Muscles of the lower leg and foot


The muscles of the lower leg, called simply the leg by anatomists, largely move the foot and toes. The major muscles of the lower leg, other than the gastrocnemius which is cut away, are shown in Figure 9-12. The gastrocnemius muscle has two large bellies, called the medial head and the lateral head, and inserts into the calcaneus bone of the foot via its calcaneal tendon (also known as the Achilles tendon.) The soleus muscle is deep to the gastrocnemius, and the two muscles serve together as the calf of the leg. The gastrocnemius muscle is shown in Figure 9-13.

Figure 9-12. The muscles of the lower leg.

Figure 9-13. The gastrocnemius muscle

Figure 9-14 shows the muscles of the feet.

Figure 9-14. The muscles of the feet.

Lab 9 Exercises 9-5

  1. Using the full-scale leg model, locate and identify the muscles of the lower leg listed in the table below.

  1. Write down the muscles of the thigh in the table below and, for each, give the location of that muscle and what effect contracting that muscle has.

Muscle Location & description Action
Tibialis anterior
Fibularis longus

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