In order to investigate the functional anatomy of gluteus minimus we dissected 16 hips in fresh cadavers. The muscle originates from the external aspect of the ilium, between the anterior and inferior gluteal lines, and also at the sciatic notch from the inside of the pelvis where it protects the superior gluteal nerve and artery. It inserts anterosuperiorly into the capsule of the hip and continues to its main insertion on the greater trochanter. Based on these anatomical findings, a model was developed using plastic bones. A study of its mechanics showed that gluteus minimus acts as a flexor, an abductor and an internal or external rotator, depending on the position of the femur and which part of the muscle is active. It follows that one of its functions is to stabilise the head of the femur in the acetabulum by tightening the capsule and applying pressure on the head. Careful preservation or reattachment of the tendon of gluteus minimus during surgery on the hip is strongly recommended.