Rectus Femoris - Muscle Physiology & Functional Anatomy


Rectus Femoris Muscle





  • Anterior inferior iliac spine (straight head) & the ilium above acetabulum (reflected head)


  • Quadriceps tendon to patella (via ligamentum patellae into tubercle of tibia)

Major Arteries:

  • Lateral femoral circumflex artery


Neural Innervation:

  • Femoral nerve (L4-L5, S1)


Trigger Points:

Rectus Femoris Trigger Points





Concentric Functions:

  • Knee extension

  • Hip flexion


Eccentric Functions:

  • Decelerates hip extension & knee flexion during functional movements

  • Decelerates knee flexion, adduction & internal rotation during heel strike of gait


Isometric Function:

  • Dynamically stabilizes the knee during functional movements


Related Muscles







More Images of the Rectus Femoris Muscle

Cross Section of Femur (rectus femoris)

More Information about the Rectus Femoris Muscle

The rectus femoris muscle is one of the 4 quadriceps which include the vastus lateralis, vasus intermedius and vastus medialis although the rectus femoris is the only quadriceps muscle which is biarticulate which means it has actions over 2 separate joints (knee & hip).


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