Comprehensive Overview of the Brachialis Muscle Anatomy

Amanda Thomas Apr 29, 2024
Nurse Brachialis Muscle

When it comes to muscle anatomy, the brachialis muscle often lies in the shadow of its more well-known neighbors — the biceps and triceps.

However, this small but mighty muscle is crucial in upper arm movement and stability. In this article, we’ll examine the brachialis muscle in depth, including its origin and insertion points. 

We’ll also take a look at some exercises to target and strengthen it.

Jump to Section


  1. Brachialis Origin
  2. Brachialis Insertion
  3. Brachialis Shape and Location
  4. Brachialis Innervation (Nerve Supply)
  5. Brachialis Function
  6. Brachialis Exercises

Brachialis Origin

The brachialis muscle originates from the anterior surface of the distal half of the humerus, particularly from the front of the shaft.

It also shares an origin site with the lateral and medial heads of the triceps brachii muscle.

Brachialis Insertion

This muscle inserts at the ulna’s coronoid process and tuberosity.

Its insertion point lies below that of the brachialis biceps anatomy, reflecting its role as the primary flexor of the elbow joint.

Brachialis Shape and Location

Brachialis Muscle Anatomy

The brachialis is a thick, fusiform muscle deep in the biceps brachii.

Its shape and location contribute to its role as a powerful elbow flexor, particularly when the forearm is in a pronated position.

Brachialis Innervation (Nerve Supply)

Innervated by the musculocutaneous nerve, the brachialis muscle receives neural signals from cervical nerves 5 and 7.

This nerve supply ensures proper communication between the central nervous system and the muscle, facilitating its contraction during elbow flexion movements.

Brachialis Function

The primary function of the brachialis muscle is elbow flexion.

Unlike the biceps brachii, which can also supinate the forearm, the brachialis flexes the elbow joint. Its positioning beneath the biceps brachii allows it to exert significant force, especially during heavy lifting or rapid flexion.

Brachialis Exercises

Several exercises can target and strengthen the brachialis muscle effectively.

These include:

  • Hammer curls: Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip (palms facing each other). Perform bicep curls while keeping the elbows close to the body. This exercise emphasizes the brachialis by minimizing the involvement of the biceps brachii.
  • Neutral grip pull-ups: Grasp a pull-up bar with a neutral grip and pull the body up, focusing on engaging muscles in the upper arm, including the brachialis.
  • Reverse curls: Use an overhand grip (palms facing down) with a barbell or dumbbells. Perform curls while keeping the elbows stationary. This variation shifts the focus to the brachialis and forearm muscles.

Understanding the anatomy and function of the brachialis muscle is important for nursing students and other health care professionals. It helps them better understand the complexities of human movement and physiology.

This, in turn, helps improve client care and rehabilitation strategies.

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Our animated videos and study aids can help you understand concepts related to the brachialis muscle and other essential nursing topics.

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