Brachialis muscle

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Deep muscles of the chest and front of the arm, with the boundaries of the axilla. (Brachialis visible at bottom right.)
Brachialis muscle11.png
Position of brachialis (shown in red).
Latin musculus brachialis
Gray's p.444
Origin anterior surface of the humerus, particularly the distal half of this bone
Insertion coronoid process and the tuberosity of the ulna
Artery radial recurrent artery
Nerve musculocutaneous nerve (C5, C6)
Actions flexion at elbow joint
Anatomical terms of muscle

The brachialis (brachialis anticus) is a muscle in the upper arm that flexes the elbow joint. It lies deeper than the biceps brachii, and is a synergist that assists the biceps brachii in flexing at the elbow. It makes up part of the floor of the region known as the cubital fossa.


The brachialis originates from the lower half of the front of the humerus, near the insertion of the deltoid muscle, which it embraces by two angular processes. Its origin extends below to within 2.5 cm of the margin of the articular surface of the humerus at the elbow joint. It also arises from the intermuscular septa of the arm, but more extensively from the medial than the lateral; it is separated from the lateral below by the brachioradialis and extensor carpi radialis longus muscles.

Its fibers converge to a thick tendon, which is inserted into the tuberosity of the ulna and the rough depression on the anterior surface of the coronoid process of the ulna.


The muscle is occasionally doubled; additional nip to the supinator, pronator teres, biceps brachii, lacertus fibrosus, or radius are more rarely found.


The brachialis muscle is innervated by the musculocutaneous nerve, which runs on its superficial surface, between it and the biceps brachii. Part of it is also innervated by the radial nerve (proprioceptive branch) which allows it to be split during certain approaches to the arm. The divide between the two innervations is at the insertion of the deltoid.


Unlike the biceps, the brachialis does not insert on the radius, and therefore cannot participate in pronation and supination of the forearm. It flexes the elbow joint.

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See also[edit]

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see anatomical terminology.


This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

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