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The Anatomy of the Hip Flexor Muscles - Iliacus and the Psoas Major, Iliopsoas, Rectus Femoris



Have a look at some of the articles published in previous issues of BetterU News...

Two Ab Exercises With a Twist For Rock-Hard Obliques and Explosive Core Power

Five Exercises You MUST Avoid If You Want To Stay Injury-Free

Hip Flexors AREN'T Evil...Do They Hold The Key to Faster Running Speed?

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Anatomy of the Hip Flexor Muscles

Home -> Muscular Anatomy -> Hip Flexor Anatomy

Anatomy of the Hip Flexor Muscles

Anatomy of the Hip Flexor Muscles
Anatomy Chart courtesy of FCIT

The Iliopsoas actually consists of two muscles: the Iliacus and the Psoas Major. Together, they are known as the Iliopsoas.

The Iliacus originates on the pelvic crest and attaches on the femur.

The Psoas Major, the longer of the two muscles, originates on the lumbar vertebrae and attaches to the femur.

Not shown in this picture is the Rectus Femoris. It is one of the four Quadriceps muscles and the only one that crosses the hip joint. This crossing of the hip joint enables it to operate as a hip flexor as well as a knee extensor (straightening the knee).

Overdeveloped and tight hip flexors can contribute to lower back pain by causing the pelvis to tilt forward. To counteract this, you must stretch the hip flexors and strengthen the Abdominal muscles. This will reduce pelvic tilt and decrease lower back pain. Strengthening the lower back can also help improve the balance between the muscles of the hip region.


The function of the Iliopsoas is hip flexion, which means bringing the thigh up towards the abdomen. The hip flexors are also active when the abdomen is being moved towards the thighs, e.g. sit-ups


Exercises that work the Hip Flexors include:

  • Sit-ups
  • Leg raises
  • Hanging leg raises
  • Resisted hip flexion

Here is a list of unique exercises and articles for the abs that have been published in our monthly training newsletter "BetterU News" and on our membership site Powerful Training Secrets Free Trial area (these links will open in new windows).

The reason ab exercises are included here is that the hip flexors, being a small muscle group, are most often worked in conjunction with the abs. That being said, the first exercise on the list DOES work the hip flexors STRONGLY, in addition to the abs.

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Secret Training Tip #793 - Seated Hanging Leg Raises
Secret Training Tip #927 - Two Ab Exercises With a Twist For Rock-Hard Obliques and Explosive Core Power
Secret Training Tip #787 - Two Dumbell Ball Twists
Secret Training Tip #991 - Lying Cable-Curl Crunches - A Unique Exercise For Shredding the Upper Abs
Secret Training Tip #667 - Crunch Pulldowns For a Great Six-Pack




The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of

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