Part II: Anatomy Of the Leg

Muscles

Extensor Hallucis Longus

The thin leg muscle that is located between the extensor digitorum longus and tibialis anterior.

  • Function is to extend (pull back) the big toe and to dorsiflex the foot, so that the toes move upward toward the shin and downward toward the floor.

Fibularis Peroneus Brevis

The short, small leg muscle (long muscle of the fibula) that beneath the peroneus longus. It extends the lateral, lower portion of the leg.

  • Function is to plantar flex and evert (turning outward) the foot.

Extensor digitorum Longus

Extends the lateral lower leg and spreads out over the anterior portion of the talus (ankle). Its location is basically behind the tibilalis anterior.

  • Function is to extend the foot and four small toes.

Soleus

Extremely strong calf muscle. Extends from below the patella (knee) to the calcaneus (heel)

  • Function is to assist in ambulating and standing erect.

Tibialis Anterior

The largest anterior (front) compartment muscle.

  • Function is to dorsiflex the foot and to extend the toes, but all of the muscles that are located in the anterior compartment are responsible for this action.

Gastrocnemius (triceps)

Located in the posterior compartment of the lower leg. It makes up a portion of the calf, along with the soleus.

  • Function is to flex the patella (knee) and plantar flex the foot.

Fibularis Peroneus Longus

This superficial muscle is located in the lateral compartment of the lower leg.

  • Function is to evert  (turning outward) the foot.

Vastus Medialis (quadriceps)

The tear drop shaped muscle is located in the medial thigh area of the upper leg.

  • Function is the extend the leg.

Rectus Femoris (quadriceps)

Is located in the medial anterior portion of the thigh or upper leg.

  • Function is to extend the patella (knee) and flex the hip.

Vastus Lateralis (quadriceps)

Is located on the lateral portion (thigh) of the upper leg.

  • Function is to extend the patella (knee).

Adductor Longus

The skeletal muscle is located in the inner medial thigh area.

  • Function is to flex and adduct (bring inward toward the body) the hip.

Gracilis

The thin superficial muscle is located on the medial thigh area. The top portion of the muscle is broad, but it tapers off until it becomes very narrow.

  • Function is to adduct (bring inward toward the body) thigh and rotates the lower leg.

Sartorius

The thin, but longest human muscle is located in the anterior upper leg.

  • Function is to adduct, flex, and rotate the hip joint.

Tensor Fasciae Latae

Is located in the anterior portion of the upper leg, within the ilium (pelvic bone)

  • Function is to flex and abduct (move outward away from the body) the hip.

Iliopsoas

The muscle is located in the medial portion of the upper leg.

  • Function is to assist in ambulating and flexing the hip.

Pectineus

The flat muscle is located in the anterior middle portion of the upper leg.

  • Function is the flex and adduct the thigh.