The musculus semimembranosus

(M. semimembranosus)


The M. semimembranosus belongs to skeletal muscles of the back thigh. It originates with a wide, flat tendon on the ischium hump and has a high membranous quality (approximately 50%), giving its name. It runs between the M. semitendiosus and the M. gracilis. It limits the hollow of the knee from the centre of the body by its base on the head of the ischium and is based by a short final tendon.
Together with the M. semitendinosus and the M. biceps femoris, the musculus semimembranosus forms the ischio-crurale muscles. This musculature tends to shortening often causing pulled muscles on back thigh for overcharges in running and vault disciplines.
There is a passage in the upper part of tendon and muscle abdomen, where the M. semitendinosus runs. The muscle abdomen is just developed underneath the centre of the thigh and it is well visible and palpable under the skin. 

The M. semimembranosus can be rarely absent or melt with the M. semitendinosus.



M. semimembranosus



Bump of ischium (Tuber ischiadicum)

Base: Condyle on inner head of ischium (Condylus medialis tibiae)

Hip: extension; Knee: bending and rotation




Exercise examples



Leg curl


Course of motion:

  • Take your position on the seat
  • Rest with back
  • Put legs on the foot upholstery (upholstery above Achilles' tendon)
  • Choose sitting position so that knees are at height of the pivot point
  • Thighs are hip-width apart
  • Tiptoes are pulled towards the body
  • Tense trunk muscles
  • Hands are at the sides of the body with contact to handles
  • Leg curling by tensing back side of thighs
  • Maximum motion amplitude
  • Shortly remain at reverse point
  • Then slow and controlled motion upwards
  • Keep tension in muscles
  • Do not extend legs completely



  • Exhale while bending legs
  • Inhale while extending legs


Advices of proof:

  • Keep tension in torso 
  • Do not extend legs completely
  • Regular breathing
  • Adadpt weight to training level



  • Leg curl in standing position on cable pull
  • Leg curl in lying position




Course of motion:

  • Stand feet shoulder-width apart
  • Bend legs (approximately 90°)
  • Bend torso forwards with straight back
  • Hands grasp the bar of cable pull in upper-grip with extended arms
  • Look forwards
  • Extend knees and hips and move weight upwards



  • Exhale while extending legs and hip
  • Inhale while bending legs and hip


Advices of proof:

  • Avoid complete extension of legs
  • Keep the back straight
  • Do not move knees forwards over the tiptoes



  • Deadlift with barbell 
  • Deadlift with Kettlebells
  • Deadlift with dumbbells


Kickbacks (hip extension on the cable)


Course of motion:

  • Fix footstrap of lower cable pull on the ankle
  • Stand in front of the multi-gym
  • Standing leg is slightly bent
  • Keep torso upright
  • Tense abdominal muscles
  • Draw up toes
  • Move heel backwards/upwards by extending hip with slightly bent leg
  • Up to maximum extension in the hip
  • Return slowly the foot to initial position, without putting down



  • Exhale while extending the hip
  • Inhale while returning


Advices of proof:

  • Keep upright torso position
  • Keep hips straight, avoid rotating movement in hips
  • Motion comes exclusively out of hips
  • Do not take a swing



  • Gluteal muscles kicks on the floor or bench
  • Lying on a mat (leg lifting with bent or extended leg)
  • Kickbacks with Thera-Band


Exercise the ischiocrurale musculature by means of different training equipment in a varied and effective way. Use the following workout accessories for strengthening the M. semimembranosus:



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