Ankle & Foot Muscles

The muscles which move the ankle and foot, tend to be found in the lower leg, with long tendons which cross the ankle joint and attach onto foot bones.

Click the pictures below for more information including origins, insertions, actions and nerve supplies.

Gastrocnemius Gastrocnemius


The biggest calf muscle - plantarflexes the ankle.

Peroneus longus Peroneus longus


The longer peroneal muscle which everts the foot.

Flexor digitorum longus Flexor digitorum longus


A weak plantarflexor, which flexes the toes.

Soleus Soleus


A deeper calf muscle which platarflexes the ankle.

Peroneus brevis Peroneus brevis


The shorter of the two peroneals which evert the foot.

Flexor hallucis longus Flexor hallucis longus


Flexes the big toe of the foot.

Tibialis Anterior Tibialis Anterior


Largest shin muscle which dorsiflexes the ankle.

Extensor digitorum longus Extensor digitorum longus


Shin muscle which extends the toes.

Tibialis Posterior Tibialis Posterior


Deep calf muscle which helps platarflex and invert the ankle

Extensor hallucis longus Extensor hallucis longus


SHin muscle which extends the big toe.

Movements of the Foot and Ankle

There are four main movements of the ankle, which when performed one after the other, results in circumduction (circling the ankle!).

  • Plantarflexion - pointing the foot downwards, making a straight line from shin to top of foot.
  • Dorsiflexion - pulling the foot upwards, decreasing the ankle between shin adn top of foot.
  • Inversion - turning the ankle so that the sole of the foot faces inwards.
  • Eversion - turning the ankle so that the sole of the foot faces outwards.
  • Toe flexion - pointing the toes.
  • Toe extension - pulling the toes upwards.