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Where are the Hamstrings?

So we’ve had a little look at the forelimb muscles, but what about the hindlimbs?

The hindlimbs of our pets are their powerhouse, this is where all your pets forward motion should originate…. It might not be at the moment, but more on that later.

So what muscles make up the hindlimbs?

The major muscles of the hindlimbs are:

  1. The hamstrings- semimembranosus, semitendinosus, bicep femoris

  2. The quadriceps

  3. Sartorius

  4. Gastrocnemius

  5. Gluteals

There are of course lots of other muscles in the hindlimbs that are smaller but still have an important impact on your pet’s movement and performance. If you want to know more about these muscles drop us a message and we can dive deeper into the anatomy of your pet!!

So I mentioned that the hindlimbs should be producing the forward motion and power for your pet... But what if they’re not? How do you know?

Firstly if your pet has larger muscles in their forelimbs then their hindlimbs or moves in a ‘downhill’ motion these are telltale signs that their hindlimbs are not producing the power for motion.

Secondly, if your pet doesn’t have a fitness plan that encourages the use of their hindlimbs, I hate to say it but they probably aren’t using them as effectively as they could be. When your pets don’t use their hindlimbs correctly their back and forelimb muscles have to work overtime to keep them moving.

Due to this if your pet suffers from back pain, working their core and hindlimb muscles CORRECTLY should be at the top of your list… after treatment of their back pain of course!

But how do you do that?

If your not sure hop onto our live webinars where we will talk through exactly how and were to start designing an exercise plan for your pet, what exercises to include and why!

If you need help with your horses exercise and fitness plan join here:

Over the next month, we’ll be working through the muscles of the hindlimbs!

This week we’re going to focus on the hamstring muscle group which includes the semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris muscles.

In the dog:

Semimembranosus- originates from the tuber ischia and inserts on the medial condyles of the femur and tibia.

Semitendinosus- originates from the tuber ischia and inserts on the medial surface of the tibia and tuber calcanei.

Biceps Femoris- originates from the tuber ischia and the sacrotuberous ligament and inserts onto the patella ligament, tibial tuberosity, cranial tibia, crural fascia and tuber calcanei.

In the horse:

Semimembranosus- from the caudal 1 vertebrae, sacrosciatic ligament and tuber ischium to the medial condyles of the femur and tibia.

Semitendinosus- From the last sacral and first 2 caudal vertebrae, tail fascia and tuber ischium to the cranial border of the tibia, crural fascia and tarsal tendon.

Biceps Femoris- spinous and transverse processes of sacrum 3-5, sacrosciatic ligament and ventral tuber ischium to the lateral patella, lateral and medial patella ligaments, cranial tibia, crural fascia and tarsal tendon to the calcaneus.

The hamstring muscle group extend the hindlimb joints when your pet is putting weight on the limb during stance and stance phase of movement but also helps flex these joints when the limb is in protraction and retraction (in front and behind the stance position). So you can see how important the hamstring muscles are to your pets hindlimb movement.

So what do you do if you want to improve your pets hamstrings? You need to focus on the action they perform so extending and flexing the hindlimb joints and choose exercises that focus on this. Again we covered what exercises these are in our live webinars on the 21st and 28th of July, don’t worry if you didn't make it live you can catch up on the replay too!

Join now:

If you need help with your horses exercise and fitness plan join here:

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