Muscle Talk: Lateral Rotators

Now we will look at the hip rotator muscles. The hip lateral rotators consist of six muscles, all of which assist in the external and internal rotation of the upper leg.

Moving forward, and onto the hip lateral rotators we will start with the piriformis. It is a pyramidal muscle located on the posterior aspect of hip joint, and inferior to gluteus minimus. It originates at the anterolateral surface of the sacrum, and inserts at the superior border of greater trochanter of femur. It rotates the extended thigh laterally. Also, because it is inserted above the head of femur it also assist in abduction of thigh when hip is flexed. It is responsible for stabilizing the hip joint.

The obturator externus is a flat triangular muscle deep in the upper medial aspect of the thigh. It originates on the outer surface of obturator membrane, external surface of pubis and ischium, as well as margins of obturator foramen. Insertion is by a tendon into trochanteric fossa of posterior femur. The obturator externus works along side the piriformis.

Obturator internus surrounds the obturator foramen within pelvis. It leaves the pelvis via lesser sciatic notch, and turns acutely forward to insert on femur. Insertion is at the inner surface of obturator membrane. It also works synergistically with piriformis.

Great stretch for hip flexors.

The gemellus consists of two small muscles with common insertions and actions, considered extrapelvic portions of obturator internus. It originates at the ischial spine (superiorly), ischial tuberosity (inferior), and inserts at the greater trochanter of femur. Once again this muscle is a synergist to the piriformis.

Quadratus femoris is a short thick muscle, the most inferior of lateral rotator muscles, and extends lateraly from pelvis. It originates at ischial tuberosity, and inserts at the introtrochanteric crest of femur. Rotates thigh laterally and stabilizes the hip joint.

Happy Lifting!

This article was researched and written by Carlos Flores – @_FloFitness


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2 comments for “Muscle Talk: Lateral Rotators

  1. August 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Another great post, Matt! As someone who sits most of the day for my job, (along with way too many people!) I know how much my hip muscles suffer. My piriformis is almost always in a state of distress! Flexibility training for this important joint in the body is crucial. Thanks for reminding us of the amazing ways our muscles of the hip joint work!

    • August 28, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      I think you said it when you said ‘along with way too many people!’. We all need to take the main hinge in our body, and all of the muscles that run through it, a little more seriously.

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