The Vastus lateralis is one of the four quadriceps heads. It is a [[#|larger]] "bun" of the "sandwich" and faces laterally on the cat [[#|compared]] to the other "bun", the Vastus medialis. In the middle is the Rectus femoris. All three quadriceps muscles are covered by the more superficial sartorius and tensor faciae latae.


Origin - Outer surface of the greater trochaner of the femur. Upper half of the linea aspera

Insertion - Patella via the quadriceps tendon and then the tibial tuberosity via the patella tendon.

Action(s) - Knee Extension

Strengthening -

Leg Extensions:
Sit on the leg extension machine with your back against the pad and feet under the pads. Place the pads just above the feet.
Curl the legs up until you reach the top position.
Lower weight back to starting position. Lower legs should be vertical to the floor.

Hack Squats:
Lay back in the hack squat machine with shoulders place on the pads.
Place feet about shoulder width apart with toes pointed out slightly.
Squat down until there is about a 90 degree angle in the knee joint.
Push back up until you are back in the starting position.
Repeat for recommended reps.

Lunge Walking:
Grab two dumbbells and hold them to your side.
Step forward with your right foot until your upper thigh is about parallel with the floor. Keep a slight bend in your left leg.
Take a step forward with the back leg and continue the form while walking.

Lunges are performed exactly like the above walking lunges, except, instead of walking forward, you step back and repeat with the other leg. Both can be done with either dumbbells or barbell.

Rehabilitation -

Treadmill Walking:
Your doctor or physical therapist might prescribe graded treadmill walking during the early stages of your vastus lateralis rehabilitation program. You begin at a zero incline. As your knee condition improves, your physical therapist increases the incline of the treadmill. Increases in treadmill incline correspond to increases in vastus medialis oblique, vastus lateralis and biceps femoris activity,

Closed Chained Exercise:
exercises that keep your feet in contact with the floor, engage the vastus lateralis as well as the other quadriceps muscles. Physical therapists prescribe closed chain body weight exercises such as squats and lunges for vastus lateralis rehabilitation. The squat, performed with both feet flat on the floor, might be easier during the earlier stages of rehabilitation. Add lunges as your balance improves. Stretch after your workout by standing upright, bending your knee and gently pulling your heel toward your buttocks.

Fun/Interesting Facts -

Vastus Lateralis is the largest muscle in the quadriceps group.