The Tensor fascia lata is a small fusiform muscle that, with some variance, tapers at the ends.
Origin – the anterior lip of the crest of the ilium
Insertion – lateral, condyle of the tibia via the IT band
The TFL tenses the fascia lata, stabilizing the hip joint by keeping the head of the femur inthe acetabulum. It is is particularly useful in stability while standing.
It is generally agreed to be a medial rotator and important in stabilizing the thigh during external rotation.
Although it is considered to be a weak abductor, it is active in walking. It pulls the front corner of the hip down on the weight bearing leg. This stabilizes the other hip so that the leg does not drag as it swings forward.
It is active as a phasic muscle while standing. It is very active in sports like cycling and skiing. It is a key component in the treatment of IT band syndrome or Runner’s knee.
The TFL invests in the iliotibial tract (IT band) and tenses the fascia to stabilize the knee. IT also acts with gluteus maximus to abduct and rotate the leg.
This post discusses the IT band in more detail.
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This post covers the basics of Ice-and-Stretch, a toll that is used extensively in these posts combined with Active Isolated Stretching and Yoga poses.
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