One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The chief muscle of the calf of the leg, which flexes the knee and foot. It runs to the Achilles tendon from two heads attached to the femur.
- ‘The gastrocnemius muscle and soleus muscle, via the Achilles tendon, function as the chief plantar flexors of the ankle joint.’
- ‘This exercise focuses on the hamstrings but also involves the gastrocnemius muscles.’
- ‘As the foot strikes the ground, the toes are pointed - the ankle is extended by contraction of the gastrocnemius - whilst the knee is also extended.’
- ‘For example, during a static stretch of the gastrocnemius (calf muscle) the participants should continue to swing the arms, or alternate active movement and static stretching.’
- ‘However, among all the skeletal muscles, the gastrocnemius was probably the most suitable muscle to examine immobilization-induced deconditioning and passive shortening.’
Late 17th century: modern Latin, from Greek gastroknēmia ‘calf of the leg’, from gaster, gastr- ‘stomach’ + knēmē ‘leg’ (from the bulging shape of the calf).
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