Lower Leg and Ankle Muscles

The muscles of the lower leg consist of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles which together are known as the calf muscles, the peroneus longus, peroneus brevis, extensor digitorum longus, extensor hallucis longus, tibialis anterior, tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum longus and flexor hallucis longus.

The Extensor Digtitorum Longus muscle is one of the three dorsi flexors (pulls the foot upwards) of the foot. It is exercised by trying to walk on the heels.

Flexor Digitorum Longus causes the toes to grip and mold to the floors surface which is vital in maintaining balance on rough surfaces. Walking barefoot on an uneven surface is an excellent exercise for this muscle.

Tibialis anterior forms the main fleshy part of the shin on the front and outside of the shin. It is a powerful dorsi flexor (lifts the foot up)..

The Tibialis Posterior is the deepest of all the calf muscles. It helps to support the arch of the foot.

Peroneus Brevis is one of the peroneal muscles which pass down the outside of the lower leg and evert the foot. These muscles are sometimes referred to as Fibularis brevis, longus and tertius due to their attachments on the fibula.

Soleus is a large muscle, deep to Gastrocnemius. Together the Gastrocnemius, Soleus and Plantaris are known as Triceps Surae. Soleus is used constantly in standing to maintain an upright position.

Peroneus Longus is one of the peroneal muscles which pass down the outside of the lower leg and evert the foot. These muscles are sometimes referred to as fibularis longus, brevis and tertius due to their attchments on the fibula.

Gastrocnemius is the largest and most superficial of the calf muscles. Together the Gastrocnemius, Soleus and Plantaris are known as Triceps Surae. The Gastrocnemius is the main propellant in walking and running.

Flexor Hallucis Longus bends the big toe when you curl up your foot. It is called 'Hallucis' as the word Hallux means great toe in latin. This muscle also supports the longitudinal arch of the foot.

The Extensor Hallucis Longus muscle is one of the three dorsi flexors (pulls the foot upwards) of the foot. It is exercised by trying to walk on the heels.

More Human Muscles: