Foot muscles


The human foot is a part of the body that has an important and complex mechanical structure . In the feet we can find a large number of muscles that intervene in one of the most important parts for the human being, the locomotor system , which allows us to move from one place to another, in addition to supporting the entire weight of the body .


What are the foot muscles?

The muscles of the foot are an important group of muscles that are linked to the bones of the foot by means of tendons , to achieve through this union that the movement of the human body can take place .

  • Classification
  • What are the muscles of the foot
  • features
  • Function
  • How to strengthen the muscles of the foot
  • Pain
  • Care
  • Importance of the foot muscles


The musculature of the foot is classified into two different types of muscles. The first group is known as extrinsic muscles, which are the muscles that, when they originate in the leg, carry out the movement of the ankle and the foot, although they are in the leg, they make tension by pulling on the bone inserts that are part of the foot and make possible the movements of plantar and dorsal flexion , eversion and inversion of the foot.


The second group are the intrinsic muscles that consist of muscles that originate and also end in the same foot , they are the muscles that are in charge of performing the movements of the fingers , whether of extension , flexion , adduction or abduction .

What are the muscles of the foot

The muscles of the foot are classified as follows:

Extrinsic foot muscles

  • Tibialis anterior muscle : it is responsible for flexing the foot dorsally and lifting its medial edge.
  • Extensor digitorum longus muscle : works in a similar way to the tibialis anterior, and also dorsiflexes the fingers.
  • Extensor hallucis longus muscle : dorsiflexes the big toe.
  • Lateral peroneal muscles: they are the strongest pronators and help in plantar flexion.
  • Posterior muscles : they are innervated by the tibial nerve.
  • Triceps sural muscle : it is made up of the soleus muscle and the calves.
  • Posterior tibial muscle: it divides into two parts on the sole of the foot to attach to the tarsus.
  • Flexor hallucis longus muscle : helps to mobilize this toe.
  • Long flexor muscle of the toes.

Intrinsic foot muscles

This group of muscles is divided into two different groups which are the muscles of the sole of the foot and muscles of the back of the foot:

  • Muscles of the sole of the foot
    • Dorsal and plantar interossei that aid in flexion and extension of the foot, and abduction and adduction of the fingers.
    • Opposing muscle of the little toe.
    • Flexor brevis muscle of the fifth finger : flexes the metatarsophalangeal joint.
    • Adductor hallucis muscle: flexes the metatarsophalangeal joint.
    • Flexor brevis muscle of the big toe : flexes the metatarsophalangeal joint and supports the longitudinal arch.
    • Lumbrical foot muscle : made up of 4 muscles that flex the metatarsophalangeal joints.
    • Plantar square muscle : increases the traction of the long flexor of the fingers.
    • Big toe abductor muscle : flexes and abducts the first toe and supports the longitudinal arch.
    • Short flexor muscle of the fingers : flexes the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints.
    • Abductor muscle of the 5th finger : flexes, abducts and supports the longitudinal arch.
  • Muscles of the dorsum of the foot:
    • Extensor digitorum brevis muscle : when contracted it causes extension of fingers 2, 3 and 4.
    • Extensor brevis brevis muscle : when it contracts, it produces the extension of the big toe.


Among the main characteristics that we can observe in the foot muscles, we mention the following:

  • It is made up of muscular elements that fulfill a double function.
  • They allow movements to maintain proper posture and to walk at the same time.
  • They are surrounded by the fascia of the foot which is divided into a medial, a central and a lateral portion.
  • Some of them are born in the leg and others in the same foot .
  • They are not muscles that can be seen with the naked eye and their shape is small and simple .
  • They are attached to the bones by means of tendons that ensure movement.
  • They do not have the ability to push , only to pull .
  • They work together as opposing muscles for general power of movement.


The muscles of the foot have different functions, one of them is to perform the contraction of the calf muscles to the foot ensuring the elevation of the heel and the flexion of the sole of the foot. They are in charge of stabilizing both the foot and the rest of the body, they help to bend the toes inwards and the flexion of the sole. They also act on the dorsiflexion of the foot in the leg and on the extension of the toes so that they do not drag on the ground when walking. Other muscles are also involved in movements ofrotation , support of the internal part of the foot and the external part .

How to strengthen the muscles of the foot

Some tips that can be followed to help strengthen and improve the tone of the bones of the foot are the following:

  • Finger flexion and extension
  • Balancing the weight of the body on the feet
  • Walk on the balls of your feet
  • Pick up pens with feet upright
  • Stretch ankles


Foot pain is common in people who stay on them for long periods of time , although it can also be due to situations that we cause ourselves, such as the careless use of high heels and inappropriate footwear . Many times the pain can also be caused by a poorly elaborated exercise that ends up causing tendinitis causing pain.


Some of the care that we must take with our foot muscles are:

  • Avoid wearing extremely high and thin heels .
  • Wear shoes with an appropriate size and avoid the use of flip-flop shoes.
  • Perform routine exercises suitable for foot muscle that do not put excessive burdens extras.
  • Maintain proper foot hygiene to avoid infection and injury.

Importance of the foot muscles

The foot muscles, in addition to being very important for the human body since they help balance and support the entire weight of the body, they are also very important for people who practice some type of sport . We must remember that the foot muscles are responsible for controlling the movements of the body as well as providing direction . The foot is responsible for keeping the body erect and for this reason, in addition to being important, it requires special care .

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