Gracilis Muscle: Origin, Insertion, Actions and Innervation

Gracilis: Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Origin: Lower half of the body of the pubis, the inferior pubic ramus, and the adjoining part of the ischial ramus
Insertion:Upper part of the medial flare of the tibia, just below the medial condyle, proximal and slightly anterior to the attachment of semitendinosus, and posterior and somewhat inferior to the attachment of sartorius
Actions: Assists with flexion the knee, internal rotation of the knee, and adduction of the thigh at the hip
Innervation: Anterior division of the obturator nerve (L2, L3)
Blood Supply: Obturator artery from the internal iliac artery Gracilis muscle origin, insertion, action, innervation

Gracilis Actions With Agonists and Antagonists

Primary Actions of the Gracilis

1. The gracilis does not have a primary movement but does assist other muscles with movement

Secondary Actions of the Gracilis:

1. Assists with flexion of the knee


  • Biceps femoris
  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus


  • Vastus lateralis
  • Vastus medialis
  • Vastus intermedius
  • Rectus femoris

2. Assists with internal rotation of the knee


  • Popliteus
  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus


  • Biceps femoris

3. Assists with adduction of the thigh at the hip


  • Adductor longus
  • Adductor brevis
  • Adductor magnus (anterior fibers)


  • Gluteus maximus (upper fibers)
  • Gluteus medius
  • Gluteus minimus

 For more information see:

Gracilis Muscle: Constant burning pain in the inside of the thigh


Recommended Anatomy Books:

Anatomy Coloring Book

The Anatomy Coloring Book is one of the best study and reference books for beginning anatomy students. The diagrams are clearly labeled and allow you to see the relationship and placement of the various structures of the body. You will also be surprised how the act of coloring will help with recall. But this is not just a beginners book, it is also great for practitioners and therapists to have on hand to use with clients and patients to use as a visual reference.

Human Muscle Anatomy

The Trail Guide To The Body is another excellent book to help you learn the musculature of the human body. Though the book is geared toward massage therapists and physical therapist assistants, the book with its illustrations and text helps anyone gain a thorough understanding of the human musculoskeletal system and movement. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying anatomy and believe that MTs, PTAs, and teachers of body movements should have this book in their possession. I also highly recommend this book for the lay person who wants to gain understanding of the muscle, skeletal system and how our bodies move. This book will not disappoint!

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy

Out of the scores of books in my office Basic Clinical Massage Therapy is by far the most referenced book in my library. The musculoskeletal system is overlaid on human models allowing you to learn the precise location, origin and insertions of each muscle. The models are pictured in various poses throughout the book which also helps you visualize muscles in motion and their actions relationship with the skeletal structure and other muscles. Though it is written for massage therapists, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn about the muscular system. MT’s will benefit from recommended treatments for each muscle.

Muscle Anatomy Flashcards

Musculoskeletal Anatomy Flashcards Are you a student or professional therapist who needs to brush up on the musculoskeletal system? Dr. Joseph E. Muscolino DC has developed a comprehensive set of flashcards that will help develop a mind’s picture of exactly where the muscles lie under the skin. A highly recommended study aid for students. Great for non students who want an easy comprehensive anatomy guide.