Anterior Deltoid: Functional Anatomy Guide

The anterior deltoid (L. anterior, before, in front of ; deltoides, triangular) refers to the front head of the deltoid muscle. This part of the delt is responsible for shoulder flexion. Classified as part of the scapulohumeral (intrinsic shoulder) muscle group, the anterior deltoid is situated medial to the lateral deltoid and lateral to the clavicular head of … Read more

Lateral Deltoid: Functional Anatomy Guide

The lateral deltoid (L. latus, side ; deltoides, triangular) is the outermost head of the deltoid and is primarily responsible for performing shoulder abduction. The lateral deltoid is part of the scapulohumeral (intrinsic shoulder) muscle group. It is situated between the anterior and posterior deltoid, and lies superficial to the insertions of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor. It originates from the acromion process on … Read more

Infraspinatus: Functional Anatomy Guide

The infraspinatus (L. infra, below ; spinus, spine [of scapula]) is a thick rotator cuff muscle covering the majority of the posterior surface of the shoulder blade below the scapular spine. It is a prime mover in shoulder external rotation and plays important roles in shoulder stability. Most notably, it prevents excessive anterior and posterior … Read more

Wrist Flexors: Functional Anatomy Guide

The wrist flexors refer to six muscles in the anterior compartment of the forearm that act on the wrist and finger joints. As a group, the primary action of the wrist flexors is, you guessed it… wrist flexion! As I’ll detail later, these muscles are also responsible for other movements of the fingers and wrist. Each of … Read more

Levator Scapulae: Functional Anatomy Guide

The levator scapulae (L. levator, elevator ; scapulae, shoulder blades.) is a strap-like muscle in neck and shoulder region. It acts on the scapula and cervical spine, and as its name reveals, its most prominent role is scapular elevation. Classified as a superficial posterior axioappendicular (extrinsic shoulder) muscle, the levator scapulae is situated deep to … Read more

Rhomboids: Functional Anatomy Guide

The rhomboid major and minor (L. rhomboideus, parallelogram ; major, larger ; minor, smaller.) are two muscles located between the shoulder blades and spinal column. If you took geometry, you might’ve guessed that they’re named after the rhombus shape, which they both resemble. Acting on the shoulder blades, both of these muscles are prime movers … Read more

Pronator Teres: Functional Anatomy Guide

The pronator teres (L. pronus, lying face down ; teres, round and long.) is an elongated, cylindrical forearm muscle that crosses the gap between radius and ulna. It’s the strongest of the two pronator muscles. However, it is only active during rapid or resisted forearm pronation, which it carries out with help from the pronator quadratus. Notably, it also plays … Read more

Serratus Anterior: Functional Anatomy Guide

The serratus anterior (L. serratus, saw ; anterior, front.), named for its saw-like appearance, is located on the side of the ribcage. It acts on the scapula and is the prime mover in both scapular protraction and scapular upward rotation. It’s also a key scapular stabilizer, keeping the shoulder blades against the ribcage when at … Read more

Pronator Quadratus: Functional Anatomy Guide

The pronator quadratus is (L. pronus, lying face down ; quadrus, square.) is a rectangular muscle on the front of the forearm that connects between the radius and the ulna. It is the prime mover in forearm pronation, receiving help from the pronator teres during rapid pronation. It is also noted for its role in preventing … Read more

Supinator: Functional Anatomy Guide

The supinator (L. supinare, to lay on back or turn up) is a relatively wide muscle on the upper forearm. It spirals from the back and outside of the forearm to the front, crossing over the space between the radius and ulna… …This unique location allows it to carry out its primary function of forearm supination. Note: It … Read more