Muscles of the Thigh and Gluteal Region – Part 1 – Anatomy Tutorial

Muscles of the Thigh and Gluteal Region – Part 1 – Anatomy Tutorial


Okay, so this is a tutorial on the muscles
of the gluteal region and the muscles of the thigh. So I’m going to cover quite a lot of
muscles here, but I’m not going to go to a huge amount of detail because I’ve done that
in some other individual tutorials. So the gluteal region is this region here
between the iliac crest and the gluteal fold, so the fold of the buttock. So it’s helpful
to think of the gluteal region in terms of deep and superficial muscles. So the deep
muscles are small, little muscles and are mainly lateral rotators of the hip. And then you’ve got the large, powerful superficial
group, which you can see here, which are mainly extensors and abductors of the hip, the femur
of the hip. So you’ve got three muscles in the superficial
region. You’ve got this muscle here which is the gluteus maximus. This muscle is innervated
by the inferior gluteal nerve. Next you’ve got the gluteus medius, which
lies just underneath. You can see this fan-shaped muscle here. This abducts the femur. And we’ve
got the minimus, which lies underneath. That is also an abductor. It works together with
the gluteus medius. So those are the three gluteus muscles — gluteus
maximus, medius and minimus. And then you’ve got this muscle here, the
tensor fasciae latae muscle. This muscle inserts onto this band of fascia, the iliotibial tract.
What this muscle does is it stabilizes the knee in extension. So that’s the tensor fasciae
latae muscle. You can see the spelling here. So those are the four muscles of the superficial
group in the gluteal region. Next, you can see these muscles underneath,
which are the muscles of the deep layers. These are mainly lateral rotators of the femur. So I’m just going to talk you through these
muscles from superior to inferior. The top muscle here is the piriformis muscle. This
muscle originates on the sacrum. So if we just fade away the other muscles, you can
see where it originates. You can see it’s on this anterolateral surface of the sacrum
and it inserts onto the femur, so it laterally rotates the femur. An important thing I want to point out is
the greater sciatic foramen. If you look at this side, you’ve got the greater sciatic
notch in the pelvis and you’ve got this little bump here, which is the ischial spine of the
pelvic bone. So you’ve got a ligament which runs from the
ischial spine to the sacrum and that’s called the sacrospinous ligament. So above the sacrospinous
ligament, you’ve got the greater sciatic foramen. You’ve also got another ligament which lies
posteriorly to the sacrospinous ligament called the sacrotuberous ligament, which is oriented
more vertically. So the greater sciatic foramen is this space
between the greater sciatic notch and the sacrospinous and sacrotuberous ligaments.
You can see that here. I’ll just rotate the model over and show a
little bit more clearly here. So this is the sacrospinous ligament running horizontally
from the ischial spine to the sacrum and you’ve got the sacrotuberous ligament, which runs
vertically from the ischial tuberosity to the sacrum. That’s why it’s called sacrotuberous.
It refers to the ischial tuberosity, ‘sacrotuberous’. The reason I mention this is that the piriformis
run through this greater sciatic foramen and there’s two little gaps above and below the
piriformis. So above the piriformis, you’ve got some vessels and nerves that pass through
and below the piriformis, you’ve got vessels and nerves that pass through. Importantly,
below the piriformis, you get the sciatic nerve and above, you get the superior gluteal
nerve and vessels. So you can see the sciatic nerve emerging
below the piriformis in the greater sciatic foramen. It’s above the sacrospinous ligament,
but below the piriformis. And you’ve got the superior gluteal nerve coming above the piriformis. So just below the piriformis muscle, you’ve
got this muscle called the gemellus superior. You’ve got the gemellus inferior below here.
Between, you’ve got this muscle called the obturator internus muscle. So the obturator internus muscle actually
sits — I’ll just get rid of these muscles and ligament. So this is the obturator internus
muscle which sits on the medial surface of the obturator membrane. I’ve just isolated
this muscle so you can take a look at it. This is the obturator foramen and you’ve got
a membrane which covers it. So on the lateral surface, on the external surface, you’ve got
a muscle called the obturator externus, which I’ll talk about shortly, but this muscle is
the obturator internus because it lies on the medial surface of the internal surface.
So you can see it originating here and it bends 90° around and then comes to and insert
on the femur at the greater trochanter. So that’s the obturator internus muscle. You
can see that 90° bend and its origin on the obturator membrane on the medial surface. So you’ve got the piriformis, then you’ve
got the gemellus superior, the obturator internus and then the gemellus inferior underneath
the obturator internus. So just inferior to the gemellus inferior,
you’ve got this quadrangular shaped muscle. This is called the quadratus femoris muscle.
This again externally rotates, laterally rotates the femur. All these muscles laterally rotate the femur,
but these four muscles actually can extend the femur at the hip joint as well as laterally
rotate it, but the quadratus femoris only laterally rotates. So the gemellus superior and the obturator
internus muscle are innervated by the nerve to the obturator internus. And then the quadratus
femoris and the inferior gemellus are innervated by the nerve to the quadratus femoris. The
piriformis is innervated by branches from S1 and S2. So those are the muscles of the gluteal region.
So just remember they’re split into deep and superficial layers. So next, I’m going to talk about the muscles
of the thigh region. The thigh can be split into three compartments — an anterior compartment,
a posterior compartment and a medial compartment, which is separated by intermuscular septa. So the anterior compartment is only innervated
by the femoral nerve. The medial compartment is mainly innervated by the obturator nerve
and the posterior compartment, the hamstrings are innervated by the sciatic nerve or branches
of the sciatic nerve. So the anterior compartment consists of the
quadriceps muscle, which consists itself of four muscles as the name suggests — the sartorius
and then the terminal end of the iliopsoas muscle. Let’s just take a look at the iliopsoas
muscle. The iliopsoas muscle makes up part of the
posterior abdominal wall. I’ll just remove the muscles so we can take a look at them.
So you can see that it consists of two muscles. We’ve got the psoas major and the iliacus.
So the iliacus muscle, you can see it sitting here in the iliac fossa and you can see the
psoas major originating on the vertebral bodies here and then it winds down to form this common
insertion point on the femur. This muscle has two origins. You’ve got the
psoas major originating up here and you’ve got the iliacus muscle originating in the
iliac fossa. These muscles are collectively known as the iliopsoas muscle. So what this
does is it flexes the femur at the hip joint. So as you can see, the terminal ends of this
muscle are part of the anterior compartment of the thigh. So the psoas major muscle is innervated by
the anterior rami of L1, L2 and L3. The iliacus muscle is innervated by the femoral nerve
along with the other muscles of the anterior compartment. We’ll just take a look at the rest of the
muscles. We’ll start off with this muscle here. This is the rectus femoris muscle. The
quadriceps muscle consists of four muscles as the name suggests. We’ve got the rectus
femoris and then you’ve got the three vastus muscles. So you’ve got the vastus medialis,
which are these teardrop-shaped muscle on the medial side. We’ve got the vastus lateralis,
which is this muscle sitting laterally. And you’ve got the vastus intermedius, which lies
underneath this muscle here, the rectus femoris muscle. So these four muscles converge at this common
insertion point onto the patella bone via the quadriceps tendon. And then the patella
attaches to the tibial tuberosity via the patella ligament. The rectus femoris muscle is interesting because
it attaches to the pelvic bone, so it acts also as a hip flexor whereas the vastus muscles
originate on the femur so they only extend the knee. So if we just take a look at these muscles
in isolation, you can see this muscle, the rectus femoris originates on the anterior
inferior iliac spine. And there’s also another head, which isn’t shown here, which is reflected
back inserting superiorly to the acetabulum fossa. So it originates on the pelvic bone,
which allows it to act as a hip flexor. So removing the rectus femoris, looking underneath,
you can see this muscle here, the vastus intermedius. This lies between the vastus lateralis and
the vastus medialis. So you can see these muscles have an origin on the femur and they
insert onto the patella tendon via this common quadriceps tendon. So they act to extend the
leg at the knee joint. So the quadriceps are innervated by the femoral nerve. Next, we’ve got this muscle, which is the
last muscle of the anterior compartment. It’s called the sartorius. It also originates on
the pelvis, it winds around descending along the thigh obliquely to insert on the medial
surface of the proximal tibia. So that’s the sartorius muscle. I’ve just isolated it again and you can see
its origin here on the anterior superior iliac spine. It winds down like this, like a band
onto the medial surface of the proximal tibia. And this again is innervated by the femoral
nerve because it’s in the anterior compartment of the thigh. So because this muscle originates on the pelvis,
it also acts as a hip flexor and it also flexes the leg at the knee joint. So unlike the quadriceps
which extend, this flexes the leg at the knee joint and also flexes the hip joint.

100 thoughts on “Muscles of the Thigh and Gluteal Region – Part 1 – Anatomy Tutorial”

  1. Great Video!
    Can i just add that below 90 degrees of Hip Flexion, the Piriformis is an Lateral Rotator, but above 90 degrees of hip flexion, its a medial rotator.
    Something to do on the way its positioned i think

  2. unbelievable knowledge. Great inclusion of the nerve pathways too, that's great to know for treatment selection! Thanks!

  3. I am afraid the area between the sacrospinous and the sacrotuberous is the lesser sciatic foramen. At 3:25 its misleading when you say "so the greater sciatic foramen is this space between the greater noch and the sacrospinous and the sacrotuberous ligament"
    Good job anyhow 🙂

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  5. Some subdivide Psoas major to superficial layer and deep layer.. I would highly appreciate it if you please help me to clearify this..

    Thanks in advance.

  6. elegant and neat way to approach the muscles and tendons my congratulations i am a 32 years practice medical doctor major in orthpaedics outstanding marine

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  11. If possible, could you put the spelling of the words you're saying in the annotation or make a list of the names you mention in the order you mention them?

  12. Is the back of the thigh not the flexor compartment And the front the flexor compartment? You keep saying it the other way round. At school we learned it as I mentioned above.

  13. Is the back of the thigh not the flexor compartment And the front the flexor compartment? You keep saying it the other way round. At school we learned it as I mentioned above.

  14. @AnatomyZone  Hi when you say the TFL stabilizes the knee in extension. Are you referring to HIP exension or KNEE exension?

  15. You are a boon to medical students!!
    I wish I had seen all your videos in my 1st year of med school.
    Love it!!

  16. Very nice animation!
    I'm suffering from extreme hip pain for some years now (walking/lying on the side). And I fear it's a problem of the tendons of this gluteal region / trochanter…

  17. Quick correction: I heard you say that Obt. Internus inserts onto the greater trochanter. The small lateral hip rotators ( i.e. Piriformis, Sup. and Inf. Gemelli, and Obt. Internus insert into the Trochanteric fossa, not the GT) The only Lateral rotator to not insert into the trochanteric fossa is, Quad Femoris, which attaches onto the Quadrate Tubercle. 

  18. thank you soooo much. but you didn't mention the Pectineus muscle in the anterior compartment only thing missing from my notes but still awesome thank you for video

  19. that's great how you can take away and add muscles for a better look ,how can I do it myself at home ,is it a program that needs installing?

  20. So helpful! – I really missed the Obturator Internus though to complete the story (or maybe…?) Thankyou so much – dancers like this very much. Great work

  21. AnatomyZone- congratulations !!! This is absolutely riveting and very well- done, instructive tutorial on muscle system I've ever come across on the net. As a guy with master degree in motor rehabilitation I must say you've done an outstanding job. Keep it up !!!!

  22. This is honestly my least favorite part of anatomy … the lower limb. And you've explained it wonderfully. Thank you!

  23. I was literally blank in the lecture class, but now I can visualise everything which makes it easier . thanks

  24. Hello, while I watched this videoe I was fooling around with wierd hip movements and really ''pushed my posture into it'' and belive me or not, I got a some kind of a muscle activation in there which burned like SHIT, and my posture got slightly better, just over a course of like 1 minute, hahah omfg

  25. Thanks a lot kenhub team…you have been helping thousands of students like us to understand this subjects precisely…I am really glad that I found sonething helpfull and interestingly..the things which I wad not able to grasp throughout my practicals lecture,I have been learning here..
    you are doing great job indeed..God bless

  26. I am being told I have a very tight  left TFL muscle and that is the reason I have terrible lower back pain plus on the outside of  my left knee feels very tight plus seems like I have a tight left  IT band. PT people are working on all of this but in the meantime would it be OK to get a cortisone shot (where) to take away this pain I am having plus my lower back pain. Please advise. THX !!

  27. Who else is grateful we live in an age of youtube? I do so much better visually, reading this in a textbook vs video? No contest. Thank you for posting this.

  28. hi everyone ,if anyone else wants to uncover stiff hips and lower back try Trefendous Pain Relief Tips (Have a quick look on google cant remember the place now ) ? Ive heard some unbelievable things about it and my neighbor got amazing results with it.

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  30. hi everyone ,if anyone else trying to find out stiff hips and lower back try Trefendous Pain Relief Tips (should be on google have a look ) ? Ive heard some amazing things about it and my buddy got amazing success with it.

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  35. Stop messing up! So many times you said the wrong thing and then wait sorry no it's this. I am too much of an auditory learner for those shenanigans.

  36. i dint realise it was for medical students untill i read comments. i am an art student studying superficial anatomy

  37. Thanks a ton. I could actually understand what piriformis is. It hurts since my pregnancy and now it will be easier to get it treated. Sciatic nerve was hurting too

  38. Jen, I absolutely love doing yoga sequences with you. I have been following you for about two years now and find your videos to be extremely helpful not only for my body but my mind. Your voice is truly soothing and when I'm done, I feel so relaxed. I am currently doing your hip opening sequences due to being extremely tight and they have been so helpful. Every time I do yoga, I look forward to all your new ( tinyurl.com/y6rm4z6u ) videos and I just wanted to take the time to thank you for being so WONDERFUL! Namaste?

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