Muscles Of The Ankle

The muscles of the ankle are the gastrocnemius, soleus, peroneus longus, peroneus brevis, extensor digitorum longus, extensor hallucis longus, tibialis anterior, tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum longus and flexor hallucis longus.


Plantar flexor ankle muscles

The following ankle muscles are the main plantar flexors the ankle. When you do a calf raise or go up on your toes you plantar flex your ankle.



The Gastrocnemius is the largest and most superficial of the calf muscles. The Gastrocnemius is the main ankle muscle which propels you along when walking and running.


Soleus Muscle

The Soleus is a large muscle at the back of the lower leg. Together with the Gastrocnemius it makes up the calf muscles. The Soleus is used constantly in standing to maintain an upright position. Bent knee calf raise is a good exercise for the Soleus.

Tibialis Posterior Muscle

Tibialis Posterior

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

Flexor Digitorum Longus

Flexor Digitorum Longus

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

Flexor Hallucis Longus

Flexor Hallucis Longus

Flexor Hallucis Longus bends the big toe, for example when you curl up your foot. Hallucis relates to the big toe because Hallux means great toe in Latin. The Flexor Hallucis Longus supports the longitudinal arch of the foot.

Peroneus Longus

Peroneus Longus Muscle

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 attachments to the fibula.

Peroneus Brevis

Peroneus Brevis Muscle

Peroneus Brevis is one of the three peroneal muscles which pass down the outside of the lower leg. It everts the foot and plantar flexes the ankle.

Dorsi flexor ankle muscles

The following three ankle muscles dorsiflex the ankle:

Tibialis Anterior

Tibialis Anterior Muscle

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

Extensor Digitorum Longus

Extensor Digitorum Longus Muscle

The Extensor Digtitorum Longus is one of the three dorsi flexor ankle muscles which pull the foot upwards. An exercise for the extensor digitorum longus is walking on your heels.

Origin: Middle two thirds of the inner surface of the front of the fibula

Insertion: Top of the big toe (distal phalanx of the big toe)

Action: Dorsiflexion of the ankle, toe extension and foot inversion

Extensor Hallucis Longus

The Extensor Hallucis Longus muscle is one of the three dorsi flexors (pulling of the foot upwards). Walking on your heels is a great exercise for this muscle.

Ankle muscles external links

  • Learn about calf muscle injuries at
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