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Triceps brachii




Triceps brachii - posterior view
Triceps brachii - 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


  • Superficial


  • Long head
    • Tuberculum infraglenoidale scapula
  • Lateral head
    • Posterior aspect of humerus - proximal 1/2
  • Medial head
    • Posterior aspect of humerus - distal 1/2


  • Olecranon ulna
  • Fascia antebrachii

Main function

  • Elbow
    • Extension

Secondary function

  • Shoulder
    • Adduction
    • Extension

Nerve innervation

  • Segmental
    • C6-C8
  • Peripheral
    • Radial nerve

Arterial supply

  • Brachial artery
  • Circumflex scapular artery


  • Patient position
    • Sidelying or seated
  • Place your hand just proximal to olecranon
  • Give resistance towards flexion of the elbow so that the patient is giving force towards extension
  • Have the patient maintain the resistance while you palpate the triceps in a proximal direction towards the origin at tuberculum infraglenoidale at scapula

Strength test triceps and anconeus

  • Patient position
    • Supine
  • Ask the patient to hold the arm in 90° flexion of the shoulder
  • Give resistance towards the patient's lower arm in a flexion direction
  • The patient give resistance towards extension and maintains the position