The Muscles Responsible for Hip Flexion

Hip flexion is a term that describes hip movement and range of motion. When you lift your knee, raise your foot into the air while lying down, or arc your leg upward while performing leg, buttocks or hip exercises, you're flexing your hip joint. A number of muscles are responsible for this ability. Injury to any of the muscles responsible for hip flexion can severely limit your ability to walk as well as your mobility, flexibility and ability to perform any task that involves range of motion.


Psoas Major

The psoas, meaning loin, major muscle is a long muscle that attaches to four lumbar spinal vertebrae at their head end and to the lower outside of the upper head of the femur or thighbone. The greater and lesser trochanter serve as a slightly curved base at the bottom of the head portion of the femur. The psoas major enables you to flex or lift your knee, lifting the leg from the hip joint. The muscle also allows you to rotate your thigh. Because this large muscle connects the upper head of the femur and the lower vertebrae, the psoas major also allows you to flex or bend your body in a forward motion.

Psoas Minor

The psoas minor muscle acts as a secondary or back-up muscle to the psoas major. Injury to this muscle can limit range of motion and ability to walk, run or jump, as well as perform twisting motions with the torso. A short muscle, the psoas minor connects to the lumbar and last thoracic vertebrae and by a long tendon to the outer or hip side of the symphasis pubis or front portion of the pelvic girdle.

Leg Adductor Muscles

The leg adductor muscles are muscles that enable you to pull your leg inward and across the center of your body and over to the side. For example, lifting your right foot from the floor and crossing it in front of your body so that you can tap your toe onto the floor on the left side of your left foot is the main function of the leg adductor muscles. These muscles consist of the adductor longus, the adductor brevis and the adductor magnus. These muscles attach at the upper middle and lower length of the femur or thighbone to the inside edge of the symphysis pubis.

Tensor Fasciae Latae

The tensor fasciae latae gives you the ability to abduct your thigh, or pull it away from the body. The short muscle attaches at the top of the outside of the hipbone or anterior iliac crest and ends in a long tendon that attaches below the patella or knee joint. The muscle also stabilizes the leg while walking.


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