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Popliteus Muscle Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

The anatomy of the popliteus muscle

Popliteus Muscle Anatomy Study: Origin, Insertion, Action and Innervation

Origin: The lateral surface of the lateral condyle of the femur.
Insertion: Medial 2/3rds of the triangular area above the soleal line on the posterior surface of the tibia.
Action: Internal rotation of the knee; Assists with flexion of the leg at the knee
Blood Supply: Popliteal artery
Innervation: Tibial nerve (L4, 5, S1)


Primary Action of the Popliteus Muscle:

1. Internal rotation of the leg at the knee

  • Agonists: Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus
  • Antagonists: Rectus femoris

Secondary Action of the Popliteus Muscle:

1. Flexion of the leg at the knee

  • Agonists: Biceps femoris (long and short head), Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus
  • Antagonists: Vastus lateralis, Vastus medialis, Vastus intermedius, Rectus femoris

Satellite Trigger Points: Gastrocnemius, Plantaris

For more information see: Popliteus Muscle: Pain in the Back of the Knee

Trail Guide To The Body

The Trail Guide To The Body is another excellent book to help you learn the musculature of the human body. Though the book is geared toward massage therapists and physical therapist assistants, the book with its illustrations and text helps you gain a thorough understanding of the human musculoskeletal system and movement. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying anatomy and believe that MTs, PTAs, and teachers of body movements should have this book in their possession. I also highly recommend this book for the lay person who wants to gain a understanding of the muscle, skeletal system and how our bodies move.  This book will not disappoint!





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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