Exploring the soleus muscles
The soleus muscles are part of the group of muscles that move the foot and ankle. This muscle and the gastrocnemius muscles are good friends and even better working partners. Their tendinous attachment to the calcaneus (heel bone) form the very strong Achilles tendon. Interestingly, soleus is sometimes referred to as the second heart, as the contractions of this muscle play an important role in helping blood get back to the heart.
What does the name of the soleus muscles mean?
The name soleus comes from the Latin word “solea” meaning sandal or flat of the foot. It also refers to “sole”, a type of flat fish.
Where do the soleus muscles attach?
The soleus muscle is part of the posterior compartment of the leg. They are located deep to the gastrocnemius. Specifically, soleus originates on the soleal line of the tibia and on the head of the fibula.
It inserts on the calcaneus via the Achilles tendon, which is sometimes known as the calcaneal tendon.
What actions do the soleus muscles do?
You’ll notice that the soleus muscle only crosses the ankle joint, so its actions will only act on that joint.
The soleus is responsible for plantarflexion of the ankle. It’s the strongest plantarflexor.