Rectus Femoris Anatomy

Rectus Femoris Muscle

Origin: Anterior inferior iliac spine, supraacetabular groove
Insertion: Tibial tuberosity (via patellar ligament), patella
Actions: Extension of the leg at the knee
Innervation: Posterior division of the femoral nerve (L3, L4)
Blood Supply: Femoral artery and branches from the profunda femoris artery

Primary Actions of the Rectus Femoris

1. Extension of the leg at the knee


  • Vastus intermedius
  • Vastus lateralis
  • Vastus medialis


  • Biceps femoris
  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus

Tensor fasciae latae assists with extension of the knee through the iliotibial band.


Secondary Actions of the Rectus Femoris:

1. Assists with flexion of the thigh at the hip

  • Psoas Major
  • Ilicus


  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus
  • Biceps femoris (long head)
  • Adductor magnus (posterior)

Pectineussartorius, and psoas minor also assist with flexion of the thigh at the hip.