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Muscle of the Month - Gastrocnemius

Gastrocnemius (gas-trock-knee-me-us)


Where is it?

This is the muscle that makes up the bulk of your calves! Gastrocs come in all shapes and sizes, some are quite short, others are longer. Some can grow to quite a size!




There are two heads of the gastroc – medial (inner) and lateral (outer). They both start on the back of the thigh bone.



The two gastrocnemius muscle bellies become one tendon, and that tendon joins with the tendon of the muscle below it called Soleus which becomes the Achilles tendon


Calf raises! When you are standing, and rise up on to your toes you are using your gastrocnemius! It also plays a pretty big roll in ankle stability, which is why it can get a bit sore after walking across soft sand or cobblestone.




The gastrocnemius muscle is supplied by the sural arteries of the calf and the tibial nerve. 


Fun Fact

The Achilles tendon is named after the Greek god Achilles, who was an amazing warrior. It was said that his body could withstand anything. He helped to win the Battle of Troy, but was wounded towards the end of the fight by an arrow to the heel that ultimately killed him. These days, we use the term ‘Achilles Heel’ to talk about someone’s weakest attribute.