The Tibialis Anterior Muscle

September 18, 2018
The Tibialis Anterior Muscle

Exploring the tibialis anterior muscle

The tibialis anterior muscle is one of several muscles that we’ll look at that move the foot and ankle. It’s part of what is referred to as the anterior compartment of the lower leg and it forms half of the anatomical stirrup. The other half is fibularis (peroneus) longus, and we’ll see it there again. This is the muscle that we associate with shin splints and the inflammation of the connective tissue as it is pulled off of the tibia.

What does the name of the tibialis anterior muscle mean?

Tibialis comes from the Latin word “tibia” which means “shinbone”. And, anterior comes from the Latin word “ante” which means “before.” So, tibialis anterior is the tibialis muscle which is located on the anterior side of the leg.

Where does the tibialis anterior muscle attach?


Tibialis anterior is located in the anterior compartment of the leg. Specifically, it originates on the lateral shaft and condyle of the tibia at the interosseous membrane.


It inserts on the medial cuneiform and the base of the first metatarsal.

The Tibialis Anterior Muscle

Learn all of your muscles
go to 3d muscle lab

What actions does the tibialis anterior muscle do?

Tibialis anterior is the strongest dorsiflexor of the ankle. And, it also creates inversion at the ankle joint.

Poses where this muscle contracts

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

In balancing postures such as utthita hasta padangustasana, this muscle contracts and relaxes as needed to help us maintain our balance.

Downward Facing Dog

Interestingly, even if we’re stable, as in a downward facing dog, a simple action such as lifting the toes contracts the tibialis anterior isometrically and stabilizes the joint.

Poses that lengthen this muscle


Postures such as purvottanasana lengthen this muscle.

Supta Virasana

Supta virasana is a good place to lengthen this muscle. In this pose, the ankle plantarflexes and definitely lengthens this powerful dorsiflexor.

Trigger points

Trigger Points in the Tibialis Anterior Muscle