Arm Muscles

Download PDF
Bookmark added to your notes.
View Notes

The human arm is located between the shoulder joint and the elbow joint. The arm in the human body and the hands are responsible for performing very important functions in the human body. The parts of the human arm are made up of bones and muscles. The bones of the arm body are made up of the radius, ulna and humerus. The humerus is the longest bone of the arm. It is attached to the elbow from its lower end and to the pectoral girdle on its upper end. It forms a ball and socket joint with the pectoral girdle. 

The Muscles of the Arm are:

  • Biceps brachii

  • Brachialis

  • Coracobrachialis

  • Triceps brachii

We will learn more about the arm structure, parts of the arm and arm muscles. 

Arm Muscle Anatomy 

The parts of the arm muscle are made up of four muscles. They are Biceps brachii, Brachialis,  Coracobrachialis, Triceps brachii.

Biceps Brachii

It is a two-headed muscle. The major mass of this muscle is present anterior to the humerus. No attachments of this muscle to the bones are present. It helps in flexing the arm at the elbow and the shoulder. The long head of this muscle originates from the supraglenoid tubercle of the scapula and the short head originated from the coracoid process of the scapula. Both heads are then inserted into the radial tuberosity through the bicipital aponeurosis. 


It originated from the coracoid process of the scapula. Axilla is the place from where this muscle passes. It then gets attached to the medial side of the humeral shaft. It provides flexion to the arm at the shoulder and also in weal adduction. 


This muscle is present in the deep of the biceps brachii. It is found more distally than the other muscles of the arm. This muscle originates from the medial and lateral surfaces of the humeral shaft. They are then inserted into the humeral tuberosity. Their function is to provide flexion at the elbow. 

Triceps Brachii

The long head of these muscles is attached to the infraglenoid tubercle and the lateral head is attached to the humerus. Their function is to provide an extension of the arm towards the elbow. 

Parts of the Arm

The arm muscles of humans are a part of the appendicular skeleton. It is a part of the human skeleton system. This system is made from external and internal structures that can be living or dead in nature. They are hardened structures that help in forming the support system to the body. They also serve the purpose of protection. 206 bones are present in an adult skeleton. Axial and appendicular skeleton are the subparts in which the skeletal system is divided. The long bones in the human body that make up the arms and legs are made up of an appendicular skeleton. The appendicular skeleton has 126 bones. 

Human Arm Anatomy

In our body, we have two pairs of limbs. They are known as the forelimbs and the hindlimbs. The forelimbs and hindlimbs have 30 bones each. Humans have a pair of forelimbs. 30 bones are present in each of the forelimbs. These bones then help in forming the different parts of the arm. The different parts of arms are known as the upper arm, lower arm, forearm and hand. The humerus is the single long bone in the human body that is present in the upper arm. Radius and the ulna are also long bones. These bones are present in the lower arm. The radius and ulna run parallel to each other or they cross each other. The ulna is longer than the radius. The human hand is made up of 27 bones. Out of these 27 bones, 8 bones are present in the wrist region and 5 bones are present in the palm region. These 8 bones are known as carpal bones and the 5 bones are known as metacarpals. In the fingers, there are fourteen bones present. These all fourteen bones together are known as phalanges. 

The 8 Bones of the Carpal are:

  • Trapezium

  • Trapezoid

  • Scaphoid

  • Lunate

  • Hamate

  • Capitate

  • Pisiform

  • Triquetrum

[Image will be Uploaded Soon]

Muscles and Their Types

  • Skeletal Muscle: They are also known as voluntary muscles or striated muscles. They are attached to the skeleton component of the body. They are involved in locomotory actions and are also responsible for body posture. Alternate dark and white bands are visible on them when they are viewed under a microscope, therefore, named striated muscles. They are voluntary muscles thus they are in control of the animals. Example: Muscles of hindlimbs and forelimbs. 

  • Smooth Muscle: They are also known as unstriped muscles. Cells in these muscles are elongated and spindle in shape. They don't possess alternate dark and light bands. They give a smooth appearance when they are seen under a microscope. These muscles line the hollow organs and are involuntary in nature thus not in control of animals. Example: Posterior regions of oesophagus and stomach

  • Cardiac Muscles: As it is there in their name, these muscles line the heart walls. Alternate light and dark bands appear in these muscles. They are responsible for increasing and decreasing muscular activity.  

Movement of the External and Internal Body Parts

These all the bones of the hindlimb, forelimb and girdles help in the process of movement and locomotion. The movement is done by both the internal body parts and the external body parts. 

Movements of External Body Parts Help in:

  • It helps to maintain the equilibrium of the body. It is done by limbs, heads and trunks. 

  • The organisms are able to catch food by the movement of limbs, appendages, jaws and tentacles. 

  • Ingestion, defence and locomotion are also done by external body parts. 

Movement of Internal Body Parts:

  • These internal body parts help in the proper functioning of various cells, tissues and organs of the body. This in turn helps the organism to carry out other vital functions of the body.

  • The heart pumps blood to all the parts of the body. 

  • The peristaltic movement of the food pipe helps in the process of digestion. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What do You Understand by Locomotion?

Answer: Locomotion is known as the movement of an individual from one place to another. Both the unicellular and the multicellular organisms show locomotion. It is possible with the help of different structures. These structures are essential for both the movement and locomotion of the internal and external body parts. The tentacles of the hydra help it to capture the prey and serve as organs as means of locomotion. Similarly, the paramoecium uses cilia for locomotion and for capturing food. Movement and locomotion are not different entities. It can be said that all locomotions are movement but all movements are not locomotion. As movement can be done at a place only but for locomotion, we need to move from one place to another. 

2. What is a Tendon?

Answer: Tendons are responsible for joining one muscle to another. Their one end is attached to the less movable bone while the other is attached to the more movable bone. Different types of tendons help in the attachment of the different human bones. The ligament helps in joining the bones to muscles.