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

(Last Updated On: August 10, 2018)

Muscle Anatomy of the Gastrocnemius

Origin: Medial head: Posterior part of the medial condyle and the adjoining part of the femur.
Lateral head: The lateral condyle and the adjoining part of the femur.
Insertion: The calcaneus via the Achilles tendon
Actions: Plantarflexion of the foot at  the ankle, assists with flexion of the leg at the knee
Innervation: Tibial nerve S1, S2
Blood Supply: Branches from the posterior tibial and popliteal arteries

Gastrocnemius Muscle Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Muscle Anatomy: Gastrocnemius Actions

Primary Actions of the Gastrocnemius

1. Plantarflexion of the foot at the ankle


  • Soleus


  • Tibialis Anterior

2. Assists with flexion of the leg at the knee


  • Biceps Femoris
  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus


  • Vastus Lateralis
  • Vastus Medialis
  • Vastus Intermedius
  • Rectus Femoris


Information about cause and effect of Gastrocnemius pain:

Gastrocnemius: Knee, Low Leg, Ankle, Arch Pain

Recommended Anatomy Books:

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.

Human Muscle Anatomy

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 anyone 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 understanding of the muscle, skeletal system and how our bodies move. This book will not disappoint!

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.

Muscle Anatomy Flashcards

Musculoskeletal Anatomy Flashcards Are you a student or professional therapist who needs to brush up on the musculoskeletal system? Dr. Joseph E. Muscolino DC has developed a comprehensive set of flashcards that will help develop a mind's picture of exactly where the muscles lie under the skin. A highly recommended study aid for students. Great for non students who want an easy comprehensive anatomy guide.

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