The sartorius muscle is part of a group of muscles in your hip that are known as hip flexors. Hip flexor exercises include sartorius exercises that help with sartorius muscle strengthening. These exercises can also help with sartorius rehab, in case you're recovering from an injury.
Read more: 4 Tips for Getting Rid of Hip Flexor Pain
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Sartorius Muscle Strengthening
A study published in the August 2014 issue of the journal Folia Morphologica notes that the sartorius muscle is the longest muscle in the human body. It is a thigh muscle that spans two joints: the hip and the knee joint.
The American Council on Exercise explains that the sartorius muscle, along with three other muscles (rectus femoris, iliopsoas and tensor fasciae latae), are responsible for hip flexion. Hip flexion is the movement that enables you to lift your thigh upward and bring it closer to your chest. According to the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), these four muscles — collectively known as hip flexors — also help stabilize your spine.
ISSA says that having tight hip flexors can restrict your mobility and result in injuries, pain and stiffness. Hip flexor exercises and sartorius exercises that stretch and strengthen these muscles can help loosen them up. A July 2016 study published in the journal Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy notes that strengthening the hip flexor muscles can also help prevent and treat acute hip-flexor injuries.
Read more: Damaging Effects of Tight Quadriceps
Hip Flexor Exercises
ISSA lists these exercises to help stretch and strengthen the hip flexor muscles, including your sartorius muscle.
Move 1: Glute Bridges
- Lie on your back.
- Bend your knees and shift your heels close to your hips.
- Let your arms rest by your sides and keep your feet planted on the floor.
- Keeping your head, neck and shoulders on the ground, lift your back and hips as high as possible.
- Hold your core tight and squeeze your glutes. Your shoulders, hips and knees should be in a straight line.
To make this exercise more difficult, cross one foot over the opposite knee and then lift your hips. Repeat with the other leg.
Move 2: Single-Leg Squat
- Plant your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms straight out in front of you for balance.
- Squat down as low as you can go, as though you're sitting in an imaginary chair. Your knees should be directly above your ankles and your thighs should be parallel to the ground.
- While you're in the squat, pause at the bottom for a second and raise one foot off the ground.
- Shift your raised leg up and back as you rise to a standing position.
Move 3: Mountain Climbers
- Assume the plank position on your hands. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders and your head, shoulders, hips and heels should be in a straight line, like an arrow.
- Alternate bringing each knee in toward your chest, either slowly or rapidly.
Move 4: Pigeon Pose
- Start out on your hands and knees.
- Bring your right knee forward and flatten your leg in front of you so that it forms a 45-degree angle with your knee on the outside and your foot on the inside.
- Straighten your left leg behind you.
- Lean forward over your bent leg, going as far as you can.
- Repeat on the other side.
Move 5: Butterfly Pose
- Sit down and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees fall outward.
- Bring your feet as close to your hips as you can.
- Gently press downward on your knees to intensify the stretch.
Move 6: Low Lunge
- Take your right leg forward and go into a deep lunge.
- Place your left knee on the floor and your palms on either side of your right foot.
- Lift your left arm over your head and lean your body toward the right.
- Hold for a few seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
Move 7: Foam Roller Massage
- Assume the plank position on your forearms.
- Place a foam roller under one hip, keeping the other hip off the roller.
- Move your body up and down on the foam roller for 30 seconds, focusing on points that feel tight.
Read more: Hip Abductor Muscles Exercises
- Folia Morphologica: “Anatomy of Sartorius Muscle”
- American Council on Exercise: “Muscles That Move the Leg”
- International Sports Sciences Association: “How to Identify and Correct Tight Hip Flexors”
- Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy: “Large Strengthening Effect of a Hip-Flexor Training Programme: A Randomized Controlled Trial”