AskDefine | Define quadriceps

Dictionary Definition

quadriceps n : a muscle of the thigh that extends the leg [syn: quadriceps femoris, musculus quadriceps femoris, quad]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A muscle having four heads, especially the large extensor at the front of the thigh.


Derived terms

See also

Extensive Definition

"Quads" redirects here. For other uses see Quad
The quadriceps femoris (quadriceps, quadriceps extensor, guads or quads) includes the four prevailing muscles on the front of the thigh. It is the great extensor muscle of the knee, forming a large fleshy mass which covers the front and sides of the femur.
It is subdivided into separate portions, which have received distinctive names.
  • Rectus femoris occupies the middle of the thigh, covering most of the other three quadriceps muscles. It originates on the ilium. It is named from its straight course.
All four parts of the quadriceps muscle attach to the patella via the quadriceps tendon.
The quadriceps is also involved in Lombard's Paradox.


All four quadriceps are powerful extensors of the knee joint. They are crucial in walking, running, jumping and squatting. Because rectus femoris attaches to the ilium, it is also a flexor of the hip. This action is also crucial to walking or running as it swings the leg forward into the ensuing step.

Additional images

Image:Knee diagram.png|Knee diagram Image:Gray432 color.png|Cross-section through the middle of the thigh.
quadriceps in German: Musculus quadriceps femoris
quadriceps in Spanish: Cuádriceps
quadriceps in French: Muscle quadriceps fémoral
quadriceps in Italian: Muscolo quadricipite femorale
quadriceps in Hebrew: השריר הארבע ראשי
quadriceps in Latin: Musculus quadriceps femoris
quadriceps in Dutch: Musculus quadriceps femoris
quadriceps in Japanese: 大腿四頭筋
quadriceps in Polish: Mięsień czworogłowy uda
quadriceps in Portuguese: Quadríceps
quadriceps in Finnish: Nelipäinen reisilihas
quadriceps in Slovenian: Štiriglava stegenska mišica
quadriceps in Swedish: Quadriceps
quadriceps in Chinese: 股四頭肌
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