Anterior Muscles: Hip Muscles


  • The anterior muscles are on the front of the body and include the hip flexors and knee extensors.
  • They contract when sitting up or lifting a leg to step up.
  • Anterior muscles include the hip flexors, quadratus lumborum and quadriceps.

Hip Flexors

  • Muscles: Psoas, Illiacus, Rectus femoris (the only hip flexor to cross the hip and knee and can have actions at both); the iliopsoas is comprised of the psoas major and iliacus muscles
  • Description: These muscles connect the front of the pelvis to the front of the thigh.

Teaching Considerations

  • Hip flexors can be a limiting factor in backbends, inhibiting the pelvis from rotating backward over the femurs.


  • Muscles: Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius
  • Description: These muscles originate at the top of the femur (thigh bone) and attach to the front of the tibia (shinbone).
  • Actions: The quadricep muscles extend the leg at the knee joint.

Teaching Considerations

  • Quads are strengthened by standing poses.
  • They are stretched by lunges and backbends.