Quadratus Femoris

General information

Quadratus femoris is a hip-joint muscle that rotates the thigh, abducts the knee, and stabilizes the hip.

Literal meaning

Square muscle of the thigh.

Interesting information

Quadratus femoris is the rectangular shaped muscle in the gluteal region posterior to the hip. This muscle is responsible for the lateral rotation of the extended thigh, the abduction of the flexed knee, and assists in stabilizing the hip joint. Injuries include strains, tears, and ruptures and are often caused by not warming up properly, a traumatic fall or accident, muscle fatigue, and activity during cold weather. Common treatments for injury include rest, NSAIDs, and stretching.


Lateral surface of ischial tuberosity.


Quadrate tubercle above middle trochanteric crest of posterior side of femur.


Rotates the hip laterally.

Helps adduct the hip.

Nerve supply

Branch of sacral plexus S1, S2.

Blood supply

Internal pudendal and inferial gluteal arteries leading from iliac artery.

Femoral artery.

Quadratus Femoris

Relevant research

This case study presents evidence that magnetic resonance imaging is useful in confirming the diagnosis of quadratus femoris tendinitis when physical examination and heriography cannot confirm typical causes of groin pain. Quadratus femoris tendinitis is a disabling groin pain caused by the inflammation of the quadratus femoris tendon at the insertion into the femur.

Klinkert, P., Porte, R. J., De Rooij, T. P., & De Vries, A. C. (1997). Quadratus femoris tendinitis as a cause of groin pain. British journal of sports medicine, 31(4), 348-349.

This case study presents evidence that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an important tool in assisting clinicians in the correct diagnosis of the cause of hip pain. A quadratus femoris tear is an uncommon injury which can be acute or chronic with pain present in the gluteal or groin regions or both, making diagnosis difficult. MRI provides exceptional visualization and characterization of abnormalities, allowing the clinician to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend treatment.

O'Brien, S. D., & Bui-Mansfield, L. T. (2007). MRI of quadratus femoris muscle tear: another cause of hip pain. American Journal of Roentgenology, 189(5), 1185-1189.

Quadratus femoris exercises

Multi-planar lunge

Stand with feet together. Step forward with right leg. Lower body down until left knee almost touches the ground. Push against the ground with right leg to return to the starting position. Step to the right with right leg and feet pointing forward. Lower the body down to the side lunge while keeping left leg straight. Extend arms in front of body for balance. Push right leg against the ground to return to the starting position. Turn to the right, and step forward into a lunge. Pivot the left hip and foot at the same time. Lunge down, push back up and return to the starting position. Perform a total of 15 lunges on both legs for two to three sets.

Multi-planar lungeMulti-planar lunge

Supine hip rotator stretch

Lie on the ground on your back. Place arms out to the sides and keep feet together. Lift right leg up with foot pointing towards the face until leg is at 90 degrees from hip joint. Hold this position for one deep breath. Bring leg out to the right side. Keep leg straight, and lower it as low as possible without moving the body. Hold the maximum range of motion for one deep breath. Raise leg up. Bring it across the body as far as possible without moving. Hold the stretch for one deep breath. Bring the leg back straight up, and lower it down to the ground. Perform five to six reps per side for two sets.

Supine hip rotator stretch

Create exercise plans for your patients

Easiest to use exercise prescription software! Start your free trial today!