Previous electromyographic (EMG) studies of gluteus medius (GMed) have not accurately quantified the function of the three proposed structurally and functionally unique segments (anterior, middle and posterior). Therefore this study used anatomically verified locations for intramuscular electrode recordings in three segments of GMed to determine whether the segments are functionally independent. Bipolar fine wire electrodes were inserted into each segment of GMed in 15 healthy individuals. Participants completed a series of four walking trials, followed by maximum voluntary isometric contractions (MVICs) in five different positions. Temporal and amplitude variables for each segment were compared across the gait cycle using ANOVA. The relative contributions of each segment to the MVIC trials were compared with non-parametric tests. All segments showed a biphasic response during the stance phase of gait. There were no differences in amplitude variables (% MVIC) between segments, but the anterior segment had a later peak during both the first and second bursts.For the MVIC trials, there were significant differences in amplitude between segments in four of the five test positions. These data indicate that GMed is composed of three functionally independent segments. This study contributes to the theoretical understanding of the role of GMed.
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