The calf muscle, also known as the triceps surae, is a large muscle group located at the back of the lower leg. It consists of three muscles: the gastrocnemius, the soleus, and the plantaris.
Function of the Calf Muscle
The primary function of the calf muscle is to plantarflex the foot, which means to point the toes downward. This is important for walking, running, and jumping. The calf muscle also helps to support the arch of the foot and to prevent the ankle from rolling inward or outward.
Location of the Calf Muscle
The calf muscle is located at the back of the lower leg, between the knee joint and the ankle joint. It is attached to the heel bone by the Achilles tendon.
Diagram of the Calf Muscle
The following diagram shows the location of the calf muscle and its three constituent muscles:
The gastrocnemius is the largest of the three calf muscles. It is located at the most superficial part of the calf muscle. The gastrocnemius is a biarticular muscle, which means that it crosses two joints: the knee joint and the ankle joint.
The soleus is the second largest of the three calf muscles. It is located beneath the gastrocnemius. The soleus is also a biarticular muscle.
The plantaris is the smallest of the three calf muscles. It is located between the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The plantaris is a vestigial muscle, which means that it is no longer essential for human movement.