foot -- 2016
Muscles of the Foot

Pictured above are all the muscles in the bottom of the foot. As you can see there are MANY little muscles in the small area of your foot. It is best to approach the individual muscles initially as a group and shift attention to the forefoot, arch, or heel instead of starting with the individual muscles. If you find you need to go deeper to isolate one individual area or muscle take the process in stages. Releasing tension in the entire foot can allow you to more easily reach the specific muscle you wish to address.

With any foot issue it is wise to continually address the largest muscles that insert into your foot, the toe and arch muscles that originate in the calves.

Click here for a list of all the muscles.

Lower Leg
The following muscles attach across or below the knee. Click the appropriate link for your interest.

Muscles that cross the knee

  1. Gastrocnemius
  2. Popliteus
  3. Plantaris

Muscles that pass or attach between the knee & ankle

  1. Gastrocnemius
  2. Popliteus
  3. Plantaris
  4. Soleus
  5. Peroneus Longus
  6. Peroneus Brevis
  7. Flexor Digitorum Longus
  8. Flexor Hallucis Longus
  9. Posterior Tibialis
  10. Anterior Tibialis
  11. Extensor Digitorum Longus
  12. Extensor Hallucis Longus

Muscles that cross the ankle

  1. Flexor Digitorum Longus
  2. Flexor Hallucis Longus
  3. Posterior Tibialis
  4. Peroneus Longus
  5. Peroneus Brevis
  6. Anterior Tibialis
  7. Extensor Digitorum Longus
  8. Extensor Hallucis Longus

Muscles in the bottom of the foot (active links coming soon)

  1. Flexor Digitorum Brevis
  2. Abductor Hallucis
  3. Abductor Digiti Minimi
  4. Flexor Hallucis Brevis
  5. Quadratus Planatae
  6. Lumbricals
  7. Adductor Hallucis
  8. Flexor Digitorum Minimi Brevis
  9. Plantar Interossei

Muscles in the top of the foot (active links coming soon)

  1. Extensor Digitorum Brevis
  2. Extensor Hallucis Brevis
  3. Dorsal Interossei

Good luck working out those tight knots.

If you have any questions, please post a comment. We try to respond within 24 hours.

We're here to help you get more out of your training!

Foot Roll

2nd Secondary -- Foot Roll
Use this SMR exercise to address the muscles in the bottom of your foot. If you have trouble with heel pain, fallen arches, claw/hammer toes, or just about any other discomfort or dysfunction in your foot, then this exercise is for you!

There are 11 muscles in the foot with 8 muscles on the bottom separated into 4 different layers. Start with light, slow movements. Address one foot at a time if necessary.

Gradually increase the pressure, but try not to roll quickly through the muscles in the bottom of your foot if you are interested in addressing the deeper layers (you'll be wasting your time).

Let your pain threshold guide you to back off when you apply too much pressure.

The best time to do this SMR exercise is just after a hot bath or shower, when your muscles are all warmed up.

You should do this movement at least once every 2 weeks. (more often is better)
For written instructions, click here to download a printable PDF of the Foot Roll

For our downloadable video instruction, click here (video from 2010--updated video is in the works!)

Be sure to post your questions and comments below. We want to provide the best instruction to help you recover from your workouts.

Click here to return to all of the Fundamental SMR Techniques

**All information is provided for educational purposes only. You should consult your doctor before attempting any exercises you read on this page or any page on this website.**