The Biceps Femoris

by Jane Beevers

The Biceps Femoris:

Where is the biceps femoris muscle?

The biceps femoris is in the back of the thigh and connects the pelvis (ischial tuberosity – your “sit bones”) to the head of the shin bone (fibula) of the lower leg. It is one of the 3 hamstring muscles.

What movements do the biceps femoris muscle control?

  • Bends the knee

  • Laterally rotates the bent knee out away from the body

  • Straightens the leg at the thigh, extending the hip

Interesting facts about the biceps femoris muscle:

  • Like the biceps in the arm, the biceps femoris splits into two heads, the short head, and the long head. The short head of the muscle is absent in some people.

  • A braking action of the biceps femoris along the other hamstring help keep the body from falling forward when standing or moving.

Try this great kinesiological stretch for the biceps femoris (using a system known as Leverage and Target):

Make sure you’re warmed up.  Take the top leg up as high as is comfortable for you (use a strap if you can not reach the leg with your hands). Internally rotate the leg (turning the toes in).  In a 1, 2, 3 action, draw the top leg towards the opposite shoulder at a 45 degree angle (top pic).  This is your leverage.  Bring the top leg back to vertical, and in a 1, 2, 3 action, draw the leg closer to the chest.  This is your target.  Repeat on the same side, doing three sets in total for each leg.  Note: each time you bring the leg to vertical and draw it closer, try to keep the new depth in between sets. Feel the effects! As always, play safe yogis and enjoy the process.

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