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The tensor fasciae latae muscle

(M. tensor fasciae latae)


The flat and rectangular tensor fasciae latae is a skeletal muscle and belongs to the exterior hip muscles. The muscle arises from the ilium (iliac crest; anterior superior iliac spine) and joins the iliotibial band (flat structure made of connective tissue which serves as insertion for the muscles) below the great trochanter (protuberance of the thigh bone). The iliotibial band stretches across the outside of the thigh bone and strengthens the fascia of the thigh, which covers most of the muscles of the thigh.
The muscle pushes the femoral head against the acetabulum. It is involved in the flexion, the internal rotation and the abduction of the thigh in the hip joint and also influences the extension and external rotation of the knee joint by means of the iliotibial band. From an evolutionary point of view the tensor fasciae latae is an extension of the gluteus medius muscle.

When standing upright the weight of the body pushes the thigh bone to one side. The stress created is also called varus stress. The muscles arising from the iliotibial band counter this stress and reduce the pressure on the thigh bone. Therefore, the iliotibial band reduces the strain on the thigh bone.

Being located just above the flexion and extention axis, the tensor fasciae latae is - despite its small diameter - a strong hip flexor and that of a sprinter often much more denounced.



Tensor fasciae latae muscle



iliac crest (anterior superior iliac spine)

Insertion: from the iliotibial band across the condylus lateralis tibiae (condyle of the tibia)

hip: flexion, internal rotation and abduction; knee: stabilisation, extention and external rotation



Exercise Examples


Low pulley abduction
Abduktion am unteren Seilzug


Course of motion:

  • Stand sideways to the low pulley of the multi gym
  • Attach the foot strap to the ankle furthest away from the unit
  • Move as far away from the unit as possible
  • Hold on to the unit for support if needed
  • Pull your toes towards your body
  • Abduct the leg to the side as far as possible
  • Return back to the starting position slowly without putting the leg down



  • Exhale during abduction
  • Inhale during adduction


How to avoid doing the exercise incorrectly:

  • Avoid shifting/moving the hip
  • Keep your upper body straight and still
  • Do not put down your foot
  • Adjust the weight



  • Lying down without any extra weight (lower leg on the ground)
  • Lying down with both legs in the air (abduct the upper leg)
  • Using kettlebells as extra weight
  • Sitting down using a Thera-band
  • In a sitting position using an abduction machine




Lying knee raises
 using a pulley


Course of motion:

  • Lie down on the floor in front of the (low) pulley, feet facing the unit
  • Attach the foot strap to your ankle
  • Pull your toes towards your shin
  • In the starting position both legs are on the floor
  • Pull the knee towards your chest in a controlled manner and stretch it out again after
  • The abs are flexed and the back on the floor
  • Do not stretch the leg fully or put it down at the end of the exercise



  • Inhale while you pull the leg towards you
  • Exhale while you stretch the leg


How to avoid doing the exercise incorrectly:

  • Do the exercise slowly and in a controlled manner
  • Be sure to flex your trunk muscles
  • Be sure to pull your leg up straight
  • Adjust the weight to meet your level of fitness



  • Standing with your back facing the pulley
  • Standing using a Thera-band


Use different exercise equipment in order to make exercising your tensor fasciae latae more varied and motivating. You can use following the equipment, for example:



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