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Muscles of
Upper Limb

Wang Hao
汪 浩
Nov, 2006
Upper Limb Skeleton
• Clavicle
• Scapula
• Humerus
• Radius, ulna
• Carpals--proximal, distal
• Digits—metacarpals, phalanges

• Muscles of scapula
act on the joint of shoulder

• Muscles of upper arm
act on the joints of shoulder, elbow

• Muscles of forearm
act on the joints of elbow, wrist, digits

• Muscles of hand
act on the joint of digits
Muscles of scapula

• There are six muscles in this group. They
arise from the shoulder girdle, are attached
close to the shoulder joint and inserted into
the humerus. The functions are maintained
under all static and dynamic conditions of
the shoulder joint. This arrangement allows
considerable freedom of movement in every
direction while preserving the stability of
this shallow joint.
Muscles of Scapula
◆ Deltoid 三角肌
Origin Insertion Action
Clavicle; abducts arm; flex &
Deltoid medially rotate the
acromion and arm; extend &
spine of Scapula laterally rotate the arm

Deltoid anterior posterior
◆Supraspinatus ◆ Infraspinatus ◆ Teres minor ◆ Teres major
冈上肌 冈下肌
小圆肌 大圆肌

Infraspinatus tubercle
Teres minor

Teres major crest of
lesser tubercle

Supraspinatus stabilizes shoulder joint and
abducts the shoulder joint.
Infraspinatus stabilizes the shoulder joint and
laterally rotates the shoulder
Teres minor laterally rotates and adducts the
shoulder joint
Teres major extends, adducts and medially
rotates the shoulder joint
◆ Subscapularis 肩胛下肌

Subscapularis lesser tubercle

Subscapularis medially rotates the humerus
and stabilizes the shoulder joint
Musculotendinous cuff ( or Rotator Cuff ) 肌腱

The anterior, superior, and posterior aspects of the capsule of the shoulder joint
reinforced by the tendons of insertion of the subscapularis, supraspinatus and
infraspinatus, teres minor muscles. The tendons of these blend into a musculotendinous
sheath, called the rotator cuff. This cuff protects the shoulder joint and gives it stability
by holding the head of humerus in the glenoid cavity, and limits the range of movement.



teres minor

Lateral view
Muscles of upper arm

• There are four muscles in this group.
They are divided into two groups, the
anterior (flexor) group and the
posterior (extensor) group. These two
groups are separated by the medial
and lateral intermuscular septa.
Muscles of Upper Arm
anterior (flexor) group
◆ Biceps Brachii 肱二头肌

Origin Insertion Action

short head - flexes the
coracoid process radial forearm and
long head - arm (long
supraglenoid tuberosity head), supinates
tubercle forearm

Biceps Brachii
long head

Biceps Brachii

radial short head
◆ Coracobrachialis 喙肱肌

◆ Brachialis 肱肌 coracoid process



Coracobra- adducts and
weakly flexes the
Brachialis synergistic to the
biceps brachii ulnar tuberosity
muscle in flexing
the formarm
posterior (extensor) group
◆ Triceps Brachii
long head

lateral head

medial head

Origin Insertion

lateral head -
long head -
tuberosity process
extends the forearm;
medial head -
the long head extends
and adducts arm
Muscles of forearm
• They consist of anterior and posterior
groups. These muscles that cause wrist,
hand and finger movements are positioned
along the forearm. Most of these muscles
perform four primary actions on the hand
and digits: supination, pronation, flexion,
and extension. Others actions of the hand
include adduction and abduction. The
precise actions of these muscles are
complex, so they will be described briefly
anterior group
4 layers 9 muscles

flexors of wrist,hand and fingers
Muscles pronators
of Forearm
19s+Anconeus extensor of wrist,hand and fingers

2 layers 10 muscles
posterior group Anconeus
anterior group
The first layer
(1) Brachioradialis
(2) Pronator teres Meidal
(3) Flexor carpi radialis
(4) Palmaris longus
(5) Flexor carpi ulnaris

flexs the elbow
Pronator teres
Flexor carpi radialis aponeurosis

Palmaris longus
flexes the wrist
Flexor carpi ulnaris
anterior group
The second layer

(6) flexor digitorum

Flexor digitorum
muscle belly

middle phalanges
anterior group
The third layer

(7) flexor pollicis longus
(8) flexor digitorum profundus

flexor pollicis longus

flexor digitorum profundus

base distal phalanges
anterior group
The fourth layer

(9) pronator quadratus

pronator teres

pronator quadratus
posterior group
The superficial layer
Brachioradialis (10) extensor carpi radialis Anconeus
(11) extensor carpi radialis
(12) extensor digitorum
(13) extensor digiti minimi
Anconeus (14) extensor carpi ulnaris

extensor carpi radialis longus

extensor carpi radialis brevis

retinaculum extensor digitorum

extensor digiti minimi

extensor carpi ulnaris
posterior group
The deep layer anconeus
(15) supinator
(16) abductor pollicis longus
(17) extensor pollicis brevis
(18) extensor pollicis longus
(19) extensor indicis


abductor pollicis longus

extensor pollicis brevis

extensor pollicis longus

extensor indicis
Muscles of hand
• The hand is marvelously complex structure,
adapted to permit an array of intricate movement.
The muscles of the hand are divided in to thenar,
hypothenar, and intermediate groups. The thenar
eminence is the fleshy base of the thumb hand.
The hypothenar eminence is the elongated, fleshy
bulge at the base of the little finger. Muscles of the
intermediate group are positioned between the
metacarpal bones in the region of the palm.
Muscles of Hand lumbricales
palmar interossei
dorsal interossei

intermediate group

abductor pollicis brevis
abductor digiti minimi flexor pollicis brevis
flexor digiti minimi brevis opponens pollicis
opponens digiti minimi adductor pollicis

hypothenar thenar
Medial Lateral
Musculotendinous cuff

Please remember the groups
of upper limb muscles, and
comprehend the actions of
each group.

Please remember the origins,
insertions and actions of
deltoid, biceps brachii, and
triceps brachii muscles.