The quadriceps (or 'quads') muscle is the large muscle at the front of the thigh.

The term 'quadri-ceps' means 'four heads' - as the muscle has four separate components that join into a common tendon, the quads tendon.    


The four heads of the quads muscle

The four heads of the quads include:

  1. the central portion - the rectus femoris
  2. an inner portion - the vastus medialis
  3. an outer portion - the vastus lateralis
  4. a portion underneath the rectus femoris - the vastus intermedius


Sonography of the quadriceps muscle: Examination technique, normal anatomy, and traumatic lesions. Pasta G, Nanni G, Molini L and Bianchid S. J Ultrasound. 2010 Jun; 13(2): 76–84.

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