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Now, identify the muscles of the superficial group in the posterior compartment. The superficial group includes the gastrocnemius muscle, soleus muscle, popliteus muscle, and plantaris muscle. Note that the tendon of the soleus muscle joins that of gastrocnemius muscle to form the calcaneal tendon.The popliteus muscle is a flat triangular muscle located on the floor of the popliteal fossa. The tendon of the plantaris muscle passes obliquely between gastrocnemius muscle and soleus muscle. The plantaris muscle arises from the lateral condyle of the femur immediately above and medial to the lateral head of the gastrocnemius muscle. Occasionally the plantaris muscle is absent. If it is present, identify the thin tendon of the plantaris muscle that inserts into the medial border of the calcaneal tendon.
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