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The Thigh Extensor Muscles are: 1) Gluteus Maximus and the hamstrings, which are 2) semitendinosus, 3) semimembranosus, and 4) biceps femoris.  These muscles are shown in Figure 1 below: 

Thigh Extensor Muscles

Figure 1. Hip or Thigh Extensor Muscles.


The nerve  supply to the Gluteus Maximus is supplied by the inferior gluteal nerve.  This nerve is formed by branches L5, S1, and S2 from the lumbosacral plexus.

The nerve supply to the semitendinosus and semimembranosus muscles is the tibial branch of the sciatic nerve formed from branches L5,S1 and S2. The nerve supply to the biceps femoris long head is the tibial nerve and the short head is the common peroneal nerve. The nerves to these three muscles (collectively known as the hamstrings) are contained within the sciatic nerve and branch to the corresponding muscle. See Figure 2 below for the inferior gluteal nerve and sciatic nerve: 

Figure 2. The inferior gluteal nerve and sciatic nerve.

"LifeART (and/or) MediClip image copyright (2005) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved."

The Hip or Thigh Extensors' main function is to extend the thigh behind your body. This occurs during activities such as running, jumping, walking, skating, and swimming. This is illustrated in Figure 3 below:

Figure 3. Muscles involved: Hip or Thigh Extensors.



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Dr. Larry Van Such

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