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Plantaris Muscle Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Plantaris Muscle Anatomy Study

Location of the plantaris muscle of the lower leg.
Origin: Lateral supracondylar ridge of the femur above the lateral head of the gastrocnemius.
Insertion: Medial aspect of the posterior surface of the calcaneus, medial to the Achilles tendon.
Action: Assists with flexion of the knee. Assist with plantarflexion of the foot at the ankle
Innervation: Tibial Nerve (S1,2)
Blood Supply: Popliteal Artery

Synergist: Gastrocnemius

Primary Actions of the Plantaris:

  • The plantaris muscle is not a prime mover and does not have a primary action

Secondary Actions of the Plantaris:

1. Assists with flexion of the knee

  • Agonists: Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus
  • Antagonists: Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius, Rectus Femoris

2. Assists with plantarflexion of the foot at the ankle

  • Agonists: Gastrocnemius, Soleus
  • Antagonists: Tibialis Anterior

For more information see:  Plantaris Muscle: Pain Behind The Knee

Books To Learn Human Anatomy

Anatomy Coloring Book


The Anatomy Coloring Book is one of the best study and reference books for beginning anatomy students. The diagrams are clearly labeled and allow you to see the relationship and placement of the various structures of the body. You will also be surprised how the act of coloring will help with recall. But this is not just a beginners book, it is also great for practitioners and therapists to have on hand to use with clients and patients to use as a visual reference.

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy


Out of the scores of books in my office Basic Clinical Massage Therapy is by far the most referenced book in my library. The musculoskeletal system is overlaid on human models allowing you to learn the precise location, origin and insertions of each muscle. The models are pictured in various poses throughout the book which also helps you visualize muscles in motion and their actions relationship with the skeletal structure and other muscles. Though it is written for massage therapists, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn about the muscular system. MT’s will benefit from recommended treatments for each muscle.







The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook – Claire Davies, Amber Davies, and David G. Simons

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment – James H. Clay and David M. Pounds

Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain – Donna Finando and Steven Finando

Massage Therapy Principles and Practice – Susan Salvo

Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage – Mark Beck


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