Posterior thigh muscles (hamstrings)

Posterior view of the hip and femur showing the muscles that act on the posterior thigh

Tutorials and quizzes on the posterior thigh muscles (femur), using interactive animations and labeled illustrations to demonstrate the origin, insertion, innervation, and action of these muscles. Learn even faster with muscle anatomy reference charts. 

The muscles of the posterior compartment of the thigh or the hamstrings, are located in the back of the thigh. There’s only three muscles of this group: 

These muscles originate in the hip and insert in the leg, meaning that they cross the hip and knee joints, producing movements at them. Thus, their primary functions include the stabilization of knee and hip, flexion of the leg and extension of the thigh.

Besides the posterior thigh muscles, there are several muscles in the posterior region of the hip that also act upon the hip joint. They belong to a group of muscles called the gluteal muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fasciae latae.