In The Body: Fun Body Facts Revealed For Kids!

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Nov 18, 2022 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Dec 13, 2021
Edited by Rhea Nischal
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Learn interesting facts about the biggest muscle in the body.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

The study of human anatomy is certainly fascinating.

The importance of muscles in human anatomy is extreme as they help in blood circulation, movement, and posture, among many other activities. There are three kinds of muscles, namely smooth muscles, skeletal muscles, and cardiac muscles.

The diversity in the world of muscles is worth noting. While the cardiac muscles are considered to be the hardest working muscles, making the heart the strongest organ, the eye muscles are said to be the most used and most active, as they are constantly adjusting and constantly moving.

The tongue, also a muscle, is usually tagged as the most flexible and not the strongest muscle. However, the biggest muscles in the body are the most intriguing to learn about.

According to the Library of Congress, the gluteus maximus is the biggest muscle in the human body, the complete opposite of the weakest and smallest muscle, known as the stapedius. The gluteus maximus helps in hip and leg extension and has many other functions.

To learn more about the biggest muscle, keep reading! You can also check out what is the smallest bone in the body and the strongest bone in the body. 

Powerful Facts About Biggest Muscle In The Body

Together with the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, the gluteus maximus forms the entire gluteal muscles, also known as the glutes. When talking about the biggest muscle in the body, which is the gluteus maximus, there are certainly going to be a lot of powerful facts associated with it.

The main function of the gluteus maximus is to help one hold their body upright. Apart from this, it also aids one in standing up from a sitting position and maintaining balance when standing on one foot.

However, did you know that the gluteus maximus is not used a lot during walking, even though it plays a major role while running or stepping up or down?

Due to its actions, the gluteus maximus is able to perform these functions. The biggest muscle is able to give us an erect posture, as it balances the pelvis on top of the femur.

The gluteus maximus also works in association with the hamstrings to aid the trunk in extending. This is achieved by causing a backward pull of the pelvis.

Additionally, while sitting, the gluteus maximus muscle in the human body goes through contractions that are necessary to remove any excess weight pressure from the trunk on the ischial tuberosities, which are the rounded bones found at the bottom of the pelvis.

It's also responsible for not only extending but also causing lateral rotation of the hip joint. Additionally, the side-to-side movements of the thighs are also possible due to this muscle.

Interestingly, the longest muscle in the human body, known as the sartorius muscle, is present on the front portion of each thigh. The main functions of the sartorius muscles on both thighs are hip flexion and knee flexion.

Worthful Facts About Biggest Muscle In The Body

The gluteus maximus is provided with nerves and blood vessels that allow this muscle to function as smoothly as it does. Hence, it's necessary to mention the other elements that keep the gluteus maximus up and running!

The gluteus maximus muscles are provided with the inferior gluteal nerve. This nerve starts off singly and then breaks off into several branches.

These nerve fibers help in thigh extension and in the overall functioning of the gluteus maximus muscles. While injuries to the inferior gluteal nerve are not that common, they still might happen. One of the major side effects of injury to this nerve is the loss of the ability of the strongest muscle to cause hip extension.

Apart from nerves, another requirement for the normal functioning of muscles are blood vessels. In the case of the gluteus maximus, the superior gluteal artery and inferior gluteal artery circulate blood to this region. The superior gluteal artery is a part of the internal iliac artery and its largest branch.

In the case of the inferior gluteal artery, it's another branch of the internal iliac artery. This artery circulates blood to much of the glutes and thigh region.

The heart pumps blood which is circulated throughout the body, including the glutes and the gluteus maximus. Did you know that the heart is made out of cardiac muscle fibers that are striated?

Gluteus maximus works with the hamstrings.

Incredible Facts About Biggest Muscle In The Body

Let us now dive into some of the most incredible facts regarding the strength of the gluteus maximus.

If you were to measure strength, the gluteus maximus would rank high in terms of dynamic and explosive strength production.

While dynamic strength is described as repeatedly applying force over a specific period of time, explosive strength is the ability to exert force in the shortest period of time.

However, when it comes to absolute strength, which is the ability to produce the maximum force at any particular time, the gluteus maximus loses out to the masseter, which is present within the jaw.

The masseter is tagged as the most powerful and strongest muscle in terms of weight.

Strength is also determined by the volume of the concerned muscle. Did you know that the gluteus maximus has a volume of 46.3 cu in (760 cu cm)?

In comparison to the gluteus maximus, the quadriceps femoris, which is said to be the largest muscle group, has a volume of 86.6 cu in (1420 cu cm).

The individual muscles responsible for making up this massive muscle group are named rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and vastus medialis.

Together with the quadriceps femoris, the rest of the glutes muscles, and the calf muscles, the gluteus maximus makes the legs one of the strongest body parts. Astonishingly, the soleus, which is a calf muscle, has the capability to exert the greatest force when compared to other muscles.

When it comes to width, the gluteus maximus outranks most other muscles in the body.

The gluteus maximus muscles cover a wide surface area and are quite pronounced in humans.

In fact, the reason why humans can maintain an erect posture for long durations is because of the considerably large size of the gluteus maximus, a privilege that most primates don't have due to flatter hips and gluteus maximus muscles that result in fatigue if stood upright for too long.

All that being said, the widest muscle in the body is the latissimus dorsi.

Located in the upper half of the body, the latissimus dorsi has the shoulders close by and is the largest muscle in the upper body, and one of the largest muscles all over.

Unusual Facts About Biggest Muscle In The Body

Some unusual facts about the biggest muscle in the body are related to its diseases and weaknesses. It's essential to learn about these as well, so such situations can be avoided.

One of the major issues with injuries or weakness to the gluteus maximus muscles is that it usually takes some time for the injury to manifest visibly. So, someone who has a dysfunctional gluteus maximus may suffer from lower back pain, pulled hamstrings, knee pain, and ankle sprains.

Intestinal paralysis of the gluteus maximus causes an inability to stand up. Though this is quite an extreme case, sitting for prolonged periods of time is one of the prime reasons behind the paralysis of this muscle.

This causes muscular atrophy. The main treatments for such situations are medicine and physiotherapy.

A number of exercises targeted at the glutes and also the gluteus maximus are good for keeping this muscle active and healthy. Some of these exercises include squats, hip thrusts, kettlebell swings, and deadlifts. Additionally, strength endurance training is also good to keep these muscles from degenerating. With regular exercise, the human body can become exceptionally strong.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for biggest muscle in the body, then why not take a look at how many nerves are in the human body, or longest bone in the body?

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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