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Brachialis - anterolateral view
Brachialis - anterior view

General information

  • This section is strictly limited to anatomy, you might be looking for clinical relevant information which is found under the clinical chapters -- muscles section, click here to go to that page


  • Deep


  • Distal half of the anterior aspect of humerus


  • Tuberositas ulna
  • Processus coronoideus

Main function

  • Elbow
    • Flexion

Nerve innervation

  • Segmental
    • C5-C7
  • Peripheral
    • Nervus musculocutaneus

Arterial supply

  • Brachial artery

Palpation distal tendon

  • Patient position:
    • Sitting or supine
  • Ask the patient to flex and supinate the elbow
  • Ask the patient to pronate the elbow somewhat to lower the contraction force of biceps brachii
  • Place your fingers so that they are on each side of the distal tendon of biceps
  • The patient is asked to flex the elbow so that you can feel the contraction of the brachialis tendon

Palpation lateral aspect

  • Patient position
    • Sitting or supine
  • Locate the posterolateral part of the biceps by having the patient supinate and then flex the elbow
  • Palpate for the anterolateral aspect of the triceps laterally on the upper arm by asking the patient to extend his elbow while you give resistance
  • Palpate the area in between these two muscles
  • Place the elbow of the patient in full pronation
  • Ask the patient to flex the elbow, feel for the contraction of the brachialis muscle

Palpation muscle belly

  • Patient position
    • Sitting or supine
  • NB! It's hard to palpate the muscle belly of the brachialis because of it's deep position to the biceps
  • Pronate the patient's lower-arm so that the biceps becomes less active
  • Ask the patient to gently flex the elbow
    • It is done gently to avoid co-contraction of the biceps

Strength test, biceps og brachialis

  • Patient position
    • Supine or sitting
  • Place the one hand at the posterior side of the elbow to stabilize the patient's arm
  • Use the other hand to give force towards the lower part of the lowerarm of the patient in the direction of extension so that the patient is giving force towards flexion of the elbow