The following part is extracted from the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_flexors#Hip

It is about muscles which flexes the hip, and the muscles are listed below. And it says muscles are listed "in descending order of importance to the action".

Does it mean that iliopsoas muscle is the major muscle involving to flex hip and the muscle which applies lowest effort is Gracilis from the list. Does my interpretation correct?


The hip flexors are (in descending order of importance to the action of flexing the hip joint):

Collectively known as the iliopsoas or inner hip muscles:

Psoas major

Iliacus muscle

Anterior compartment of thigh:

Rectus femoris (part of the quadriceps muscle group)


One of the gluteal muscles:

Tensor fasciae latae

Medial compartment of thigh:


Adductor longus

Adductor brevis


Without the iliopsoas muscles, flexion in sitting position is not possible across the horizontal plane"

  • 2
    "Descending" roughly means "highest first", so your assumption is correct.
    – Amber
    Apr 2, 2014 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


The variety of topics you lot spend your time reading about has yet to stop amazing me...

The phrase "In descending order", in this context, means 'starting at the top, then the second top, then the third, ... etc etc la dee dah etc ... then the bottom'. Roughly. ish.

To say "in descending order of importance to the action" basically means substituting 'top' for 'most important', or 'starting at the most important, then the second most important ... tum te tum... least important'.

Your assumption is correct, as Amber says. Something tells me the blasted 'answer -> comment' conversion struck again.

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