The Vastus medialis is the other "bun" of the "sandwich" of the three quadriceps heads that we need to know. It is the inner, medial muscle of the three, hence medialis.


Origin - Intertrochanters line (between the greater and lesser trochanters of the femur). Medial lip of the linea aspera of the femur.

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

Action(s) - Knee Extension

Strengthening -
Sit on the ground with your legs out in front of you.
Place your first 2 fingers on your VMO.
Tighten your quad muscles and imagine pulling your knee cap upward towards your hip
Hold the contraction for up to 10 seconds and make sure you feel VMO working (aim to contract that muscle first)
Sit on the ground with your legs out in front of you
Place the foam roller under your knee
Place your first 2 fingers into VMO and tighten your quad muscles, lifting your foot off the ground and contracting your thigh
Hold the contraction for up to 10 seconds and make sure you feel VMO working
Place a Swiss Ball against a wall and lean into it with your lower back supported
Gradually lower yourself into a seated position, pushing your hips backward (as if you were trying to touch your bum against the wall, but be conscious to push your knees forward at the same time)
Lower yourself until your thighs are roughly parallel with the floor
Push through the heels and squeeze your thighs until you are standing vertical again
Stand in front of a step, or a stair
Step up onto the step, ensuring that your knee is in line with your toes and hip
Pull through the heel and contract VMO to pull yourself upward into a straightened position
Maintain the contraction in VMO, keep your heel on the step and knee over the toes on the lowering phase
Start off with lower reps (6-8) making sure that your balance is good and you are using VMO
Increase the height of the step as you improve and up the reps to 12-15
begin by performing straight runs on a flat surface
increase the challenge by incorporating sport specific motions. For example, side to side movements, hops, twists and jumps are all movements that are specific to many different sports

Rehabilitation -
If the Vastus Medialis is not strong enough, it gets overpowered by the much larger Vastus Lateralis muscle. Initial exercises include quadriceps sets and straight leg raises. Knee extension machines must be avoided because they increase compressive loading on the patellofemoral joint causing much more damage.

Strengthening exercises should be performed in three to eight sets of ten, three times per day. Low resistance and high repetitions are recommended.

Swelling of the knee should be monitored and controlled with rest, ice, compression and elevation. Fluid buildup in the knee can prevent the quadriceps muscle from working properly. You must be diligent with your rehabilitation exercises.

Fun/Interesting Facts -

The Vastus Medialis Muscle is one of the four quadriceps muscles.

The Vastus Medialis works along with the Vastus Lateralis to stabilize the kneecap.