Tight sartorius muscles can press on a nerve, causing a burning sensation, tingling or numbness on the front of the thigh. Circular exercises can stretch and strengthen these muscles to prevent this painful condition. Sartorius muscles are the longest muscles in the body, running from the outsides of the ilium, or hip bones, toward the insides of the thighs and downward to the tibia, where they attach at the insides of the knees. The sartorius muscles are involved in nearly all lower body movements and are important for hip and knee flexion, outward rotation and abduction.
Lie on your back on the floor or a mat with both legs extended. Place your arms by your sides or out to the side with your palms down.
Hold abdominal muscles taut. If you are a beginner, you can bend your left leg at the knee, keeping your foot flat on the floor. After practice, when you are able, keep your left leg straight during this exercise.
Bend your right leg and bring your knee up toward your chest.
Extend your right leg upward toward the ceiling to a perpendicular position, or as close as you can get this position. Flex your foot to point your toes at the ceiling.
Leading with the inside of the knee of your raised leg, slowly and deliberately draw clockwise circles in the air with your toes. iSportPIlates recommends five to eight circles in a clockwise direction followed by five to eight circles in a counter-clockwise direction. Perform three sets of repetitions with each leg.
- Sartorius muscles are weakest when both the hips and knees are flexed. To avoid injury to these thigh muscles, do exercises that flex only one joint at a time.
- Keep your body very still during this exercise, avoiding rolling or twisting of your hips. Make small circles until you gain enough control to make larger circles without moving your body.
For Judy Kilpatrick, gardening is the best mental health therapy of all. Combining her interests in both of these fields, Kilpatrick is a professional flower grower and a practicing, licensed mental health therapist. A graduate of East Carolina University, Kilpatrick writes for national and regional publications.