Lesson 13: Hip Flexors and Anterior Thigh Muscles

Psoas, iliacus, tensor fascia latae, rectus femoris and vastus muscles

by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

Lesson 13: Hip Flexors and Anterior Thigh

Study GuideQuick Reference - Hip Flexors and Anterior Thigh

Note: If you intend to do the activities below do not open the "Study Guide" - all the answers are already filled in.  The study guide is just a quick reference tool, similar to flash cards.  Great for last-minute prep' before an exam.


In this lecture we will be discussing the hip flexors and muscles of the anterior thigh:  Psoas, iliacus, tensor fascia latae, rectus femoris and vastus muscles.


  • Psoas -psoas (n.) 1680s, from Greek psoa (plural psoai) "muscles of the loins." Related: Psoitis.

    Gk. [psoas], the gen. of the feminine noun [psoa], was mistaken by the French anatomist Jean Riolan (1577-1657) for the nom. of a (nonexistent) masculine noun. It was he who introduced this erroneous form into anatomy."

     (Etymology Online)

  • Iliacus - iliac (adj.) 1510s, "pertaining to the disease ileus or colic," from French iliaque or directly from Late Latin iliacus, from ilium "flank, side, entrails" (see ileum). (Etymology Online)

  • Tensor (n.) – muscle that stretches or tightens a part, 1704, Modern Latin agent noun from tens-, past participle stem of Latin tendere “to stretch” (Etymology Online)
  • Fascia  (n.) – 1560s, from Latin fascia “a band, bandage, swathe, ribbon,” derivative of fascis“bundle” (Etymology Online)
  • Latae – lateral (adj.) early 15c., from Middle French latéral and directly from Latin lateralis“belonging to the side,” from latus (genitive lateris) “side” (Etymology Online)

    •  Tensor Fascia Lata roughly translates to – “Muscle that tenses the lateral fascia”

  • Quadriceps (n.) large extensor