The Brachialis Muscle

The Brachialis Muscle

Christine Wiese Anatomy, Upper Limb 1 Comment

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Exploring the brachialis muscle

The brachialis is the second of three muscles that we’ll look at that move the forearm. We’ve already discussed biceps brachii

What does brachialis mean?

The name brachialis comes from root “brachial” which refers to the arm.

Where does the brachialis muscle attach?

This muscle is located on the arm. Brachialis has a thick flat muscle belly that lies deep to the biceps brachii, although it can stick out from the sides of the biceps brachii. Due to its location deep to the biceps brachii, if brachialis is well developed it makes biceps brachii look bigger! This is a simple muscle as it only crosses one joint.

Origin of brachialis

Brachialis originates on the distal half of the anterior portion of the humerus.

Insertion of brachialis

It inserts at the posterior end on the coranoid process of the ulna and the ulnar tuberosity.

What actions does the brachialis do?

Brachialis crosses the elbow joint and acts as a synergist to biceps brachii. The primary action of brachialis is flexion of the elbow. It is active regardless of the position of the forearm because it attaches to the ulna which is fixed.

What are the most common injuries to the brachialis?

Generally, injuries to the brachialis muscle are not especially common. However, rock climbers will sometimes overwork this muscle resulting in tendinitis or even in a tear of this muscle. Symptoms of brachialis tendinitis or tearing include:

  • Pain or tenderness at the insertion end of brachialis at the front of the elbow

Consult your physician for assessment and treatment recommendations.

Postures where the brachialis muscle contracts:

Anytime we are flexing the elbow or attempting to flex the elbow against a resistance, brachialis will contract.

brachialis muscle in shoulderstand

Brachialis is working together with the biceps brachii here in our shoulderstand.

brachialis muscle in uttitha hasta padangusthasana

If we do a posture such as uttitha hasta padangusthasana the brachialis will contract as we flex the elbow joint.

Postures where the brachialis muscle is lengthened:

brachialis muscle in upward facing dog

We lengthen brachialis anytime we extend our elbow fully.

brachialis muscle in purvottanasana

Postures such as purvottanasana, that require straight elbows, lengthen brachialis.

Trigger points

Trigger Points in the Brachialis Muscle

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