YOUR LEG MUSCLES - Quadriceps Femoris (Scroll down for other muscles)

 


The Quadriceps Femoris (Latin for "four-headed [muscle] of the femur"), also called simply the quadriceps, quadriceps extensor, or quads, is a large muscle group that includes the four prevailing muscles on the front of the thigh. It is the great extensor muscle of the knee, forming a large fleshy mass which covers the front and sides of the femur. It is the strongest and leanest muscle in the human body.

It is subdivided into four separate portions or 'heads', which have received distinctive names

  • Rectus femoris occupies the middle of the thigh, covering most of the other three quadriceps muscles. It originates on the ilium. It is named from its straight course.

The other three lie deep to rectus femoris and originate from the body of the femur, which they cover from the trochanters to the condyles:

  • Vastus lateralis is on the lateral side of the femur (i.e. on the outer side of the thigh).
  • Vastus medialis is on the medial side of the femur (i.e. on the inner part thigh).
  • Vastus intermedius lies between vastus lateralis and vastus medialis on the front of the femur (i.e. on the top or front of the thigh).

All four parts of the quadriceps muscle attach to the patella (knee cap) via the quadriceps tendon.

  • Actions

All four quadriceps are powerful extensors of the knee joint. They are crucial in walking, running, jumping and squatting. Because rectus femoris attaches to the ilium, it is also a flexor of the hip. This action is also crucial to walking or running as it swings the leg forward into the ensuing step.


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HAMSTRING MUSCLE - Biceps Femoris

 

 

The biceps femoris is a muscle of the posterior (the back) thigh. As its name implies, it has two parts, one of which (the long head) forms part of the hamstrings muscle group.

  • Origin and Insertion

It has two heads of origin;

  • One, the long head, arises from the lower and inner impression on the back part of the tuberosity of the ischium, by a tendon common to it and the semitendinosus, and from the lower part of the sacrotuberous ligament;
  • The other, the short head, arises from the lateral lip of the linea aspera, between the adductor magnus and vastus lateralis, extending up almost as high as the insertion of the gluteus maximus; from the lateral prolongation of the linea aspera to within 5 cm. of the lateral condyle; and from the lateral intermuscular septum.

The fibers of the long head form a fusiform belly, which passes obliquely downward and lateralward across the sciatic nerve to end in an aponeurosis which covers the posterior surface of the muscle, and receives the fibers of the short head; this aponeurosis becomes gradually contracted into a tendon, which is inserted into the lateral side of the head of the fibula, and by a small slip into the lateral condyle of the tibia.

At its insertion the tendon divides into two portions, which embrace the fibular collateral ligament of the knee-joint.

From the posterior border of the tendon a thin expansion is given off to the fascia of the leg. The tendon of insertion of this muscle forms the lateral hamstring; the common peroneal nerve descends along its medial border.

  • Action

Both heads of the Biceps Femoris perform knee flexion. Since the long head originates in the pelvis it is also involved in hip extension. The long head of the biceps femoris is a weaker knee flexor when the hip is extended (because of active insufficiency). For the same reason the long head is a weaker hip extender when the knee is flexed.

When the knee is semi flexed, the Biceps femoris in consequence of its oblique direction rotates the leg slightly outward.


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CALF MUSCLE - Gastrocnemius

 



In humans, the gastrocnemius muscle is a very powerful superficial muscle that is in the back part of the lower leg and also called the calf. It runs from its two heads just above the knee to the heel, and is involved in standing, walking, running and jumping. Along with the soleus muscle it forms the calf muscle.

  • Anatomy

The gastrocnemius is located with the soleus in the posterior compartment of the leg. It originates from the posterior (back) surfaces of the distal head of the femur. Its other end forms a common tendon with the soleus muscle; this tendon is known as the calcaneal tendon or Achilles Tendon and inserts onto the posterior surface of the calcaneus, or mountain bone.

Deep to the gastrocnemius (farther from the skin) is the soleus muscle. Some anatomists consider both to be a single muscle, the triceps surae. The plantaris muscle and a portion of its tendon run between the two muscles, which is involved in "locking" the knee from the standing position. (NO THIS IS THE POPLETIUS) On the other side of the fascia are the tibialis posterior muscle, the flexor digitorum longus muscle, and the flexor hallucis longus muscle, along with the posterior tibial artery and posterior tibial vein and the tibial nerve. Since the anterior compartment of the leg is lateral to the tibia, the bulge of muscle medial to the tibia on the anterior side is actually the posterior compartment. The soleus is superficial midshaft of the tibia. There is a sesamoid bone called "fabella" in the lateral head of gastrocnemius muscle.


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  • Guest (jaya)

    my legs are very skinny. I have started leg straching pls suggest me some good exercise.can someone tell how long it takes to improve the thin leg into nice muscle leg.

  • Guest (michael)

    Yes hello Jaya, I have some helpful advice you can use. Squats, calf raises and sit ups are the three most important exercises, in that order to increase the strength of your legs and enable you to run faster, run longer without tiring, and jump higher. You should try to do these three exercises as much as you can for the rest of your life. They are very important factors in increasing your athletic ability. Hope this helped.

  • Guest (Ronald rempillo)

    Hi! My problem is my stubborn skinny legs. I cant seem to pack them with muscles even if im doing squats. Pls help.tnx!

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