The hamstrings are a group of muscles and tendons in the rear portion of the thigh. The muscles are the biceps femoris, the semimembranosus, and the semitendinosus. In some cases, anatomists also classify a portion of the adductor magnus as part of the hamstrings. This muscular group performs many useful functions, primarily bending the knee and assisting with hip movements. Because the hamstrings play major roles in leg movement, they are prone to injuries.
All of the hamstring muscles attach to the ischial tuberosity of the hip. Many people refer to the ischial tuberosity as the sit bones because sitting forces much of the body’s weight on it. The muscles also connect to a rough area on the back of the femur, the linea aspera. The biceps femoris has two parts: the long head and the short. Technically, only the long head is part of the hamstrings. The semimembranosus, a long muscle with a long tendon of insertion, is the most central muscle of the hamstrings.
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