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rectus femoris vastus intermedius vastus mediaiis vastus lateralus

The quadriceps muscle forms the front of the thigh. Its name, derived from Latin, means "four headed." It is a four-part muscle combining to form the quadriceps tendon which inserts on the patella (kneecap). The patellar tendon is a functional continuation of the quadriceps tendon, inserting on the front of the proximal tibia. The patella is a "sesamoid" bone (stone-like). This refers to a bone within a tendon. Acting as a fulcrum, it increases the force produced by contraction of the quadriceps when straightening the knee.

The rectus femoris - unique in that it originates from the front of the pelvis at the anterior-inferior iliac spine - continues on the front of the thigh, covering the vastus medialis and combining with the other quadriceps to insert on the patella. It works as a polyarticular muscle. Force produced by its contraction results in a combination of two possible movements: flexion of the hip and extension of the knee. The other three heads of the quadriceps are monoarticular and only act to straighten the knee.

The quadriceps are key muscles in yoga. Contracting them directly stretches the hamstrings when seated or in standing poses. They also straighten the knees in backbends, lifting the body.

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  • sven amsel
    What is the four part muscle that combines to form a tendon that inserts on the tibia?
    8 years ago

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