Two muscles (paired - left and right) connect the legs to the body's Base-Line.
The rectus femoris muscles align the hip and knee joints.
The gluteus maximus muscles connect the legs to the torso, stabilising the back of the pelvis.
These muscles work in tandem, allowing each leg to be moved, in a smooth and controlled fashion without effort or strain, through a full range of natural movement. (When functioning adequately and the body is free of physical restrictions.)
Anatomy, keeping it simple...
The gluteus maximus are the largest skeletal muscles of the body.
The superficial muscle layer of the buttocks, covering a lot of complicated anatomy that is prone to pain and injury.
The gluteus maximus muscles attach to many structures in the posterior pelvic region. It is important they are balanced and working correctly to prevent excess stress on the underlying muscles, surrounding connective tissues and the rest of the body.
Anatomy, keeping it simple...
The rectus femoris muscles cross the hip and knee joints, correctly aligning the legs to the torso when fully activated.
The patellae (kneecaps) are contained within the connective tissues of the rectus femoris.
How to locate your rectus femoris muscles:
Below the knee, feel for the bump at the front of your shin bone (tibia).
Run your hands up over your kneecaps and the front of your thighs to the sticking-out bone at the front of your pelvis (hip bone).
This is the full extent of the rectus femoris muscles.
The whole of each muscle (left and right) should be capable of activation, turning into strong poles down the front of each thigh, correctly aligning the hip and knee joints.
Feel for a balanced activation between your gluteus maximus muscles:
Trying to contract my big ass muscles and not the smaller muscles that lie underneath.
To activate your rectus femoris muscles:
Moving around from leg to leg. Feeling like I'm walking on stilts. Lying on my back and circling a foot in the air, big and small circles, rotating my ankle, pointing and flexing my toes.
Move around to find the positions where you can more easily activate your gluteus maximus and rectus femoris. Depending on the condition of your body, you may find this puts you in some asymmetric positions... one leg in front, a foot turned, a leg sticking out ... This means you are starting to feel physical imbalance and misalignment, the twists and kinks, compressions and rotations, stored on your body according to your individual trauma imprint.
Remember to use your Base-Line as the centre of your body. The position of your legs is relative to midline. Don't worry about where your feet are to start.
If you are not used to using these muscles it will take time and practice to build the connection between mind and muscles.
Work from your positions of strength.
Feeling the release of physical restrictions, gaining a little more freedom to move each time I focused on using my body better.