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The 28 muscles that move and stabilize the legs

Vastus Medialis
Origin: femoral intertrochanteric line and medial linea aspera
Insertion: tibial tuberosity via a tendon of quadriceps that encases patella
Action: extends at knee joint

Rectus Femoris
Origin: anterior inferior iliac spine and superior groove just above acetabulum
Insertion: tibial tuberosity via a tendon of quadriceps that encases patella
Action: flexes at hip joint; extends at knee joint

Vastus Intermedius
Origin: proximal anterior and lateral femur to mid shaft
Insertion: tibial tuberosity via a tendon of quadriceps that encases patella
Action: extends at knee joint

Vastus Lateralis
Origin: greater femoral trochanter and proximal lateral linea aspera
Insertion: tibial tuberosity via a tendon of quadriceps that encases patella
Action: extends at knee joint

Tensor Fascia Lata
Origin: anterior superior iliac spine
Insertion: proximal iliotibial tract
Action: abducts, medially rotates at hip
joint; hip and knee joint stabilization

Iliotibial Tract
Origin: distal tensor fascia lata
Insertion: lateral tibial condyle
Action: hip and knee joint stabilization

Gluteus Minimus
Origin: inferior to and beneath the g. medius on the gluteal iliac surface
Insertion: anterior surface of greater femoral trochanter
Action: abducts, medially and laterally rotates at hip joint

Gluteus Medius
Origin: beneath the g. maximus and between the iliac crest, posterior gluteal
iliac line above and the anterior gluteal iliac line below
Insertion: lateral surface of greater femoral trochanter
Action: abducts, medially and laterally rotates at hip joint

Iliacus
Origin: approx. 66% of superior ala of the iliac fossa
Insertion: lesser femoral trochanter
Action: flexes at hip joint

Psoas Major
Origin: transverse processes, external sides and constricted tendinous arches
of all lumbar vertebrae; the intervertebral fibrocartilages of all lumbar vertebrae
and last thoracic vertebra
Insertion: lesser femoral trochanter
Action: flexes at hip joint

Psoas Minor
Origin: fascicles from the last thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae
Insertion: pectineal line, along the iliopectineal line of the iliopubic eminence
and lateral iliac fascia
Action: /

Gluteus Maximus
Origin: posterior gluteal iliac line to the lower sacrum, base of the spine and the
side of the coccyx
Insertion: upper fibers at the iliotibial tract of the t. fascia lata and lower fibers at
the gluteal tuberosity
Action: abducts, medially and laterally rotates at hip joint

Articular Genu
Origin: anterior distal femur, proximal to the femoral epicondyles
Insertion: proximal synovial membrane of knee joint
Action: extends at knee joint

Sartorius
Origin: anterior superior iliac spine
Insertion: medial superior tibial shaft, distal to condyle, via pes anserinus
Action: flexes, abducts and laterally rotates at hip joint; flexes and medially rotates at knee joint

Gracilis
Origin: just lateral of pubic symphysis and along the inferior pubic ramus
Insertion: medial superior tibial shaft, distal to condyle, beneath sartorius’
insertion, via pes anserinus
Action: adducts at hip joint; flexes and medial rotates at knee joint

Adductor Longus
Origin: anterior pubic bone, just lateral from pubic symphysis
Insertion: linea aspera between v. medialis and a. magnus
Action: adducts (powerfully) and medially rotates at hip joint

Pectineus
Origin: pectineal line of superior ramus of pubis
Insertion: posterior femur, distal lesser trochanter to the linea aspera
Action: adducts, flexes and laterally rotates at hip joint

Adductor Magnus
Origin: ischial tuberosity, inferior rami of the pubis and ischium
Insertion: adductor tubercle on the medial femoral epicondyle and medial linea aspera
Action: adducts (powerfully) and medially rotates at hip joint

Adductor Brevis
Origin: narrow origin on anterior surfaces of the superior and inferior rami of pubis
Insertion: distal lesser trochanter and into the proximal linea aspera
Action: adducts (powerfully) and medially rotates at hip joint

Obturator Externus
Origin: medial outline of the obturator foramen
Insertion: trochanteric femoral fossa
Action: laterally rotates at hip joint; stabilizes pelvis

Quadratus Femoris
Origin: posterior border of ischial tuberosity, beneath hamstrings
Insertion: femoral intertrochanteric crest
Action: laterally rotates and adducts at hip joint

Inferior Gemellus
Origin: ischial tuberosity, inferior to o. internus tendon groove
Insertion: medial great femoral trochanter, superior to trochanteric fossa with o. internus
Action: laterally rotates, adducts and extends at hip joint, abducts when hip flexed

Obturator Internus
Origin: surrounding the posterior obturator foramen
Insertion: medial great femoral trochanter, superior to trochanteric fossa
Action: laterally rotates at hip joint when extended, abducts when flexed

Superior Gemellus
Origin: ischial spine, alongside the o. internus tendon
Insertion: medial great femoral trochanter
Action: llaterally rotates, adducts and extends at hip joint, abducts when hip flexed

Piriformis
Origin: anterior sacrum, between its sagittal plane and the anterior sacral foramina
Insertion: superior great femoral trochanter
Action: laterally rotates, abducts and extends at hip joint

Biceps Femoris Short Head
Origin: femoral linea aspera
Insertion: lateral fibular head
Action: flexes and laterally rotates tibia at knee joint; extends at hip joint

Biceps Femoris Long Head
Origin: ischial tuberosity, via shared tendon with semitendinosus and
semimembranosus
Insertion: lateral fibular head
Action: flexes and laterally rotates tibia at knee joint; extends at hip joint

Semimembranosus
Origin: ischial tuberosity, via shared tendon with semitendinosus and biceps
femoris long head
Insertion: posterior surface of medial tibial condyle
Action: flexes and medially rotates tibia at knee joint

Semitendinosus
Origin: ischial tuberosity, via shared tendon with semimembranosus and biceps
femoris long head
Insertion: medial superior tibial shaft, distal to condyle and gracilis and beneath
sartorius, via pes anserinus
Action: flexes and medially rotates tibia at knee joint

TThis diagram displays a superior view of the muscles from the lower spine, pelvis, and femoral head that assist in ambulation. Each muscle is fanned outwards not only to show the general shape of their bodies, but also grouped in a way to give new context to their functions and movements. Some muscles have been slightly exaggerated to make more visible.

The 28 muscles that move and stabilize the legs

Vastus Medialis
Origin: femoral intertrochanteric line and medial linea aspera
Insertion: tibial tuberosity via a tendon of quadriceps that encases patella
Action: extends at knee joint

Rectus Femoris
Origin: anterior inferior iliac spine and superior groove just above acetabulum
Insertion: tibial tuberosity via a tendon of quadriceps that encases patella
Action: flexes at hip joint; extends at knee joint

Vastus Intermedius
Origin: proximal anterior and lateral femur to mid shaft
Insertion: tibial tuberosity via a tendon of quadriceps that encases patella
Action: extends at knee joint

Vastus Lateralis
Origin: greater femoral trochanter and proximal lateral linea aspera
Insertion: tibial tuberosity via a tendon of quadriceps that encases patella
Action: extends at knee joint

Tensor Fascia Lata
Origin: anterior superior iliac spine
Insertion: proximal iliotibial tract
Action: abducts, medially rotates at hip
joint; hip and knee joint stabilization

Iliotibial Tract
Origin: distal tensor fascia lata
Insertion: lateral tibial condyle
Action: hip and knee joint stabilization

Gluteus Minimus
Origin: inferior to and beneath the g. medius on the gluteal iliac surface
Insertion: anterior surface of greater femoral trochanter
Action: abducts, medially and laterally rotates at hip joint

Gluteus Medius
Origin: beneath the g. maximus and between the iliac crest, posterior gluteal
iliac line above and the anterior gluteal iliac line below
Insertion: lateral surface of greater femoral trochanter
Action: abducts, medially and laterally rotates at hip joint

Iliacus
Origin: approx. 66% of superior ala of the iliac fossa
Insertion: lesser femoral trochanter
Action: flexes at hip joint

Psoas Major
Origin: transverse processes, external sides and constricted tendinous arches
of all lumbar vertebrae; the intervertebral fibrocartilages of all lumbar vertebrae
and last thoracic vertebra
Insertion: lesser femoral trochanter
Action: flexes at hip joint

Psoas Minor
Origin: fascicles from the last thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae
Insertion: pectineal line, along the iliopectineal line of the iliopubic eminence
and lateral iliac fascia
Action: /

Gluteus Maximus
Origin: posterior gluteal iliac line to the lower sacrum, base of the spine and the
side of the coccyx
Insertion: upper fibers at the iliotibial tract of the t. fascia lata and lower fibers at
the gluteal tuberosity
Action: abducts, medially and laterally rotates at hip joint

Articular Genu
Origin: anterior distal femur, proximal to the femoral epicondyles
Insertion: proximal synovial membrane of knee joint
Action: extends at knee joint

Sartorius
Origin: anterior superior iliac spine
Insertion: medial superior tibial shaft, distal to condyle, via pes anserinus
Action: flexes, abducts and laterally rotates at hip joint; flexes and medially rotates at knee joint

Gracilis
Origin: just lateral of pubic symphysis and along the inferior pubic ramus
Insertion: medial superior tibial shaft, distal to condyle, beneath sartorius’
insertion, via pes anserinus
Action: adducts at hip joint; flexes and medial rotates at knee joint

Adductor Longus
Origin: anterior pubic bone, just lateral from pubic symphysis
Insertion: linea aspera between v. medialis and a. magnus
Action: adducts (powerfully) and medially rotates at hip joint

Pectineus
Origin: pectineal line of superior ramus of pubis
Insertion: posterior femur, distal lesser trochanter to the linea aspera
Action: adducts, flexes and laterally rotates at hip joint

Adductor Magnus
Origin: ischial tuberosity, inferior rami of the pubis and ischium
Insertion: adductor tubercle on the medial femoral epicondyle and medial linea aspera
Action: adducts (powerfully) and medially rotates at hip joint

Adductor Brevis
Origin: narrow origin on anterior surfaces of the superior and inferior rami of pubis
Insertion: distal lesser trochanter and into the proximal linea aspera
Action: adducts (powerfully) and medially rotates at hip joint

Obturator Externus
Origin: medial outline of the obturator foramen
Insertion: trochanteric femoral fossa
Action: laterally rotates at hip joint; stabilizes pelvis

Quadratus Femoris
Origin: posterior border of ischial tuberosity, beneath hamstrings
Insertion: femoral intertrochanteric crest
Action: laterally rotates and adducts at hip joint

Inferior Gemellus
Origin: ischial tuberosity, inferior to o. internus tendon groove
Insertion: medial great femoral trochanter, superior to trochanteric fossa with o. internus
Action: laterally rotates, adducts and extends at hip joint, abducts when hip flexed

Obturator Internus
Origin: surrounding the posterior obturator foramen
Insertion: medial great femoral trochanter, superior to trochanteric fossa
Action: laterally rotates at hip joint when extended, abducts when flexed

Superior Gemellus
Origin: ischial spine, alongside the o. internus tendon
Insertion: medial great femoral trochanter
Action: llaterally rotates, adducts and extends at hip joint, abducts when hip flexed

Piriformis
Origin: anterior sacrum, between its sagittal plane and the anterior sacral foramina
Insertion: superior great femoral trochanter
Action: laterally rotates, abducts and extends at hip joint

Biceps Femoris Short Head
Origin: femoral linea aspera
Insertion: lateral fibular head
Action: flexes and laterally rotates tibia at knee joint; extends at hip joint

Biceps Femoris Long Head
Origin: ischial tuberosity, via shared tendon with semitendinosus and
semimembranosus
Insertion: lateral fibular head
Action: flexes and laterally rotates tibia at knee joint; extends at hip joint

Semimembranosus
Origin: ischial tuberosity, via shared tendon with semitendinosus and biceps
femoris long head
Insertion: posterior surface of medial tibial condyle
Action: flexes and medially rotates tibia at knee joint

Semitendinosus
Origin: ischial tuberosity, via shared tendon with semimembranosus and biceps
femoris long head
Insertion: medial superior tibial shaft, distal to condyle and gracilis and beneath
sartorius, via pes anserinus
Action: flexes and medially rotates tibia at knee joint

This diagram displays a superior view of the muscles whose bodies travel distally down the leg and assist in ambulation. Each muscle is fanned outwards and grouped in a way to show what functions and movements they contribute. Some muscles have been slightly exaggerated to make more visible.

The 28 muscles that move and stabilize the legs

Vastus Medialis
Origin: femoral intertrochanteric line and medial linea aspera
Insertion: tibial tuberosity via a tendon of quadriceps that encases patella
Action: extends at knee joint

Rectus Femoris
Origin: anterior inferior iliac spine and superior groove just above acetabulum
Insertion: tibial tuberosity via a tendon of quadriceps that encases patella
Action: flexes at hip joint; extends at knee joint

Vastus Intermedius
Origin: proximal anterior and lateral femur to mid shaft
Insertion: tibial tuberosity via a tendon of quadriceps that encases patella
Action: extends at knee joint

Vastus Lateralis
Origin: greater femoral trochanter and proximal lateral linea aspera
Insertion: tibial tuberosity via a tendon of quadriceps that encases patella
Action: extends at knee joint

Tensor Fascia Lata
Origin: anterior superior iliac spine
Insertion: proximal iliotibial tract
Action: abducts, medially rotates at hip
joint; hip and knee joint stabilization

Iliotibial Tract
Origin: distal tensor fascia lata
Insertion: lateral tibial condyle
Action: hip and knee joint stabilization

Gluteus Minimus
Origin: inferior to and beneath the g. medius on the gluteal iliac surface
Insertion: anterior surface of greater femoral trochanter
Action: abducts, medially and laterally rotates at hip joint

Gluteus Medius
Origin: beneath the g. maximus and between the iliac crest, posterior gluteal
iliac line above and the anterior gluteal iliac line below
Insertion: lateral surface of greater femoral trochanter
Action: abducts, medially and laterally rotates at hip joint

Iliacus
Origin: approx. 66% of superior ala of the iliac fossa
Insertion: lesser femoral trochanter
Action: flexes at hip joint

Psoas Major
Origin: transverse processes, external sides and constricted tendinous arches
of all lumbar vertebrae; the intervertebral fibrocartilages of all lumbar vertebrae
and last thoracic vertebra
Insertion: lesser femoral trochanter
Action: flexes at hip joint

Psoas Minor
Origin: fascicles from the last thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae
Insertion: pectineal line, along the iliopectineal line of the iliopubic eminence
and lateral iliac fascia
Action: /

Gluteus Maximus
Origin: posterior gluteal iliac line to the lower sacrum, base of the spine and the
side of the coccyx
Insertion: upper fibers at the iliotibial tract of the t. fascia lata and lower fibers at
the gluteal tuberosity
Action: abducts, medially and laterally rotates at hip joint

Articular Genu
Origin: anterior distal femur, proximal to the femoral epicondyles
Insertion: proximal synovial membrane of knee joint
Action: extends at knee joint

Sartorius
Origin: anterior superior iliac spine
Insertion: medial superior tibial shaft, distal to condyle, via pes anserinus
Action: flexes, abducts and laterally rotates at hip joint; flexes and medially rotates at knee joint

Gracilis
Origin: just lateral of pubic symphysis and along the inferior pubic ramus
Insertion: medial superior tibial shaft, distal to condyle, beneath sartorius’
insertion, via pes anserinus
Action: adducts at hip joint; flexes and medial rotates at knee joint

Adductor Longus
Origin: anterior pubic bone, just lateral from pubic symphysis
Insertion: linea aspera between v. medialis and a. magnus
Action: adducts (powerfully) and medially rotates at hip joint

Pectineus
Origin: pectineal line of superior ramus of pubis
Insertion: posterior femur, distal lesser trochanter to the linea aspera
Action: adducts, flexes and laterally rotates at hip joint

Adductor Magnus
Origin: ischial tuberosity, inferior rami of the pubis and ischium
Insertion: adductor tubercle on the medial femoral epicondyle and medial linea aspera
Action: adducts (powerfully) and medially rotates at hip joint

Adductor Brevis
Origin: narrow origin on anterior surfaces of the superior and inferior rami of pubis
Insertion: distal lesser trochanter and into the proximal linea aspera
Action: adducts (powerfully) and medially rotates at hip joint

Obturator Externus
Origin: medial outline of the obturator foramen
Insertion: trochanteric femoral fossa
Action: laterally rotates at hip joint; stabilizes pelvis

Quadratus Femoris
Origin: posterior border of ischial tuberosity, beneath hamstrings
Insertion: femoral intertrochanteric crest
Action: laterally rotates and adducts at hip joint

Inferior Gemellus
Origin: ischial tuberosity, inferior to o. internus tendon groove
Insertion: medial great femoral trochanter, superior to trochanteric fossa with o. internus
Action: laterally rotates, adducts and extends at hip joint, abducts when hip flexed

Obturator Internus
Origin: surrounding the posterior obturator foramen
Insertion: medial great femoral trochanter, superior to trochanteric fossa
Action: laterally rotates at hip joint when extended, abducts when flexed

Superior Gemellus
Origin: ischial spine, alongside the o. internus tendon
Insertion: medial great femoral trochanter
Action: llaterally rotates, adducts and extends at hip joint, abducts when hip flexed

Piriformis
Origin: anterior sacrum, between its sagittal plane and the anterior sacral foramina
Insertion: superior great femoral trochanter
Action: laterally rotates, abducts and extends at hip joint

Biceps Femoris Short Head
Origin: femoral linea aspera
Insertion: lateral fibular head
Action: flexes and laterally rotates tibia at knee joint; extends at hip joint

Biceps Femoris Long Head
Origin: ischial tuberosity, via shared tendon with semitendinosus and
semimembranosus
Insertion: lateral fibular head
Action: flexes and laterally rotates tibia at knee joint; extends at hip joint

Semimembranosus
Origin: ischial tuberosity, via shared tendon with semitendinosus and biceps
femoris long head
Insertion: posterior surface of medial tibial condyle
Action: flexes and medially rotates tibia at knee joint

Semitendinosus
Origin: ischial tuberosity, via shared tendon with semimembranosus and biceps
femoris long head
Insertion: medial superior tibial shaft, distal to condyle and gracilis and beneath
sartorius, via pes anserinus
Action: flexes and medially rotates tibia at knee joint

This diagram displays a superior view of the muscles whose bodies travel distally down the leg and assist in ambulation. Each muscle is fanned outwards and grouped in a way to show what functions and movements they contribute. Some muscles have been slightly exaggerated to make more visible.