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Muscles of the Lower Extremity

Illustration of the muscles of the lower extremity

The muscles that move the thigh have their origins on some part of the pelvic girdle and their insertions on the femur. The largest muscle mass belongs to the posterior group, the gluteal muscles, which, as a group, adduct the thigh. The iliopsoas, an anterior muscle, flexes the thigh. The muscles in the medial compartment adduct the thigh. The illustration below shows some of the muscles of the lower extremity.

Muscles that move the leg are located in the thigh region. The quadriceps femoris muscle group straightens the leg at the knee. The hamstrings are antagonists to the quadriceps femoris muscle group, which are used to flex the leg at the knee.

The muscles located in the leg that move the ankle and foot are divided into anterior, posterior, and lateral compartments. The tibialis anterior, which dorsiflexes the foot, is antagonistic to the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, which plantar flex the foot.