The pectineus is a flat rectangular muscle of the adductor group. It is the smallest, most anterior and most proximal of the five adductors (muscles that act on closing your legs). It originates on the front of the pelvic girdle and inserts on the upper portion of the inner thighbone; the femur. It is monoarticular, meaning it only crosses and acts upon one joint: the hip. The main function of the pectineus is to adduct the thighs. It also flexes and internally rotates the thigh at the hip.

When this muscle is tight it limits full range of motion in yoga poses like baddhakonasana (bound angle pose). You can see by the way my knees are so far off the ground that my pectineus muscles are extremely tight.

Pectinues is innervated by the femoral nerve and the obturator nerve. It is associated with the second chakra.

You cannot see the pectineus in most people, but you can feel it if you know where to go. While someone's leg is slightly flexed and externally rotated at the hip, and you place your hand on the front, aspect of the thigh, high up towards the pelvis, you may feel the adductor tendon. Slide off the tendon laterally and you should be in the belly of the pectineus. Be careful when searching for this muscle. It is very near the genitals and the femoral nerve. Both places that could make someone jump if you accidently pressed into them.


Alex said…
Good description. Which yoga poses might activate and lengthen pectineus? (My right knee is elevated off the floor when sitting)
baddhakonasana and samakonasana are good.

Laying on your back, with your legs up against the wall and spread as far apart as you can. Let gravity pull that stretch for five minutes a day.

I also like to do a stretch I call The Frog. Here is a video of some stretches that might help open up your hips. I show the Frog stretch at about 2 minutes in.

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