What does the name gastrocnemius muscles mean?
Where do the gastrocnemius muscles attach?
Gastrocnemius is the most superficial muscle in the posterior compartment of the leg. It lies on top of the soleus.
It has two heads which originate in different locations, but which come together to insert at the same place.
The medial head originates on the medial epicondyle of the femur, while the lateral head originates on the lateral epicondyle of the femur.
The two heads come together to insert, along with the posterior end of the soleus, on the calcaneus via the Achilles tendon.
What actions do the gastrocnemius muscles do?
The primary function of the gastrocnemius is plantarflexion of the ankle.
Additionally, because it crosses the knee joint, it can assist in flexion of the knee.