You guys! We're out of the hip and thigh and into the Lower Leg muscles!
Starting behind your knee with this lil' guy: POPLITEUS !
Popliteus is a member of the "deep posterior compartment of the lower leg" which simply means this collection of muscles living deep in the back of knee/leg, closest to the bone.
Popliteus Muscle Attachment Points
Origin: Distal Postero-lateral femur
Insertion: Proximal postero-medial tibia
So from the thigh bone (femur) to the tibia (the largest of the two lower leg bones)
Let's break down those directional terms though:
distal: furthest away limb-wise (for example your wrist is distal to your elbow)
lateral: furthest away from the midline (center)
medial: closest to the midline of the body
Popliteus Muscle ACTIONS:
flexion of the leg at the knee joint (aka : bent knees (from straight to bent)
medial rotation of the leg at the knee joint (say whatttt? YES our knee can slightly rotate inwards)
Popliteus is special in that it is the only muscle to perform medial rotation of the knee - "unlocking the extended knee joint"
knee flexion in action
What do these two gifs have in common?