Hip and thigh muscles

Iliopsoas / hip flexors

This muscle is located on the front of the hip. It raises the leg to the front (hip flexion). The ilipsoas is made up of two muscles – the iliacus and the psoas major.

Adductor group

This group of muscles is located on the inside of each thigh. They pull the leg pack down to the middle if it has been raised to the side (hip adduction). They also help to pull one leg across the other.


This group of four muscles (rectus femoris, vastus medialis, intermedius and lateralis) is located on the front of the thigh. They straighten the legs at the knees (knee extension), as well as keeping them straight when standing. The rectus femoris also helps to raise the knee at the hip (hip flexion).

  • Rectus femoris: superficial (on surface) muscle of the front of the thigh. It runs straight down the thigh. It has the longest head and is the only muscle of the group to cross the hip joint.
  • Vastus intermedialis: this lies underneath the rectus femoris, lying between the vastus lateralis and vastus medialis on the front of the thigh.
  • Vastus lateralis: this forms the lateral (side) aspect of the thigh.
  • Vastus medialis: this part of the quadriceps forms the lower middle part of the thigh.

hip and thigh muscles

table hip thigh muscles