CT Anatomy Tutorials:
The Hamstring Muscles


The hamstring muscles cross two joints, the hip and the knee, and can act as extensors of the thigh and flexors of the leg. Because these muscles have a common site of origin on the ischial tuberosity and have similar positions in the posterior thigh, they are often difficult to distinguish from each other. In this module, the origins of the hamstring muscles and their positions in the posterior thigh will be demonstrated.


The hamstring muscles occupy the posterior compartment of the thigh. The hamstrings consist of three muscles which are, specified from medial to lateral in the midthigh, the semimembranosus, the semitendinosus, and the biceps femoris. The biceps femoris (Latin: two headed muscle of the thigh) consists of a long head with origin at the ischial tuberosity and a short head with origin from the distal posterior femoral diaphysis. The common site of insertion is the fibular head. The other hamstring muscles along with the long head of the biceps femoris originate from closely placed sites on the posterior/inferior surface of the ischial tuberosity. The semimembranosus and the semitendinosus insert on the proximal medial tibia.


The following web pages in this module contain axial images of the thigh from the ischial tuberosity to the knee joint in which the hamstring muscles and adjacent muscles are labeled and discussed. Click the NEXT link below to continue.