Muscles of the upper arm and shoulder blade – Human Anatomy | Kenhub

Muscles of the upper arm and shoulder blade – Human Anatomy | Kenhub


Building up a strong set of arms and shoulder
muscles like these does not come easy. Ask anyone who’s done it. It takes amount enough
motivation, plenty of pain, and a bucket load of sweat. But who wants arms like these when
you can have arms like these? Of course, if you’re going to go through the trouble of
growing muscles like these, you might as well be able to at least name the muscles in question,
and that’s exactly what we’re going to be doing today. So whether you’re showing
off the fruits of your many, many shoulder and arm workouts or just trying to ace your
next upper limb anatomy exams, stay tuned as we explore the muscles of the arm and shoulder. So to get started, let’s first remind ourselves
of the bony framework which provides the attachment points for the muscles that we meet today.
As you see here in this illustration, we are looking at the posterior surface of the humerus
which, of course, is the long bone of the arm. On the left side, you can see this triangular-shaped
bone which we know is the scapula, also commonly referred to as the shoulder blade. In this tutorial, specifically, we will be
introducing you to the muscles that have their attachment points on or between these two
bones. The aim of the game today is to help you learn how to identify the muscles by their
location and their attachment points. If you need more detailed information in regards
to specific functions and innervation of each muscle, please be sure to check out our more
in-depth videos on the muscles of the shoulder and muscles of the arm. We’re going to begin this tutorial now by
first exploring the muscles of the arm region. The first point to make here is that these
muscles can be split into two groups. The first one belongs to the anterior or ventral
compartment of the arm and includes the biceps brachii, coracobrachialis, and brachialis
muscles. Also you can find another group which belongs to the posterior or dorsal compartment
which includes the anconeus and also the triceps brachii muscle. Now let’s start with the anterior or ventral
group beginning first with this muscle which you see here highlighted in green. This, we
all know, is the biceps brachii muscle. Now true to its name, the biceps brachii has two
heads – a short head located medially as you can see here and a more lateral long head
seen here. Each head of the biceps brachii has a different origin or proximal attachment
point. In the case of the long head, you can see it is originating right here from what’s
known as the supraglenoid tubercle of the scapula. In regards to the short head, you
see that the origin point is located right here on this distinct looking projection of
bone which is known as the coracoid process of the scapula. And as they continue distally, the two heads
of the biceps brachii merge into a single belly which continues to insert right here
on the radial tuberosity of the radius. The biceps brachii also attaches to some soft
tissue of the forearm which is known as the antebrachial fascia. Now let’s move on to the second member of
the anterior group which is this muscle here that you see now highlighted in green. Now,
can you guess what this muscle is? I’ll wait a few seconds – tik-tok. Yes, it is
indeed the brachialis muscle. The brachialis originates here from the distal
half of the anterior surfaces of the humerus and also the medial and lateral intermuscular
septum. In contrast to the biceps brachii, the brachialis has its insertion or distal
attachment on the ulna specifically onto its coronoid process and ulnar tuberosity. The third muscle of the anterior compartment
is this small muscle here which is the coracobrachialis muscle, and as its name suggests, the coracobrachialis
has its proximal attachment point or origin at the coracoid process of the scapula. And
from here, it extends distally along the humeral shaft to then insert along the anteromedial
surface of the humerus. And just like that, my friends, we have discussed
the anterior muscles of the arm. It is literally as easy as one-two-three, hopefully. That
means, it’s time to turn our attention to the posterior or dorsal group beginning with
the first muscle on our list here which is the triceps brachii. As its name suggests, the triceps brachii
muscle has three heads. So, there is the long head seen here which has its origin or proximal
attachment at the infraglenoid tubercle of the scapula right here. There is also a medial
head which is the smallest of the three arising from the posterior surface of the humerus
distal to the radial groove, and medial intermuscular septum. The third one is the lateral head,
also has its proximal attachment on the posterior surface of the humerus; however, this time
proximal to the radial groove and the lateral intermuscular septum. The three heads of the
triceps brachii fuse into then a flat common tendon which crosses the elbow before inserting
into the olecranon process of the ulna. Although the triceps brachii is by far the
dominant muscle on your posterior arm, there is another small muscle to be found in this
region which is often overlooked, and that muscle is the anconeus muscle now highlighted
for you on the screen. As you can see, it is relatively a small triangular-shaped muscle
which, in reality, is often blended with the lateral border of the triceps brachii tendon,
and it too attaches to the proximal end of the ulna. We’re going to continue proximally now towards
the shoulder joint where we have a number of muscles to examine beginning first with
this one here which is, of course, the deltoid muscle. The deltoid muscle is the most superficial
muscle of the shoulder joint and therefore it’s this muscle which gives most definition
to our shoulders. So if you someone with beautiful shoulders, you know what muscle to blame it
on. The deltoid muscle has three subdivisions
or parts based on its origin or proximal attachment points and you will see in a moment that the
name of each part gives us a clue to the attachment point in question. Beginning anteriorly, we
have the clavicular part of the deltoid which is attached – yeah, you can guess – to
the lateral third of the clavicle. Looking now from a posterior perspective,
we can see the acromial part that originates from the acromion of the scapula. You can
see how the naming here works. We’re very – we like to simplify things in anatomy.
And finally, the scapular spinal part which again true to its name presents its origin
along then the spine of the scapula. Now, if we remove the large deltoid muscle
like this, we can now get a better view of the muscles lying deep to it. There are five
muscles here for us to consider – four of which belong to what’s known as the famous
rotator cuff which, if you’ve ever had a shoulder injury, you’ll probably know all
about it. The muscles of the rotator cuff share a common feature in the sense that they
all insert or have their distal attachments somewhere on the proximal end of the humerus,
and because of that, they help support the shoulder joint by keeping the head of the
humerus in its correct position within the glenoid cavity. From an anterior perspective, we have just
one rotator cuff muscle to consider and that is the subscapularis muscle. As its name suggests,
the subscapularis muscle has its origin across the entirety of the subscapular fossa of the
scapula. As you can see in the illustration, the large belly of the subscapularis tapers
off as it reaches its insertion which is generally located on the lesser tubercle of the humerus. Flipping over to the posterior aspect now,
the second member of the rotator cuff is the infraspinatus muscle, which originates from
the infraspinous fossa of the scapula. It extends laterally where it has its distal
attachment along the posterior aspect of the greater tubercle of the humerus. And moving
inferiorly, we find our third member of the rotator cuff which is known as the teres minor
muscle. It originates from the infraspinous fossa and lateral border of the scapula and
finds its insertion just distal to that of the infraspinatus on the posterior aspect
of the greater tubercle of the humerus. And, finally, muscle number four of the rotator
cuff is this one here highlighted in green for you and it’s called the supraspinatus
muscle. This muscle originates from the supraspinous fossa of the scapula and reaches across over
the head of the humerus to insert here at the greater tubercle. And there you have the four muscles of the
rotator cuff. A little tip to help you remember the four members of this group is to always
remember that the head of the humerus SITS in the glenoid cavity with SITS being a handy
little mnemonic for you to use here. We have just one more muscle to discuss here
and that is the big brother of the teres minor which is appropriately known as the teres
major muscle. As we can see in the illustration, the teres major muscle has its origin right
here around the inferior angle of the scapula. It has a longer belly than its little brother
which reaches anterosuperiorly to insert along the anterior aspect of the humerus specifically
the crest of the lesser tubercle. And that concludes our introduction to the
muscles of the shoulder and arm. Before we finish our tutorial, let’s have a final
look at some of the muscles we saw today from a clinical perspective. So just a few moments ago, we identified these
four muscles as the members of the rotator cuff and for those of you who work out, play
sports, or physically use your arms a lot in your work, you’re probably very familiar
with the term rotator cuff injury. There are three main types of rotator cuff
injury. Tendinitis which is usually caused by overuse of the rotator cuff. This results
in inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons. Tennis players and painters are commonly affected
in this way and typically experience a consistent dull, aching pain around the shoulder joint. The second type is bursitis which involves
inflammation of the subacromial and subdeltoid bursae. And, finally, we have strains and
tears of the rotator cuff which are caused by overuse or acute trauma to the shoulder
joint. The tendons of the rotator cuff muscles may be overstretched or torn partially or
completely. Now these types of rotator cuff injury cause
the most immediate and intense pain for sure and sometimes require surgical intervention. There are some actions which we can take in
order to prevent rotator cuff injury starting off with daily shoulder stretches to increase
flexibility of the shoulder joint. Also many people who work out tend to focus on the anteriorly
positioned muscles of the chest, arm and shoulders; however, if you remember from earlier, many
of the rotator cuff muscles are located posterior to the shoulder joint. And this means it’s
important to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder blade and posterior shoulder
specifically to optimize the muscle balance of the rotator cuff. And with that, we have reached the end of
our tutorial. Let’s wrap up with a quick summary of what we have learned today. We began our study with the muscles of the
anterior compartment of the arm which included three members – the biceps brachii with
its long and short heads. And we looked at the brachialis muscle, and finally the coracobrachialis
muscle. We then flipped over and identify two muscles of the posterior compartment of
the arm which were the triceps brachii with its long medial and lateral heads and the
small anconeus muscle located here in the distal arm. We then quickly went on to the muscles of
the shoulder joint beginning of course with the large and superficial muscle of the shoulder
that is the deltoid muscle. We identified its three parts which were the clavicular,
acromial, and spinal scapular parts. We then looked at four muscles which together form
the rotator cuff group. These included the subscapularis muscle, we also saw the infraspinatus
muscle, the teres minor muscle, and finally the supraspinatus muscle. And don’t forget
that these muscles can be remembered using the mnemonic SITS or S I T S. This left us with just one last muscle to
identify which was the teres major muscle. And that’s it. I hope you enjoyed this introductory
tutorial to the muscles of the arm and shoulder. Remember to check out our other videos at
Kenhub and as well as other quizzes, articles, cross-section, and lots, lots more that you
can use to learn anatomy and histology. Thanks for watching and I will see you next
time.

54 thoughts on “Muscles of the upper arm and shoulder blade – Human Anatomy | Kenhub

  1. Hello there! Hope you had as much fun watching this video as we did putting it together. So many muscles in this region to learn! Tell us what is the most difficult muscle to learn in the upper extremity? After this video, you should be ready to test your knowledge on the muscles of the upper arm and shoulder blade. Check out our complete quiz here: https://khub.me/aqjbq Have fun learning!

  2. Get pain in my shoulder when pressing, mainly on the eccentric bottom of the press, wondering what it could be, was thinking rotator cuff but not sure, have had pain for over a year.

  3. Thank you for giving us this information in simple way….can you translate all your videos to arabic, please?

  4. This is wonderful!
    Thanks a lot for giving information and providing arabic translate!
    Can you translate more videos to arabic language?

  5. As usual , informative videos in simple way !! Also it's an impressing developmental step to provide arabic subtitle .. looking forward to seeing more of your fascinating videos ❤❤

  6. Great animation 😍😍 ,very informative
    I really hope you provide all the videos with Arabic captions so that they would be in the reach of the Arabic speaking medical students

  7. يا ريت نص الترجمة يكون فيه كلام ملون للمصطلحات الأساسية بيساعد اكتر بالتركيز و الفهم
    على العموم فيديو رائع و واضح 🤩❤👍👍

  8. I find it easy to recognise muscles and bones on pictures where you can see them. But once you have a real person – it’s more difficult! There’s no video on YouTube that I could find, explaining anatomy first on models/pictures and then on real people (very thin, normal, overweight, obese and muscular or very muscular like bodybuilders).
    As a massage therapist it’s important for me to find all the muscles on real people, especially those who are fat, have lots of loose skin or very skinny.

  9. Thank you for giving us this information in simple way, we hope to see more videos translated to arabic. 🙏🌷

  10. How wonderful!
    We would love to have all these videos translated to Arabic coz you have such an amazing way in explaining the information.
    Anatomy in a simple way👌

  11. Great information I absolutely liked the sense of humor in the beginning of the video plus the addition of the Arabic subtitle is just so helpful

  12. I love u kenkub , and I hope to translaite with arabic also

  13. Anatomy exams at my university are very difficult , and I have received low marks in more than one exam in this year . Please give me some tips how can l succeed in this course ?

  14. Are you a medical student? Wanna achieve academically? looking for the best mnemonics?
    Follow this Insta and YouTube account
    For number of tips
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvwZ34rpM0-tVOR2xpCM1XA&ved=2ahUKEwjJ38SApJbiAhWwyYUKHayqAJIQFjAKegQIBBAB&usg=AOvVaw0cQBE6Om-m_lWhDa–CrN6

  15. thankyou that was very enlightening ,in other words i learned alot , but i will back many times so that it sinks into the pinkish greys …

  16. I don't get all the requests for arabic translations, last anatomy and arabic were in the news, it was the poor chopped journalist at the Saudi embassy in Turkey.

  17. Great video.. But, please stick to either Left or Right arm in your illustrations. It’s disorienting if your pictures show the right arm for a muscles and the left arm for a another. It’s easier to follow if you use the same side every time. This applies to the foot and leg also and any symmetrical body part.

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