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The lateral hamstring, comprised of the long head and short head of the bicep femoris
3 Credits

Biceps Femoris

Integrated functional anatomy of the lateral hamstring - biceps femoris. Attachments, nerves, palpation, joint actions, arthrokinematics, fascia, triggerpoints, and behavior in postural dysfunction. Common exercises, foam rolling, and stretches for the hamstrings.

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


Course Summary: Biceps Femoris


This course describes the anatomy and integrated function of the biceps femoris muscle group (a.k.a. the hamstrings, lateral hamstrings, leg biceps, posterior thigh muscles, etc.). This muscle includes two heads, the long head crosses the hip and knee, and the short head crosses only the knee. Both heads are located within the posterior fascial compartment of the thigh, between the lateral and medial intermuscular septa, abutting the lateral intermuscular septum. Research suggests the biceps femoris only accounts for about 3.9% of the total muscle mass of the thigh and is composed of primarily type I muscle fibers.


Both heads perform similar functions at the knee joint, but only the long head crosses the hip joint. Both heads of the biceps femoris are considered the prime mover during knee flexion and tibial external rotation, and the long head of the biceps femoris is a synergist during hip extension and hip external rotation. This course also describes the role of the biceps femoris on knee joint, hip joint, and sacroiliac joint (SIJ) arthrokinematics, fascial integration (sacrotuberous ligament), subsystem integration, and postural dysfunction. For example, the long head of the biceps femoris is part of the deep longitudinal subsystem (DLS) , which may increase tension in the sacrotuberous ligament, increasing the stiffness of the SIJ (restricting nutation). If the biceps femoris and DLS are over-active, this could excessively increase SIJ stiffness, contributing to an asymmetrical weight shift during an overhead squat assessment , and postural dysfunction (e.g. movement impairment) of the lumbopelvic hip complex and/or lower extremity .

Practical Application:

Sports medicine professionals (personal trainers, fitness instructors, physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, etc.) must be aware of the integrated function of the biceps femoris for the detailed analysis of human movement, and the development of sophisticated exercise programs and therapeutic (rehabilitation) interventions. For example, altered activity and length of the biceps femoris may contribute to hip pain, hamstring injury, hamstring muscle strain, hip joint impingement, low back pain, knee valgus, knee varus, and knee pain. Altered biceps femoris activity may also result in a relative reduction in gluteus maximus and gluteus medius activity, resulting in a significant decrease in lower body speed, agility, and strength, and a reduction in the effectiveness of resistance training routines intended to improve lower body strength and hypertrophy (bodybuilding). Deeper knowledge of biceps femoris anatomy is essential for optimal assessment, intervention selection, and building a repertoire of biceps femoris-specific techniques.

This Course Includes:

This course also provides detailed descriptions of etymology, attachments, innervations, joint actions, location, palpation, integrated actions, arthrokinematics, fascial integration, subsystem integration, postural dysfunction, assessment, clinical implications, and interventions.

  • Webinar
  • Study Guide
  • Test and Illustrations
  • Audio Voice-over
  • Research Review
  • Technique Videos
  • Case Study and Sample Routine
  • Practice Exam
  • 3 Credit Final Exam

For an Introductory Lesson on the Hamstrings:

Brookbush Institute’s most recommended techniques for the Biceps Femoris (see videos below):

Case Study: Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction


Client/Patient History: Low Back and Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Sample Self-administered Intervention

Sample Manual Therapy Intervention

The biceps femoris muscle running on the posterior side of the leg
Caption: The biceps femoris muscle running on the posterior side of the leg

Study Guide: Biceps Femoris

Webinar: Functional Anatomy of the Biceps Femoris

3 sub-categories

Joint Actions of the Biceps Femoris

2 sub-categories

Fascial Integration and the Biceps Femoris

1 sub-category

Electromyographic (EMG) Research: Contribution of the Biceps Femoris to Exercise and Motion

Electromyographic (EMG) Research: Change in Biceps Femoris Activity with Dysfunction and Pain

Movement Impairment and the Biceps Femoris

1 sub-category

Exercises and Techniques for the Biceps Femoris

6 sub-categories

Additional Materials: Stop Stretching Your Hamstrings!

Sample Intervention


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