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Leg Muscles

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What are Leg Muscles?

There are different types of muscles that make up the entire human body. In this article, students are going to learn about leg muscles. A major portion of the muscles that make up the leg of a human being consist of different long muscles. Hence these muscles are able to completely stretch and go a very long distance. 

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Since these muscles are able to relax and contract properly, they help in moving the different skeletal bones and hence facilitate the movement of the legs. Smaller muscles of the leg provide assistance to the larger muscles. These muscles are functional in rotating the hip joints and stabilizing them as well. It is important to learn the leg muscles anatomy in order to gain more information about the function of leg muscles. 

Leg Muscles Anatomy 

Some of the largest and the heaviest muscles are a part of leg muscles. These muscles are present in the calf and the thigh of a human body. The anatomy of the legs is pretty complex and they tend to contain both the hip joints and the knee muscles. The muscles in the hip joint help in the movement as well as the rotation of the legs as well as the pelvic areas. With the help of the knee joints, human beings are able to straighten and bend their legs. 


The muscles that tend to create the quadriceps are the ones that are the leanest and the strongest of all. There are 4 different muscles in the front side of the thigh. These are known as extensors as they help in keeping the leg straight. 

  • Vastus lateralis: This muscle is situated on the outer section of the human thigh. This muscle is also the largest one of the quadriceps. The extension of the muscle occurs from the top section of the femur to the patella or kneecap. 

  • Vastus medialis: This muscle has a tear-drop shape and it is a part of the inner thigh. The attachment of the Vastus medialis is done with the femur and it goes down to the kneecap’s inner border. 

  • Vastus intermedius: This muscle is situated right between the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis. This location of the muscle is right at the front side of the femur and hence it is known as the deepest quadriceps muscle. 

  • Rectus femoris: This is one of the different leg muscles that tends to attach to the kneecap. Amongst all of the quadricep muscles, this one has the least effect on knee flexion. 


Another one of these tight leg muscles that are present in the leg is known as the hamstrings. These muscles are located right at the backside of the human thigh. These muscles tend to have a very important role to play in the movement of the knee as well as the hips. The beginning of the muscles happens under the gluteus maximus. The muscles are located behind the bone of the hip and are attached to the tibia which is located in the knee. 

  • Biceps femoris: It is a long muscle that helps in flexing the knee. The beginning of the biceps femoris occurs at the thigh area and the extension of the muscle is at the fibula which is near the knee. 

  • Semimembranosus: The extension of this muscle begins from the pelvis and reaches the tibia. This muscle acts as an agent for extending the thigh and flexing the knee. It also helps with the rotation of the tibia. 

  • Semitendinosus: The main function of this muscle is to extend the human thigh and flex the knee. 

Calf Muscles 

Another one of the types of muscles that are a part of leg is the calf muscle. These muscles are extremely important for the movement of the foot, ankle, as well as toes. These are some details regarding the muscles.

  • Gastrocnemius (calf muscle): This muscle is a part of the leg muscles that are the largest. The muscle is properly connected to the heel of the leg. It helps in the extension and flexion of the foot, knee, and ankle. 

  • Soleus: This is one of the leg muscles that have an extension from the knee’s back to the heel. This muscle is extremely important for standing and walking. 

  • Plantaris: This muscle is exceptionally thin and small. The muscle is absent in about 10% of people. 

Functions of Leg Muscles 

When it comes to understanding the function of the leg muscles, it can be said that these muscles have a very important role to play in the movement of the knee, leg, and hip as well. These muscles are easily able to contract as well as relax and hence help in the flexing and relaxing of different parts of the legs. For example, the back of leg muscles plays a very important role in the flexing of the leg. 


The above article provides an explanation of the different types of leg muscles and the functions that they have. Students will be able to use this information to gain more details about the topic.

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FAQs on Leg Muscles

1. What are the functions of leg muscles?

The leg muscles are some of the most important muscles of the human body. Since the muscles in the legs are able to properly relax and contract, they assist in the facilitation of movement. This means they help in moving the skeletal bones. This in turn leads to the movement of the legs, knee, hip, and other parts of the body. There are smaller muscles that tend to provide assistance to all the larger muscles of the leg. These muscles are pretty important for the rotation as well as the stabilization of the leg muscles. With the help of the leg muscles, a person will be able to walk, stand, run, and perform other important functions.

2. What are some common leg muscles?

There are some common leg muscles that are very important for the functioning of the leg. The quadriceps are known to have some of the leanest and strongest muscles of all. There are 4 different muscles situated on the front side of the thigh and these muscles act as extensors for keeping the knee and the leg straight. The hamstrings are another type of leg muscle which are located right at the backside of the thigh and help in the proper movement of the hip. Another one of the most important types of leg muscles includes the calf muscles which are important for the movement of the ankle, foot, and toes.

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