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The shinbone muscle

(Foot lifter; M. tibialis anterior)


The M. tibialis anterior (shinbone muscle) is a long skeletal muscle in shape of a spindle of the lower extremity and belongs to the group of the lower leg muscles. It runs along the outside of the leg besides the shinbone and ends just in front of the ankle joint. Its German name "Fußheber - foot lifter" originates from its main function to lift the foot. Its tendon is turned by ligaments of the ankle joint and is based on the inside of the foot (in the middle of the foot arch).
By drawing up the foot, the muscle supports the body in walking motion. It causes a round motion. Unusual or long marching causes tiredness of the muscle - resulting in tripping over one's own feet. Furthermore, it stabilizes the ankle joint - mainly in the first phase of contacting the floor while running or walking.
The foot lifter is the antagonist to the M. gastrocnemius and the M. soleus.

When the M. tibialis anterior is paralyzed, it causes the so called stepper-walk. It is a disorder in walking, whereby the tiptoe hangs down. Patients suffering from this paralysis, avoid tripping while going by bending the free leg (leg moving forwards while going) stronger in the knee.



M. tibialis anterior



Joint eminence on upper/lateral part of the shinbone

Base: Ossa tarsalia on the medial side of the ankle joint

Lifts the foot and especially the inside edge






Exercise examples



Lifting toes with weight plate


Course of motion:

  • Sit down on a weight bench
  • Place feet on the floor
  • Place weight plate on toes of a foot
  • Keep torso upright
  • Lift toes and weight plate
  • Slowly lower/do not set down completely
  • Change foot after preferred number of repetitions



  • Exhale while lifting the weight plate
  • Inhale while lowering it


Advices of proof:

  • Slow course of motion
  • Motion just comes from the ankle
  • Adapt weight to training level



  • Lift toes on the wall (standing position, without weights)
  • Pull toes towards the body with Thera-Band
  • Pull toes towards the body on cable pull


Use different training equipment for exercising shinbone muscles to create a varied and motivating workout as i.e.:



back to muscle guid overview

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