Hamstring muscles

Andrew Murphy and Dr Craig Hacking et al.

The hamstrings are the muscles of the posterior compartment of the thigh and include the:

Apart from the short head of biceps femoris, the muscles share two common features:

  • span both the hip and knee joints and therefore produce hip extension and knee flexion
  • originate from the ischial tuberosity
    • long head of biceps femoris and semitendinosus tendons have a common origin as the conjoint tendon from the superomedial ischial tuberosity
    • semimembranosus arises from the superolateral ischial tuberosity
  • innervated by the tibial component of the sciatic nerve

History and etymology

They are named from the method of tying up and hanging legs of ham (pork thighs) for curing.

Anatomy: Lower limb
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Article information

rID: 40227
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases, refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Hamstrings
  • Hamstrings muscle

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