The musculus triceps surae represents the main muscle of the calf muscles. There actually are many different muscles located on the lower leg that can be grouped into flexors and extensors. Among others, the musculus triceps surae is located on the backside of the calf and belongs to the flexors.

Musculus triceps surae – muscle parts

The musculus triceps surae consists of the musculus gastrocnemius and the musculus soleus. The musculus gastrocnemius consists of two heads (caput laterale and caput mediale) that run across two joints (knee and ankle). The musculus soleus is located below the musculus gastrocnemius and runs across the ankle joint. Together they represent the musculus triceps surae that belongs to the strongest muscles of the human body. In its main function, the lowering of the foot (heel raise in standing position), it is able to lift the entire body weight several times.

Musculus triceps surae – location and function

The musculus gastrocnemius originates from the thighbone. More precisely the caput laterale originates from the epicondylus lateralis femoris and the caput mediale originates from the epicondylus medialis femoris. The musculus soleus originates from the upper parts of the calf and shin bone (fibula and tibia) and the little head of the calf bone (caput fibulae). Via the achilles tendon both muscles insert into the tuber calcanei at the heel bone (calcaneus).

Musculus triceps surae

Musculus triceps surae


The functions of the musculus triceps surae are

  • the lowering of the foot or the raising of the heel in standing position (plantar flexion),
  • the lifting of the inner edge of the foot (supination), and
  • the flexion (bending) of the knee (just the musculus gastrocnemius).


Musculus triceps surae – importance andtraining

From an aesthetic point of view quite some importance can be attached to the musculus triceps surae. Especially the musculus gastrocnemius shapes the calf considerably. Due to its great strength the musculus triceps surae needs high training weights. The muscle also tends to shortening, so it is recommendable to stretch it regularly.

The musculus triceps surae is very important for all walking, running, and jumping exercises by developing large forces through the ankle joint. Also balance exercises strain the calf muscles greatly. The farther we bend forward, the more our calves have to work.


Musculus triceps surae

Musculus triceps surae

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