Muscles of thigh and the hip


The pelvic girdle and the vertebral column both yield the various muscles responsible for initiating movement of the thigh at the level of the hip. These muscles then attach at their points of insertion along the femur at various locations. These muscles are not only vital in the process of creating movement, but they are also vital in providing stability for this otherwise highly unstable area. Bipedal stance and basic locomotion would be impossible without the exact structure of the muscles. This area of the body hosts some of the smallest muscles in the human body while also hosting some of the largest and strongest muscles within the human body. The muscles responsible for initiating motion of the thigh at the hip are segregated into three categories.



The iliacus and the psoas major make up the anterior group of muscles responsible for thigh movement. The iliacus resembles a triangle and its point of origin is the iliac fossa. From there it can be traced to the insertion point, the lesser trochanter of the femur.

The psoas major is much thicker and longer. Its origination points run along the various points on the body and transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae. It then runs to its insertion point where it meets with the iliacus on the lesser trochanter of the femur. The anterior muscles of the hip allow for rotational movements and flexion of the hip as well as flexion of the vertebral column, but only when they apply their contraction during cohesive unison. These two muscles are often associated as one muscle since one is generally nearly useless without the other. They are often referred to as the iliopsoas muscle.


Muscles of thigh and the hip
Image: Muscles Of Thigh And The Hip


The posterior and lateral muscles are also referred to as the muscles of the buttocks. The muscles which make up this group include the gluteus minimus, the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the tensor fasciae latae.

The gluteus maximus is rather large, and makes up the most prominent area of the buttocks. It is also one of the most vital muscles of the hip and its role in locomotion and the bipedal stance. The coccyx, the ilium, the sacrum, and the aponeurosis of the lumbar region yield the origination of the gluteus maximus. The gluteal tuberosity of the femur serves and the insertion point for the gluteus maximus. A thickened area of tendon known as the iliotibital tract serves as a secondary insertion point, which is found in the fascia lata area and continues down the thigh.

Immediately under the gluteus maximus is the gluteus medius. The lateral region of the ilium is identified as the origination point and the greater trochanter of the femur is identified as the insertion point. The responsibilities of the gluteus medius are mainly to abduct the hip and rotate the hip joint medially. This is the prime muscle site for medicinal injections.

The smallest and naturally the deepest of the gluteus muscle group is the gluteus minimus. The lateral region of the ilium serves as the origination point for the gluteus minimus as it does for the remainder of the gluteal muscles. The gluteus minimus inserts along the lateral portion of the greater trochanter. The gluteus minimus acts in cohesive unity with both the gluteus medius and the tensor fascia lata muscles in order to perform its function of abduction of the hip.

Along the surface of the hip, the superficially positioned tensor fascia lata muscle is quadrangular in design. Originating along the iliac crest, it can be traced to its insertion point broad lateral fascia of the thigh, which is termed the iliotibial tract. Just like the gluteus minius, the tensor fascia lata muscle requires the synergistic action of the gluteus medius in order to perform its basic function of abducting the hip.

The hip is additionally rotated, abducted, and facilitated into action by a group of 6 small lateral rotator muscles which are located directly above the posterior aspect of the hip.

thigh and the hip
Image: Thigh And The Hip


The medial muscles of the hip are the adductor muscles of the hip joint. The adductor longus, the adductor brevis, the adductor magnus, and the gracilis pectineus muscles are the four basic muscles that provide the hip with adduction.

The superficial gracilis muscle is not only quite long and lanky, but it is also the most superficial muscle of the medial groups of thigh muscles. It serves both the hip and knee joints, and is designed to adduct either one.

The uppermost of the medial thigh muscles is the pectineus muscle. Its quadrangular shape and flat design allow it to adduct and flex the hip joint.

Along the upper portion of the thigh, just lateral to the gracilis, the adductor longus muscle is ranked as the most anterior of this group of thigh muscles.

Positioned deep to the adductor longus muscle, and barely noticed under the pectineus muscle, is the adductor brevis muscle. This muscle is a triangle which is covered under the other muscles.

The other medial triangular muscle is thick and rather large, known as the adductor magnus muscle, and acts with cohesive unity with the adductor longus and the adductor brevis muscles to adduct, flex, and laterally rotate the hip joint.
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