List of muscles of the human body

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This is a table of muscles of the human anatomy.

There are approximately 640 skeletal muscles within the typical human, and almost every muscle constitutes one part of a pair of identical bilateral muscles, found on both sides, resulting in approximately 320 pairs of muscles, as presented in this article. Nevertheless, the exact number is difficult to define because different sources group muscles differently, e.g. regarding what is defined as different parts of a single muscle or as several muscles. Examples range from 640 to 850.[1]

The muscles of the human body can be categorized into a number of groups which include muscles relating to the head and neck, muscles of the torso or trunk, muscles of the upper limbs, and muscles of the lower limbs.

The action refers to the action of each muscle from the standard anatomical position. In other positions, other actions may be performed.

These muscles are described using anatomical terminology.



occipitofrontalis2 occipital bellies and 2 frontal bellies.galea aponeuroticafacial nerveraises the eyebrows
     occipitalissuperior nuchal line of the occipital bone
mastoid part of the temporal bone
galea aponeuroticaoccipital arteryposterior auricular nerve (facial nerve)
     frontalisgalea aponeuroticamastoid processophthalmic arteryfacial nervewrinkles eyebrow
orbicularis oculifrontal bone; medial palpebral ligament; lacrimal bonelateral palpebral rapheophthalmic, zygomatico-orbital, angularzygomatic branch of facialcloses eyelidslevator palpebrae superioris
corrugator superciliisuperciliary archesforehead skin, near eyebrowfacial nervewrinkles forehead
depressor superciliimedial orbital rimmedial aspect of bony orbitfacial nerveDepresses the eyebrow

Extraocular muscles[edit]

levator palpebrae superiorissphenoid bonetarsal plate, upper eyelidophthalmic arteryoculomotor nerveretracts//elevates eyelidorbicularis oculi muscle
superior tarsalunderside of levator palpebrae superiorissuperior tarsal plate of the eyelidsympathetic nervous systemraise the upper eyelid
orbicularis oculifrontal bone, medial palpebral ligament, and lacrimal bonelateral palpebral rapheophthalmic artery, zygomatico-orbital artery, angular arteryfacial nervecloses the eyelidslevator palpebrae superioris muscle
Rectus muscles
     superiorannulus of Zinn at the orbital apex7.5 mm superior to the corneal limbusoculomotor nerveelevates, adducts, and rotates medially the eye
     inferior6.5 mm inferior to the corneal limbusinferior branch of oculomotor nervedepression and adduction
     medial5.5 mm medial to the corneal limbusinferior division of the oculomotor nerveadducts the eyeball
     lateral7 mm temporal to the corneal limbusabducens nerveabducts the eyeball
Oblique muscles
     superiorannulus of Zinn at the orbital apex, medial to optic canalouter posterior quadrant of the eyeballlateral muscular branch of the ophthalmic arterytrochlear nerveprimary: intorsion. secondary:abduct (laterally rotate) and depress the eyeball
     inferiororbital surface of the maxilla, lateral to the lacrimal groovelaterally onto the eyeball, deep to the lateral rectus, by a short flat tendonoculomotor nerveextorsion, elevation, abduction


ciliarylong posterior ciliary arteriesoculomotor nerve (parasympathetics)accommodation
iris dilatorsuperior cervical ganglion (sympathetics)pupil dilationiris sphincter muscle
iris sphinctershort ciliary nervesconstricts pupiliris dilator muscle


auricularesgaleal aponeurosisfront of the helix, cranial surface of the pinnafacial nerve(Wiggle ears)
temporoparietalisauriculares musclesgalea aponeurotica
stapediusneck of stapesfacial nervecontrol the amplitude of sound waves to the inner ear
tensor tympaniEustachian tubehandle of the malleussuperior tympanic arterymedial pterygoid nerve from mandibular nervetensing the tympanic membrane


procerusfrom fascia over the lower of the nasal boneskin of the lower part of the forehead between the eyebrowsbuccal branch of the facial nerveDraws down the medial angle of the eyebrow, giving expressions of frowning
nasalismaxillanasal boneCompresses bridge, depresses tip of nose, elevates corners of nostrils
dilator narismargin of the nasal notch of the maxilla, greater and lesser alar cartilagesskin near the margin of the nostrildilation of nostrils
depressor septi nasiincisive fossa of the maxillanasal septum and back part of the alar part of nasalis muscledepression of nasal septum
levator labii superioris alaeque nasimaxillanostril and upper lipsuperior labial arterydilates the nostril; elevates the upper lip and wing of the nose


levator anguli oris
maxillamodiolus of mouthfacial arteryfacial nervesmile (elevates angle of mouth)
depressor anguli oris
tubercle of mandiblemodiolus of mouthfacial arterymandibular branch of facial nervedepresses angle of mouth
levator labii superiorismedial infra-orbital marginskin and muscle of the upper lip (labii superioris)superior labial arterybuccal branch of the facial nerveElevates the upper lip
depressor labii inferiorisoblique line of the mandible, between the symphysis and the mental foramenintegument of the lower lip, orbicularis oris fibers, its fellow of the opposite sideinferior labial arteryfacial nerveDepresses the lower lip
mentalisanterior mandiblechinInferior labial branch of facial arterymandibular branch of facial nerveelevates and wrinkles skin of chin, protrudes lower lip
buccinatoralveolar processes of the maxillary bone and mandible, pterygomandibular raphein the fibres of the orbicularis orisbuccal arterybuccal branch of the facial nervecompress the cheeks against the teeth (blowing), mastication.
orbicularis orismaxilla and mandibleskin around the lipspucker the lips
risoriusparotid fasciamodiolusfacial arterydraw back angle of mouth
Zygomatic muscles
     majoranterior of zygomatic bonemodiolus of mouthfacial arterybuccal branch of the facial nervedraws angle of mouth upward and laterally
     minorzygomatic boneskin of the upper lipfacial nerve, buccal branchelevates upper lip


masseterzygomatic arch and maxillacoronoid process and ramus of mandiblemasseteric arterymasseteric nerve (V3)elevation (as in closing of the mouth) and retraction of mandibleplatysma muscle
temporalistemporal lines on the parietal bone of the skullcoronoid process of the mandibledeep temporalthird branch (mandibular nerve) of the trigeminal nerveelevation and retraction of mandible
Pterygoid muscles
     lateralgreat wing of sphenoid and pterygoid platecondyle of mandiblepterygoid branches of maxillary arteryexternal pterygoid nerve from the mandibular nervedepresses mandible
     medialdeep head: medial side of lateral pterygoid plate behind the upper teeth
superficial head: pyramidal process of palatine bone and maxillary tuberosity
medial angle of the mandiblemandibular nerve via nerve to medial pterygoidelevates mandible, closes jaw, helps lateral pterygoids in moving the jaw from side to side


Extrinsic muscle[edit]

genioglossusSuperior part of mental spine of mandible (symphysis menti)Dorsum of tongue and body of hyoidLingual arteryhypoglossal nerveComplex – Inferior fibers protrude the tongue, middle fibers depress the tongue, and its superior fibers draw the tip back and down
hyoglossushyoidside of the tonguehypoglossal nervedepresses tongue
chondroglossuslesser cornu and body of the hyoid boneintrinsic muscular fibers of the tonguehypoglossal nervedepresses tongue (some consider this muscle to be part of hyoglossus)
styloglossusStyloid process of temporal bonetongueHypoglossal nerveelevates and retracts tongueinferior and middle fibers of genioglossus
palatoglossuspalatine aponeurosistonguevagus nerve and cranial accessory nerveraising the back part of the tongue


superior longitudinalclose to the epiglottis, from the median fibrous septumedges of the tonguehypoglossal nerveshortens, turns tip upward, turns lateral margins upward
transversusmedian fibrous septumsides of the tonguehypoglossal nervenarrows and elongates
inferior longitudinalroot of the tongueapex of the tongueHypoglossal nerveshortens, retracts, pulls tip downward
verticalis muscledorsum of tongueinferior surface borders of tonguehypoglossal nerveflattens

Soft palate[edit]

levator veli palatinitemporal bone, Eustachian tubepalatine aponeurosisfacial arteryvagus nerveAids in swallowing by elevating the soft palate
tensor veli palatinimedial pterygoid plate of the sphenoid bonemedial pterygoid of mandibular nerveAids in swallowing by controlling the tension of the soft palate
musculus uvulaehard palatepharyngeal plexusMoves and changes shape of the uvula
palatoglossuspalatine aponeurosistonguevagus nerve and cranial accessory nerveAids in respiration by raising the back part of the tongue
palatopharyngeuspalatine aponeurosis and hard palateupper border of thyroid cartilage (blends with constrictor fibers)facial arteryvagus nerve and cranial accessory nerveAids in respiration by pulling the pharynx and larynx


stylopharyngeustemporal styloid processthyroid cartilage (pharynx)pharyngeal branches of ascending pharyngeal arteryglossopharyngeal nerveelevate the larynx, elevate the pharynx, swallowing
salpingopharyngeuscartilage of the Eustachian tubeposterior fasciculus of the pharyngopalatinus musclevagus nerve and cranial accessory nerveraise the nasopharynx
Pharyngeal muscles
     inferiorcricoid and thyroid cartilagepharyngeal raphepharyngeal branches of ascending pharyngeal arteryexternal laryngeal branch of the vagusSwallowing
     middlehyoid bonepharyngeal raphevagus nerveSwallowing
     superiormedial pterygoid plate, pterygomandibular raphé, alveolar processpharyngeal raphe, pharyngeal tuberclevagus nerveSwallowing


cricothyroidanterior and lateral cricoid cartilageinferior cornu and lamina of the thyroid cartilageexternal laryngeal branch of the vagustension and elongation of the vocal folds (has minor adductory effect)
arytenoidarytenoid cartilage on one sidearytenoid cartilage on opposite siderecurrent laryngeal branch of the vagusapproximate the arytenoid cartilages (close rima glottidis)
thyroarytenoidinner surface of the thyroid cartilage (anterior aspect)anterior surface of arytenoid cartilagerecurrent laryngeal branch of the vagusthickens the vocal folds and decreases length; also helps to adduct the vocal folds during speech
Cricoarytenoid muscles
     posteriorposterior part of the cricoidmuscular process of the arytenoid cartilagerecurrent laryngeal branch of the vagusabducts and laterally rotates the cartilage, pulling the vocal ligaments away from the midline and forward and so opening the rima glottidislateral cricoarytenoid muscle
     laterallateral part of the arch of the cricoidmuscular process of the arytenoid cartilagerecurrent laryngeal branch of the vagusadduct and medially rotate the cartilage, pulling the vocal ligaments towards the midline and backwards and so closing off the rima glottidis



platysmainferior clavicle and fascia of chestmandiblebranches of the submental artery and suprascapular arterycervical branch of the facial nerve (CN VII)Draws the corners of the mouth inferiorly and widens it (as in expressions of sadness and fright). Also draws the skin of the neck superiorly when teeth are clenchedMasseter, Temporalis
sternocleidomastoidmanubrium sterni, medial portion of the claviclemastoid process of the temporal bone, superior nuchal lineoccipital artery and the superior thyroid arterymotor: accessory nerve
sensory: cervical plexus
Acting alone, tilts head to its own side and rotates it so the face is turned towards the opposite side.

Acting together, flexes the neck, raises the sternum and assists in forced inspiration. ||


digastricanterior belly – digastric fossa (mandible); posterior belly - mastoid process of temporal boneIntermediate tendon (hyoid bone)anterior belly - mandibular division of the trigeminal (CN V) via the mylohyoid nerve; posterior belly - facial nerve (CN VII)Opens the jaw when the masseter and the temporalis are relaxed.
stylohyoidstyloid process (temporal)greater cornu of hyoid bonefacial nerve (CN VII)Elevate the hyoid during swallowing
mylohyoidMylohyoid line (mandible)Median raphémylohyoid branch of inferior alveolar arterymylohyoid nerve, from inferior alveolar branch of mandibular nerve [V3]Raises oral cavity floor, elevates hyoid, depresses mandible
geniohyoidSymphysis mentihyoid boneC1 via hypoglossal nervecarry hyoid bone and the tongue upward during deglutition


sternohyoidmanubrium of sternumhyoid boneansa cervicalisdepress hyoid bone
sternothyroidmanubriumthyroid cartilageAnsa cervicalisElevates larynx, may slightly depress hyoid bone
thyrohyoidthyroid cartilagehyoid bonefirst cervical nervedepress hyoid bone
omohyoidUpper border of the scapulaHyoid boneAnsa cervicalisDepresses the larynx and hyoid bone. Carries hyoid bone backward and to the side



longus colliTransverse processes of C-3 - C-6Anterior arch of atlasC2, C3, C4, C5, C6Flexes the neck and head
longus capitisanterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth cervical vertebraebasilar part of the occipital boneC1, C2, C3/C4flexion of neck at atlanto-occipital joint
rectus capitis anterioratlasoccipital boneC1flexion of neck at atlanto-occipital joint
rectus capitis lateralisupper surface of the transverse process of the atlasunder surface of the jugular process of the occipital boneC1Sidebend at atlanto-occipital joint


scalene musclescervical vertebraefirst and second ribsascending cervical artery (branch of inferior thyroid artery)cervical nerves (C3, C4, C5, C6, C7elevation of ribs I&II
     anteriorC3-C6first ribascending cervical artery (branch of inferior thyroid artery)ventral ramus of C5, C6When the neck is fixed, elevates the first rib to aid in breathing or when the rib is fixed, bends the neck forward and sideways and rotates it to the opposite side
     mediusC2-C6first ribascending cervical artery (branch of inferior thyroid artery)ventral rami of the third to eighth cervical spinal nervesElevate 1st rib, rotate the neck to the opposite side
     posteriortransverse processes of C4 - C62nd ribascending cervical artery, superficial cervical arteryC6, C7, C8Elevate 2nd rib, tilt the neck to the same side
levator scapulaePosterior tubercles of transverse processes of C1 - C4Superior part of medial border of scapuladorsal scapular arterycervical nerve (C3, C4) and dorsal scapular nerve (C5)Elevates scapula and tilts its glenoid cavity inferiorly by rotating scapula
rectus capitis lateralisupper surface of the transverse process of the atlas (C1)under surface of the jugular process of the occipital boneC1
obliquus capitis superiorlateral mass of atlaslateral half of the inferior nuchal linesuboccipital nerve
inferiorspinous process of the axislateral mass of atlassuboccipital nerve


rectus capitis posterior minorthe tubercle on the posterior arch of the atlas (C1)the medial part of the inferior nuchal line of the occipital bone and the surface between it and the foramen magnuma branch of the dorsal primary division of the suboccipital nerveextends the head at the neck, but is now considered to be more of a sensory organ than a muscle
rectus capitis posterior majorspinous process of the axis (C2)inferior nucheal line of the occipital boneDorsal ramus of C1 (suboccipital nerve)
semispinalis capitisarticular processes of C4-C6; transverse processes of C7 and T1-T7occipital bone between the superior and inferior nuchal linesgreater occipital nerveExtension of the head
longissimus capitisarticular processes of C4-C7; transverse processes ot T1-T5posterior margin of the mastoid processlateral sacral arteryposterior branch of spinal nerveLaterally: Flex the head and neck to the same side. Bilaterally: Extend the vertebral column.
splenius capitisligamentum nuchae, spinous processes of C7-T6Mastoid processC3, C4Extend, rotate, and laterally flex the head
obliquus capitis superiorlateral mass of atlaslateral half of the inferior nuchal linesuboccipital nerve
obliquus capitis inferiorspinous process of the axislateral mass of atlassuboccipital nerve



erector spinaeon the spines of the last four thoracic vertebraeboth the spines of the most cranial thoracic vertebrae and the cervical vertebraelateral sacral arteryposterior branch of spinal nerveextends the vertebral columnrectus abdominis muscle
     iliocostalislateral sacral artery
     longissimustransverse processtransverse processlateral sacral arteryposterior branch of spinal nerverectus abdominis muscle
     spinalisspinous processspinous processlateral sacral arteryposterior branch of spinal nerverectus abdominis muscle
latissimus dorsispinous processes of thoracic T6-T12, thoracolumbar fascia, iliac crest and inferior 3 or 4 ribsfloor of intertubercular groove of the humerussubscapular artery, dorsal scapular arterythoracodorsal nervepulls the forelimb dorsally and caudallydeltoid, trapezius
transversospinalestransverse processspinous processposterior branches
     semispinalis dorsitransverse processes of the sixth to the tenth thoracic vertebraespinous processes of the upper four thoracic and lower two cervical vertebrae
     semispinalis cervicistransverse processes of the upper five or six thoracic vertebræcervical spinous processes, from the axis to the fifth
     semispinalis capitistransversal process of lower cervical and higher thoracal columnaarea between superior and inferior nuchal linegreater occipital nerveExtends the head
     multifidussacrum, erector spinae aponeurosis, PSIS, and iliac crestspinous processposterior branch of spinal nerveStabilizes vertebrae in local movements of vertebral column
     rotatorestransverse processspinous processposterior branch
interspinalesspinous processspinous processposterior rami of spinal nervesExtension, flexion and rotation of vertebral column.
intertransversariitransverse processtransverse process aboveanterior rami of spinal nervesLateral flexion of trunk
Splenius muscles
     capitisligamentum nuchae, spinous process of C7-T6Mastoid process of temporal and occipital boneC3, C4Extend, rotate, and laterally flex the head
     cervicisspinous processes of T3-T6transverse processes of C1, C2, C3C5, C6


intercostalesribs 1-11ribs 2-12intercostal arteriesintercostal nerves
     externalintercostal arteriesintercostal nervesInhalationinternal
     internalrib - inferior borderrib - superior borderintercostal arteriesintercostal nerveshold ribs steadyexternal
     innermostintercostal arteriesintercostal nervesElevate ribs
subcostalesinner surface of one ribinner surface of the second or third rib above, near its angleintercostal nerves
transversus thoraciscostal cartilages of last 3-4 ribs, body of sternum, xiphoid processribs/costal cartilages 2-6intercostal arteriesintercostal nervesdepresses ribs
levatores costarumtransverse processes of C7 to T12 vertebraesuperior surfaces of the ribs immediately inferior to the preceding vertebraedorsal rami - C8, T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T11Assists in elevation of the thoracic rib cage
Serratus posterior muscles
     inferiorvertebrae T11 - L3the inferior borders of the 9th through 12th ribsintercostal arteriesintercostal nervesdepress the lower ribs, aiding in expiration
     superiornuchal ligament (or ligamentum nuchae) and the spinous processes of the vertebrae C7 through T3the upper borders of the 2nd through 5th ribsintercostal arteries2nd through 5th intercostal nerveselevate the ribs which aids in inspiration
diaphragmpericardiacophrenic artery, musculophrenic artery, inferior phrenic arteriesphrenic and lower intercostal nervesrespiration


transversus abdominisribs and the iliac crestinserts into the pubic tubercle via the conjoint tendon, also known as the falx inguinalisintercostal nerves T7, T8, T9, T10, T11, subcostal nerve (T12), iliohypogastric nerve, ilioinguinal nerve, genitofemoral nervecompress the ribs and viscera, providing thoracic and pelvic stability
rectus abdominispubiscostal cartilages of ribs 5-7, xiphoid process of sternuminferior epigastric arterysegmentally by thoraco-abdominal nerves (T7, T8, T9, T10, T11, T12)flexion of trunk/lumbar vertebraeerector spinae
pyramidalispubic symphysis and pubic crestlinea albasubcostal nerve (T12)tensing the linea alba
cremasteringuinal ligamentcremasteric arterygenital branch of genitofemoral nerveraise and lower the scrotum
quadratus lumborumiliac crest and iliolumbar ligamentlast rib and transverse processes of lumbar vertebraelumbar arteries, iliolumbar arteryanterior branches of T12, L1, L2, L3, L4Alone, lateral flexion of vertebral column; Together, depression of thoracic rib cage
Oblique muscles
     externalLower 8 costaeCrista iliaca, ligamentum inguinaleintercostal nerves T5, T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T11, subcostal nerve (T12)Rotates torso
     internalinguinal ligament, iliac crest and the lumbodorsal fascialinea alba, xiphoid process and the inferior ribs.intercostal nerves T8, T9, T10, T11, subcostal nerve (T12), iliohypogastric nerve, ilioinguinal nerveCompresses abdomen and rotates vertebral column.


coccygeussacrospinous ligamentsacral nerves: S4, S5 or S3-S4closing in the back part of the outlet of the pelvis
Levator ani
     iliococcygeusischial spine and from the posterior part of the tendinous arch of the pelvic fasciacoccyx and anococcygeal raphesupports the viscera in pelvic cavity
     pubococcygeusback of the pubis and from the anterior part of the obturator fasciacoccyx and sacrumcontrols urine flow and contracts during orgasm
     puborectalislower part of the pubic symphysisS3, S4. levator ani nerveinhibit defecation


Scphincter ani
     externusS4 and twigs from inferior anal nerves of pudendal nervekeep the anal canal and anus closed, aids in the expulsion of the feces
     internuspudendal nervekeep the anal canal and anus closed, aids in the expulsion of the feces
Superficial perineal pouch
     transversus perinei superficialisanterior part of ischial tuberositycentral point of perineumpudendal nerve
     bulbospongiosusmedian raphéperineal arterypudendal nervein males, empties the urethra; in females, clenches the vagina
     ischiocavernosusperineal arterypudendal nerveassists the bulbospongiosus muscle
Deep perineal pouch
     transversus perinei profundusinferior rami of the ischiumits fellow of the opposite sidepudendal nerve
     sphincter urethrae membranaceaejunction of the inferior rami of the pubis and ischium to the extent of 1.25–2 cm., and from the neighboring fasciæits fellow of the opposite sideperineal branch of the pudendal nerve (S2, S3, S4)Constricts urethra, maintain urinary continence

Upper limbs[edit]

Vertebral column[edit]

trapeziusdown the midline, from the external occipital protuberance, the nuchal ligament, the medial part of the superior nuchal line, and the spinous processes of the vertebrae C7-T12at the shoulders, into the lateral third of the clavicle, the acromion process and into the spine of the scapulatransverse cervical arterymajor nerve supply is the cranial nerve XI. cervical nerves C3 and C4 receive information about pain in this muscleretraction and elevation of scapula.Serratus anterior muscle
latissimus dorsispinous processes of thoracic T6-T12, thoracolumbar fascia, iliac crest and inferior 3 or 4 ribsfloor of intertubercular groove of the humerussubscapular artery, dorsal scapular arterythoracodorsal nervepulls the forelimb dorsally and caudallydeltoid, trapezius
rhomboidsnuchal ligaments, spinous processes of C7-T5 vertebraemedial border of the scapuladorsal scapular arterydorsal scapular nerve (C4 and C5)Retracts the scapula and rotates it to depress the glenoid cavity. fixes the scapula to the thoracic wall.Serratus anterior muscle
     rhomboid majorspinous processes of the T2 to T5 vertebraemedial border of the scapula, inferior to the insertion of rhomboid minor muscledorsal scapular arterydorsal scapular nerve (C4 and C5)Retracts the scapula and rotates it to depress the glenoid cavity. It also fixes the scapula to the thoracic wall.Serratus anterior muscle
     rhomboid minornuchal ligaments and spinous processes of C7- to T1 vertebraemedial border of the scapula, superior to the insertion of rhomboid major muscledorsal scapular arterydorsal scapular nerve (C4 and C5)Retracts the scapula and rotates it to depress the glenoid cavity. It also fixes the scapula to the thoracic wall.Serratus anterior muscle
levator scapulaeposterior tubercles of transverse processes of C1 - C4 vertebraesuperior part of medial border of scapuladorsal scapular arterycervical nerve (C3, C4) and dorsal scapular nerve (C5)Elevates scapula and tilts its glenoid cavity inferiorly by rotating scapula

Thoracic walls[edit]

pectoralis majoranterior surface of the medial half of the clavicle.
Sternocostal head: anterior surface of the sternum, the superior six costal cartilages
intertubercular groove of the humeruspectoral branch of the thoracoacromial trunklateral pectoral nerve and medial pectoral nerve
Clavicular head: C5 and C6
Sternocostal head: C7, C8 and T1
Clavicular head: flexes the humerus
Sternocostal head: extends the humerus
As a whole, adducts and medially rotates the humerus. It also draws the scapula anteriorly and inferiorly.
pectoralis minor3rd to 5th ribs, near their costal cartilagesmedial border and superior surface of the coracoid process of the scapulaPectoral branch of the thoracoacromial trunkMedial pectoral nerves (C8, T1)stabilizes the scapula by drawing it inferiorly and anteriorly against the thoracic wall
subclaviusfirst ribsubclavian groove of claviclethoracoacromial artery, clavicular branchnerve to subclaviusDepresses the clavicle
serratus anteriorfleshy slips from the outer surface of upper 8 or 9 ribscostal aspect of medial margin of the scapulalateral thoracic artery (upper part), thoracodorsal artery (lower part)long thoracic nerve (from roots of brachial plexus C5, C6, C7)protract and stabilize scapula, assists in upward rotationRhomboid major, Rhomboid minor, Trapezius


deltoidclavicle, acromion, spine of the scapuladeltoid tuberosity of humerusprimarily posterior circumflex humeral arteryAxillary nerveshoulder abduction, flexion and extensionLatissimus dorsi
teres majorposterior aspect of the inferior angle of the scapulamedial lip of the intertubercular sulcus of the humerusSubscapular and circumflex scapular arteriesLower subscapular nerve (segmental levels C5 and C6)Internal rotation of the humerus
Rotator cuff
supraspinatussupraspinous fossa of scapulasuperior facet of greater tubercle of humerussuprascapular arterysuprascapular nerveabduction of arm and stabilizes humerusinfraspinatus, teres minor, pectoralis major, and latissimus dorsi
infraspinatusinfraspinous fossa of the scapulamiddle facet of greater tubercle of the humerussuprascapular and circumflex scapular arteriessuprascapular nerveLateral rotation of arm & Adduction of arm and stabilizes humerussubscapularis, pectoralis major, and latissimus dorsi
teres minorlateral border of the scapulainferior facet of greater tubercle of the humerusposterior circumflex humeral artery and the circumflex scapular arteryaxillary nervelaterally rotates and adducts the armsubscapularis, pectoralis major, and latissimus dorsi
subscapularissubscapular fossalesser tubercle of humerussubscapular arteryupper subscapular nerve, lower subscapular nerve (C5, C6)rotates medially humerus; stabilizes shoulderinfraspinatus and teres minor


Anterior compartment[edit]

coracobrachialiscoracoid process of scapulamedial humerusbrachial arterymusculocutaneous nerveflexes at shoulder joint
biceps brachiishort head: coracoid process of the scapula. long head: supraglenoid tubercleradial tuberositybrachial arteryMusculocutaneous nerve (Lateral cord: C5, C6, C7)flexes elbow and supinates forearmTriceps brachii muscle
brachialisanterior surface of the humerus, particularly the distal half of this bonecoronoid process and the tuberosity of the ulnaradial recurrent arterymusculocutaneous nerveflexion at elbow joint

Posterior compartment[edit]

triceps brachiilong head:Infraglenoid tubercle of the scapula
lateral head: posterior humerus - above radial grove
medial head: posterior humerus-under radial groove
olecranon process of ulnaProfunda brachiiradial nerveextends forearm, caput longum adducts shoulderBiceps brachii muscle
anconeusLateral epicondyle of the humeruslateral surface of the olecranon process and the superior part of the posterior ulnaProfunda brachii, recurrent interosseous arteryradial nerve (C7, C8, and T1)partly blended in with the triceps, which it assists in extension of the forearm. Stabilises the elbow and abducts the ulna during pronation.


Anterior compartment[edit]

pronator tereshumeral head: medial epicondyle of humerus (common flexor tendon)
ulnar head: coronoid process of the ulna
radius pronator tuberosityulnar artery and radial arterymedian nervepronation of forearm, flexes elbowSupinator muscle
flexor carpi radialismedial epicondyle of humerus (common flexor tendon)Bases of second and third metacarpal bonesulnar arteryMedian nerveFlexion and abduction at wristExtensor carpi radialis brevis muscle, Extensor carpi radialis longus muscle
palmaris longusmedial epicondyle of humerus (common flexor tendon)palmar aponeurosisulnar arterymedian nervewrist flexorExtensor carpi radialis brevis, Extensor carpi radialis longus, Extensor carpi ulnaris
flexor carpi ulnarismedial epicondyle of the humerus (common flexor tendon)pisiformulnar arterymuscular branches of ulnar nerveflexion and adduction of wristExtensor carpi ulnaris muscle
flexor digitorum superficialismedial epicondyle of the humerus (common flexor tendon), as well as parts of the radius and ulna.phalanges II-Vulnar arterymedian nerveflexor of fingers (primarily at proximal interphalangeal joints)Extensor digitorum muscle
pronator quadratusmedial, anterior surface of the ulnalateral, anterior surface of the radiusanterior interosseous arterymedian nerve (anterior interosseous nerve)pronates the forearmSupinator muscle
flexor digitorum profundusulnadistal phalangesanterior interosseous arterymedian (anterior interosseous), muscular branches of ulnarflex hand, interphalangeal jointsExtensor digitorum muscle
flexor pollicis longusThe middle 2/4 of the volar [disambiguation needed] surface of the radius and the adjacent interosseus membrane. (Also occasionally a small origin slightly on the medial epicondyle of the ulna.)The base of the distal phalanx of the thumbAnterior interosseous arteryAnterior interosseous nerve (branch of median nerve) (C8, T1)Flexion of the thumbExtensor pollicis longus muscle, Extensor pollicis brevis muscle

Posterior compartment[edit]

extensor digitorumlateral epicondyle (common extensor tendon)2nd-5th phalangeposterior interosseous nerve (C7, C8)extension of hand and fingersFlexor digitorum superficialis muscle, Flexor digitorum profundus muscle
extensor digiti minimithe anterior portion of the lateral epicondyle of the humerus (common extensor tendon)extensor expansion, located at the base of the proximal phalanx of the finger on the dorsal sideposterior interosseous artery which originates from the common interosseous artery and more proximally, the ulnar arteryposterior interosseous nerve (C7, C8)extends the little finger at all jointsFlexor digiti minimi brevis
extensor carpi ulnarisCommon extensor tendon (lateral epicondyle), ulna5th metacarpalulnar arteryposterior interosseous nerve (C7, C8)extends and adducts the wristFlexor carpi ulnaris
Mobile wad
     brachioradialisLateral supracondylar ridge of the humerusDistal radius (Radial styloid process)radial recurrent arteryradial nerveFlexion of forearm
     extensor carpi radialis longuslateral supracondylar ridge2nd metacarpalradial arteryradial nerveextensor at the wrist joint, abducts the hand at the wristFlexor carpi radialis muscle
     extensor carpi radialis brevishumerus at the anterior of lateral epicondyle (common extensor tendon)base of the 3rd metacarpalradial arteryposterior interosseus nerveextensor and abductor of the hand at the wrist jointFlexor carpi radialis muscle
supinatorLateral epicondyle of the humerus, supinator crest of ulna, radial collateral ligament, annular ligamentLateral proximal radial shaftradial recurrent arteryposterior interosseus nerve (C7, C8)supinates forearmPronator teres, Pronator quadratus
extensor indicisulnaindex finger (extensor hood)posterior interosseous nerve (C7, C8)extends index finger, wrist
Anatomical snuff box
          abductor pollicis longusulna, radial styloid processfirst metacarpalposterior interosseous nerve (C7, C8)abduction, extension of thumbAdductor pollicis muscle
extensor pollicis brevisradiusthumb, proximal phalanxposterior interosseous arteryposterior interosseous nerve (C7, C8)extension of thumb at metacarpophalangeal jointFlexor pollicis longus muscle, Flexor pollicis brevis muscle
     extensor pollicis longusulnathumb, distal phalanxposterior interosseous nerve (C7, C8)extension of the thumb (metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal)Flexor pollicis longus muscle, Flexor pollicis brevis muscle


Lateral volar[edit]

opponens pollicistrapezium and transverse carpal ligamentmetacarpal bone of the thumb on its radial sidesuperficial palmar archmedian nerveOpposition of the thumb
flexor pollicis brevistrapezoid, flexor retinaculumthumb, proximal phalanxsuperficial palmar archmedian nerve, deep branch of ulnar nerve (medial head)Flexes the thumbExtensor pollicis longus muscle, Extensor pollicis brevis muscle
abductor pollicis brevisTransverse carpal ligament, the scaphoid and trapeziumRadial base of proximal phalanx of thumb and the thumb extensorssuperficial palmar archMedian nerveAbducts the thumbAdductor pollicis muscle
adductor pollicisTransverse head: anterior body of the third metacarpal
Oblique head: bases of the second and the third metacarpals and the adjacent trapezoid and capitate bones
medial side of the base of the proximal phalanx of the thumb and the ulnar sesamoiddeep palmar archdeep branch of ulnar nerve (T1)adducts the thumb at the carpometacarpal jointAbductor pollicis longus muscle, Abductor pollicis brevis muscle

Medial volar[edit]

palmaris brevisflexor retinaculum (medial), palmar aponeurosispalmsuperficial branch of ulnar nervewrinkle skin of palm
     abductor digiti minimipisiformbase of the proximal phalanx of the 5th digit on the ulnar or medial sideulnar arterydeep branch of ulnar nerveAbduction of little finger
     flexor digiti minimi brevishamate bonelittle fingerulnar arterydeep branch of ulnar nerveflexes little fingerextensor digiti minimi muscle
     opponens digiti minimiHook of hamate and flexor retinaculumMedial border of 5th metacarpalulnar arterydeep branch of ulnar nerve (C8 and T1)Draws 5th metacarpal anteriorly and rotates it, bringing little finger (5th digit) into opposition with thumb


lumbricalflexor digitorum profundusextensor expansionsuperficial palmar arch, common palmar digital arteries, deep palmar arch, dorsal digital arterydeep branch of ulnar nerve, median nerveflex metacarpophalangeal joints, extend interphalangeal joints
dorsal interosseimetacarpalsproximal phalangesDorsal metacarpal artery and palmar metacarpal arterydeep branch of ulnar nerveabduct fingerPalmar interossei muscles
palmar interosseimetacarpalsproximal phalangedeep branch of ulnar nerveadduction

Lower limb[edit]

Iliac region[edit]

iliopsoasiliac fossa (iliacus), sacrum (iliacus), spine (T12, L1, lumbar vertebrapsoas major, psoas minor) [2]femurlesser trochanter (psoas major/minor), shaft below lesser trochanter (iliacus), tendon of psoas major & femur (iliacus) [2]medial femoral circumflex artery, iliolumbar arteryfemoral nerve, Lumbar nerves L1, L2flexion of hip (psoas major/minor, iliacus), spine rotation (psoas major/minor)Gluteus maximus, posterior compartment of thigh
     psoas majortransverse processes, bodies and discs of T12-L5in the lesser trochanter of the femurIliolumbar arteryLumbar plexus via anterior branches of L1, L2, L3[3]flexes and rotates laterally thighGluteus maximus
     psoas minorSide of T12+L1 and IV Disc betweenPectineal line and iliopectineal eminenceL1Weak trunk flexorGluteus maximus
     iliacusiliac fossalesser trochanter of femurmedial femoral circumflex artery, Iliolumbar arteryfemoral nerve (L2, L3[3])flexes hip[4]Gluteus maximus


tensor fasciae lataeiliac crestiliotibial tractprimarily lateral circumflex femoral artery, Superior gluteal arterySuperior gluteal nerve (L4, L5)Thigh - flexion, medial rotation. Trunk stabilization.
Gluteal muscles
     gluteus maximus muscleGluteal surface of ilium, lumbar fascia, sacrum, sacrotuberous ligamentGluteal tuberosity of the femur, iliotibial tractsuperior and inferior gluteal arteriesinferior gluteal nerve (L5, S1, S2 nerve roots)external rotation and extension of the hip joint, supports the extended knee through the iliotibial tract, chief antigravity muscle in sittingIliacus, Psoas major, Psoas minor
     gluteus medius muscleGluteal surface of ilium, under gluteus maximusGreater trochanter of the femursuperior gluteal arterysuperior gluteal nerve (L4, L5, S1 nerve roots)abduction of the hip; preventing adduction of the hip. Medial rotation of thigh.lateral rotator group
     minimusGluteal surface of ilium, under gluteus medius.Greater trochanter of the femursuperior gluteal arterysuperior gluteal nerve (L4, L5, S1 nerve roots)Works in concert with gluteus medius: abduction of the hip; preventing adduction of the hip. Medial rotation of thigh.lateral rotator group
lateral rotator groupat or below the acetabulum of the iliumon or near the greater trochanter of the femurInferior gluteal artery, Lateral sacral artery, Superior gluteal arteryObturator nerve, nerve to the Piriformis, nerve to quadratus femorislateral rotation of hipGluteus minimus muscle, Gluteus medius muscle
     piriformissacrumgreater trochanterInferior gluteal artery, Lateral sacral artery, Superior gluteal arterynerve to the Piriformis (S1 and S2 nerve roots) [5]laterally rotate (outward) the thigh
     obturator externusobturator foramen and obturatory membranemedial aspect of greater trochanter of femurobturator arteryposterior branch of obturator nerve (L3, L4)adduct thigh, rotate laterally thigh
     obturator internusIschiopubic ramus & obturator membranemedial aspect of the Greater trochanterNerve to obturator internus (L5, S1, S2)Abducts & rotates laterally thigh, and stabiliser of the hip during walking
     inferior gemellusIschial tuberosityObturator internus tendonNerve to Quadratus femoris (L4, L5, S1)Rotates laterally thigh
superior gemellusspine of the ischiumObturator internus tendonNerve to obturator internus (L5, S1, S2)Rotates laterally thigh
     quadratus femorisischial tuberosityintertrochanteric crestinferior gluteal arterynerve to quadratus femoris (L4, L5, -S1)lateral rotation of thigh


anterior compartment[edit]

articularis genusfemursuprapatellar bursafemoral arteryfemoral nervePulling the suprapatellar bursa during extension of the knee.
sartoriussuperior to the anterior superior iliac spinemedial side of the upper tibia in the pes anserinusfemoral arteryfemoral nerveflexion, lateral rotation and abduction of thigh; flexion and medial rotation of leg
quadriceps femoriscombined rectus femoris and vastus musclesPatella and Tibial tuberosity via the Patellar ligamentfemoral arteryFemoral nerveKnee extension; Hip flexion (R.Fem. only)Hamstring
     rectus femorisanterior inferior iliac spine and the exterior surface of the bony ridge which forms the iliac portion of the acetabulumPatella and Tibial tuberosity via the Patellar ligamentfemoral arteryfemoral nerveknee extension; hip flexionHamstring
     vastus lateralisGreater trochanter, Intertrochanteric line, and Linea aspera of the femurpatella and tibial tuberosity via the patellar ligamentfemoral arteryfemoral nerveExtends and stabilizes kneehamstring
     vastus intermediusantero/ lateral femurpatella and tibial tuberosity via the patellar ligamentfemoral arteryfemoral nerveextends kneeHamstring
     vastus medialisfemurpatella and tibial tuberosity via the patellar ligamentfemoral arteryfemoral nerveextends kneehamstring

posterior compartment/hamstring[edit]

biceps femorislong head: tuberosity of the ischium, short head: linea aspera, femur[6]the head of the fibula[6] which articulates with the back of the lateral tibial condyleinferior gluteal artery, perforating arteries, popliteal arterylong head: medial (tibial) part of sciatic nerve, short head: lateral (common fibular) part of sciatic nerve[6]flexes knee joint, laterally rotates leg at knee (when knee is flexed), extends hip joint (long head only)[6]Quadriceps muscle
semitendinosustuberosity of the ischium[6]pes anserinusinferior gluteal artery, perforating arteriessciatic[6] (tibial, L5, S1, S2)flexes knee, extends hip joint, medially rotates leg at knee[6]Quadriceps muscle
semimembranosustuberosity of the ischium[6]Medial surface of tibia[6]profunda femoris, gluteal arterysciatic nerve[6]flexes knee, extends hip joint, medially rotates leg at knee[6]Quadriceps muscle

medial compartment[edit]

adductor muscles of the hippubisfemur, tibiaobturator nerveadduction of hip
     gracilisinferior pubic ramus[7]tibia (pes anserinus)obturator arteryanterior branch of obturator nerve[7]adduction of hip, flexion of hip, medial rotation of knee[7]
     pectineussuperior pubic ramus[7]lesser trochanter, linea asperaObturator arteryfemoral nerve, sometimes obturator nerve[7]flexion & adduction of hip[7]
     adductor brevisanterior surface of the inferior pubic ramus[7]the lesser trochanter and linea aspera of the femurobturator arteryanterior branch of obturator nerve[7]adduction of hip[7]
     adductor longuspubic body just below the pubic crestmiddle third of linea asperaobturator arteryanterior branch of obturator nerve[7]adduction & medial rotation of hip[7]
     adductor magnustuberosity of the ischium[7]femur and adductor tubercle of femurobturator arteryposterior branch of obturator nerve (adductor) and tibial part of sciatic nerve[7][8]adduction of hip[7]


anterior compartment[edit]

tibialis anteriorbody of tibiamedial cuneiform and first metatarsal bones of the footanterior tibial arteryDeep Fibular (peroneal) nervedorsiflex and invert the footFibularis longus, Gastrocnemius, Soleus, Plantaris, Tibialis posterior
extensor hallucis longusmiddle portion of the fibula on the anterior surface and the interosseous membranedorsal side of the base of the distal phalanx of the Halluxanterior tibial arteryDeep Fibular (peroneal) nerveExtends the big toe and assists in dorsiflexion of the foot at the ankle. Also is a weak invertorFlexor hallucis longus, Flexor hallucis brevis
extensor digitorum longusLateral Condyle of tibia and superior ¾ of interosseous membraneMiddle and Distal phalanges of lateral four digitsanterior tibial arteryDeep Fibular (peroneal) nerveextension of toes and ankleFlexor digitorum longus, Flexor digitorum brevis
fibularis tertiusdistal anterior surface of the fibuladorsal surface of metatarsal 5anterior tibial arteryDeep Fibular (peroneal) nervedorsi flexes and everts foot

posterior compartment[edit]

triceps suraeachilles tendon, calcaneusposterior tibial arterytibial nerveplantarflexion
     gastrocnemiusmedial and Lateral condyle of the femurcalcaneussural arteriestibial nerve from the sciatic, specifically, nerve roots S1, S2plantarflexion, flexion of knee (minor)Tibialis anterior muscle
     soleusfibula, medial border of tibia (soleal line)tendo calcaneussural arteriestibial nerve, specifically, nerve roots L5–S2plantarflexiontibialis anterior muscle
plantarislateral supracondylar ridge of femur above lateral head of gastrocnemiustendo calcaneus (medial side, deep to gastrocnemius tendon)sural arteriestibial nervePlantar flexes foot and flexes kneeTibialis anterior muscle
popliteusmiddle facet of the lateral surface of the lateral femoral condyleposterior tibia under the tibial condylespopliteal arterytibial nerveMedial rotation and flexion of knee
tarsal tunnel
     flexor hallucis longusfibula, posterior aspect of upper 1/3base of distal phalanx of halluxPeroneal artery (peroneal branch of the posterior tibial arterytibial nerve, S1, S2 nerve rootsflexes all joints of the Hallux, plantar flexion of the ankle jointExtensor hallucis longus muscle
     flexor digitorum longusmedial tibiadistal phalanges of lateral four digitsposterior tibial arteryTibial nervePrimary action is Flex digitsExtensor digitorum longus, Extensor digitorum brevis
     tibialis posteriortibia, fibulanavicular, medial cuneiformposterior tibial arterytibial nerveinversion of the foot, plantar flexion of the foot at the ankleTibialis anterior muscle

lateral compartment[edit]

fibularis muscles:

longusfibulafirst metatarsal, medial cuneiformfibular (peroneal) arterysuperficial fibular (peroneal) nerveplantarflexion, eversionTibialis anterior muscle
brevisfibulafifth metatarsalfibular (peroneal) arterysuperficial fibular (peroneal) nerveplantarflexion, eversion



extensor digitorum breviscalcaneustoesdeep peroneal nerveextends digits 2, 3, and 4Flexor digitorum longus, Flexor digitorum brevis
extensor hallucis breviscalcaneusbase of proximal phalanx of halluxdeep peroneal nerveExtension of halluxFlexor hallucis brevis muscle


1st layer[edit]
abductor hallucismedial process of calcaneus, flexor retinaculum, plantar aponeurosismedial side of base of proximal phalanx of first digitmedial plantar nerveabducts halluxAdductor hallucis muscle
flexor digitorum brevismedial process of calcaneus, plantar aponeurosis, intermuscular septamiddle phalanges of digits 2-5medial plantar nerveflexes lateral four toesExtensor digitorum longus, Extensor digitorum brevis
abductor digiti minimiPlantar aponeurosisFifth toe or Phalangeslateral plantar arterylateral plantar nerve (S1, S2)flex and abduct the fifth toeFlexor digiti minimi brevis muscle
2nd layer[edit]
quadratus plantaeCalcaneusTendons of Flexor Digitorum Longuslateral plantar nerve (S1, S2)Assists Flexor Digitorum Longus in flexion of DIP joints
lumbrical muscletendons of flexor digitorum longusmedial aspect of extensor expansion of proximal phalanges of lateral four digitslateral plantar artery and plantar arch, and four plantar metatarsal arterieslateral plantar nerve (lateral three lumbricals) and medial plantar nerve (first lumbrical)maintain extension of digits at interphalangeal joints
3rd layer[edit]
flexor hallucis brevismedial plantar nerveflex halluxExtensor hallucis longus muscle
adductor hallucisPlantar nerveadducts halluxAbductor hallucis muscle
flexor digiti minimi brevisfifth metatarsal bonephalanx of the fifth toelateral plantar nerve (superficial branch)extend and adduct the fifth toeAbductor digiti minimi muscle
4th layer[edit]
dorsal interosseiplantar nerve [disambiguation needed]abduct toesPlantar interossei muscles
plantar interosseimetatarsalsproximal phalangesplantar nerve [disambiguation needed]adduct toesDorsal interossei of the foot

Innervation overview[edit]

Mind Map showing a summary of Upper Limb Muscle Innervation
Mind Map Showing a summary of Lower Limb Muscle innervation

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Enotes
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b Essential Clinical Anatomy. K.L. Moore & A.M. Agur. Lippincott, 2 ed. 2002. Page 193
  4. ^ Gosling et al. 2008, p. 200
  5. ^ Essential Clinical Anatomy. K.L. Moore & A.M. Agur. Lippincott, 2 ed. 2002. Page 217
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gosling 2008, p. 273
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Gosling et al. 2008, p. 266
  8. ^ 255


External links[edit]