The Sartorius muscle

(M. sartorius)


The M. satorius is the longest muscle in the body. It is a two-joint muscle on the front of the thigh, fulfilling the same function in both joints (hip and knee). It bends the hip and knee joint. In addition, it pulls the thigh outwards (abduction) and turns the lower leg inwards.
The sartorius muscle goes from the pelvis (Spina iliaca anterior superior) in diagonal direction across the quadriceps and is based on inside of the lower leg (below the knee). As it is a surface muscle, it is easy to recognize for a slim leg. In the knee, it works as antagonist to the M. quadriceps femoris, which is responsible for leg stretching. In the hip, it works against the M. glutaeus maximus, the hip extensor. The M. sartorius supports the M. glutaeus maximus and the M. quadriceps femoris for abduction of the thigh.
The muscle is difficult to exercise in an isolated way. It is always exercised with several muscles, being a synergist.

Thanks to its functions, it allows rotating the thigh and bending the knee joint at the same time; The cross-legged position is the term the name of the muscle originates from.



M. sartorius



Spina iliaca anterior superior

Base: Tuberositas tibiae (upper end of the front shinbone edge)

Bending, abduction, and outwards rotation in the hip, bending and inwards rotation in the knee joint




Exercise examples



Bending legs


Course of motion:

  • Take your position on the seat
  • Rest your back
  • Put your feet on the foot upholstery (upholstery above the Achilles tendon)
  • Choose a sitting position, so that knees are on height of pivot point
  • Thighs are hip-width apart
  • Draw tiptoes up towards the body
  • Tense trunk muscles
  • Place hands on the sides of the body with contact to handles
  • Bend legs by tensing back of thighs
  • Maximum motion amplitude
  • Remain shortly at the reversal point
  • Then slowly and controlled upwards motion
  • Keep tension in muscles
  • Do not completely stretch the legs



  • Exhale while bending the legs
  • Inhale while stretching the legs


Advices of proof:

  • Keep tension in the torso
  • Do not completely stretch the legs
  • Regular breathing
  • Adapt weight to fitness level (demand but do not strain or be too undemanding)



  • Leg bending in standing position on the cable pull
  • Leg bending in lying position


Hip bending on the cable pull


Course of motion:

  • Stand with back towards the low cable pull
  • Attach foot weight on the ankle joint
  • Stand stable
  • Knees are slightly bent
  • Draw toes up towards the body
  • Tense trunk muscles
  • Move the leg forwards out of the hip
  • Slowly return to standing leg



  • Exhale while bending the hip
  • Inhale while stretching


Advices of proof:

  • Work without taking a swing
  • Mind a slow course of motion
  • Keep torso stable
  • Adapt weight to fitness level



  • Hip bending in lying position on the cable pull
  • Hip bending in lying position with a Thera-Band


Create a varied and effective workout for exercising the M. sartorius by means of different training accessories. Use the following training equipment for strengthening:



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