Inappropriate activity of M. rectus femoris (RF) during swing is believed to contribute to stiff knee gait in cerebral palsy. This study used musculoskeletal modeling techniques to analyze rectus femoris musculo-tendon (MT) length and lengthening velocity during stiff knee gait in 35 children with diplegic cerebral palsy (CP). Duncan Ely test scores were used to categorize the patients into four groups with increasing levels of rectus femoris spasticity. Knee kinematics confirmed a significant reduction and delay of maximal peak knee flexion during swing in the patient groups compared to reference values. Maximal musculo-tendon length of M. rectus femoris was reduced and occurred prematurely in swing. Musculo-tendon lengthening velocity was significantly reduced and the timing of the maximal lengthening velocity was shifted into stance phase. The present study demonstrates altered dynamic behavior of the M. rectus femoris in stiff knee gait and the results indicate that maximal knee flexion in swing was not a valid reference for the MT length of the M. rectus femoris. Furthermore, in the patient group maximal musculo-tendon lengthening velocity of the muscle related to the stance phase rather than the stance-swing transition.