Here is a brief overview of the anatomy of the leg muscles.
The lower body has muscles in 8 major areas... the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, inner thighs, back of the calf, outside of the lower leg, shin, and foot.
The Glutes consists of 3 muscles in the hip area-- the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. The glutes work to move the hip backwards and out to the side.
The Quadriceps are group of 4 muscles in the front of the thigh-- vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, and the rectus femoris. The Quadriceps work to straighten the knee.
The Hamstrings are a group of 3 muscles on the back of the thigh-- biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. The hamstrings pull the hip backwards and bend the knees.
The Inner Thigh also referred to as the adductor group consists of 5 muscles-- pectineus, adductor brevis, adductor longus, adductor magnus, and gracilis. The inner thigh muscles pull the hip inwards.
The Calf has 2 layers of muscles, superficial and deep. The biggest calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) are in the superficial layer and you can see them at the back of the lower leg. The calf muscles point the toes and help you raise on to your tip toes.
Learn more about the calf muscle anatomy.
The outside of the of the lower leg has 2 muscles (peroneus longus and peroneus brevis). These muscles pull the ankle out to the side and help to stabilize the foot and ankle.
The front of the shin has 4 muscles (extensor digitorum longus, extensor hallicus longus, tibialis anterior, and peroneus tertius). These muscles help to move the ankle and toes towards the shin.
The foot has several small intrinsic muscles that stabilize the bones of the feet and the arches.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT