Author: Dr Peter de Souza
Last modified: 7 November 2022

The adductor magnus muscle is one of the 6 muscles of the medial compartment of the thigh. The adductor magnus, as the name suggests, is the largest of the adductor muscles. The adductor magnus muscle lies deep within the medial compartment and forms the posterior wall of the adductor canal distally.

The medial part of the adductor magnus is sometimes referred to as the "hamstring part" because of its origin on the ischial tuberosity and its insertion distally on the adductor tubercle of the medial femoral condyle, which enables extension at the hip joint upon contraction.

The lateral part of the adductor magnus is sometimes called the "adductor part" due to the orientation of fibres and attachments which enable this action (adduction), upon contraction.

The adductor hiatus is a gap formed between the "hamstring" and "adductor" parts of the muscle, through which the femoral artery and veins pass through to the popliteal fossa posteriorly.

The medial compartment of the thigh includes the following 6 muscles:

  • Pectineus
  • Gracilis
  • Adductor longus
  • Adductor brevis
  • Adductor magnus
  • Obturator externus


  • “Adductor part” – ischiopubic ramus
  • “Hamstring part” – ischial tuberosity


  • “Adductor part” – posterior aspect of proximal femur, medial linea aspera and supracondylar line
  • “Hamstring part” – adductor tubercle and supracondylar line


  • “Adductor part” – thigh adduction and external rotation
  • “Hamstring part” – thigh extension and internal rotation


  • Obturator nerve: L2, L3, L4
  • Vertical or hamstring part innervated by tibial nerve (branch of sciatic nerve): L2, L3, L4

Blood Supply

  • Medial circumflex Femoral artery
  • Inferior gluteal artery
  • Obturator artery