Forearm muscles

What muscles are there?

Forearm (Antebrachium) consists of important skeletal muscles that enable versatile movements such as grasping and touching. The muscles of the forearm are inserted into the dorsal extensors (Extensor muscles) and the ventral flexors (Flexors) divided. These muscles are not only needed to perform movements with the forearm, but also make muscle tendons pull up to the fingers and enable their precise movements.

Forearm muscles in detail with function

The diffraction and extension from the elbow joint is made possible primarily by the muscles of the upper arm, whereas the muscles of the forearm do Supination (Outward rotation by rotation) and Pronation (Inward rotation) are responsible.

Depending on their position, three muscle groups can be distinguished in the forearm: the ventral group of the Flexors (Flexors), the radial forearm muscles and the dorsal group of the Extensors (Extensor muscles). The flexors and extensors are also divided into one superficial and a deep layer.

Figure arm muscles

Figure right arm: A - muscles of the flexor side (palmar side) and B - muscles of the extensor side (dorsal side)

Arm muscles

  1. Two-headed upper arm muscle
    (Biceps) short head -
    M. biceps brachii, caput breve
  2. Two-headed upper arm muscle
    (Biceps) long head -
    M. biceps brachii, caput longum
  3. Upper arm muscle (arm flexor) -
    Brachialis muscle
  4. Three-headed upper arm muscle
    (Triceps) side head -
    M. triceps brachii, caput laterale
  5. Three-headed upper arm muscle
    (Triceps) long head -
    M. triceps brachii, Caput longum
  6. Three-headed upper arm muscle
    (Triceps) inner head -
    Triceps brachii muscle,
    Caput mediale
  7. Cartilaginous muscle - Muscle anconeus
  8. Elbow - Olecranon
  9. Upper arm spoke muscle -
    Brachioradialis muscle
  10. Long spoke-side hand straightener -
    Muscle extensor carpi radialis longus
  11. Spoke-sided hand flexor -
    Muscle flexor carpi radialis
  12. Superficial finger flexor -
    Muscle flexor digitorum superficialis
  13. Long palm tendon tensioner -
    Palmaris longus muscle
  14. Extensor tendon strap -
    Retinaculum musculorum extensorum
  15. Short hand straightener on the spoke side -
    Muscle extensor carpi radialis brevis
  16. Elbow-sided hand flexor -
    Muscle flexor carpi ulnaris
  17. Finger extensor -
    Muscle extensor digitorum
  18. Trapezius -
    Trapezius muscle
  19. Deltoid -
    Deltoid muscle
  20. Pectoralis major -
    Pectoralis major muscle

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations


Superficial layer of the flexor group

The superficial layer of the ventral flexors includes the following muscles: Pronator teres muscle, Flexor digitorum superficialis muscle, Flexor carpi radialis muscle, Palmaris longus muscle and the Flexor carpi ulnaris muscle.

The Pronator teres muscle is called a round inward turner and works alongside the Pronation of the forearm also with the diffraction of the elbow joint with. Seeing the superficial flexor (M. flexor digitorum superficialis) pull in a joint Tendon sheath to the second to fifth fingers and, as the name suggests, cause one Flexion in the wrist (Palmar flexion) as well as the proximal finger joints. Next to it runs the radial hand flexors (Flexor carpi radialis), which is also for the Palmar flexion is responsible and at the ulnar abduction (Spread the hand in the direction of the ulna) helps. The Palmaris longus muscle (long palm muscle) arises on the humerus and runs into a fan-shaped tendon plate (Palmar fascia) the palm of the hand. That muscle tenses the palmar aponeurosis and also causes a Palmar flexion. The. Runs along the ulna ulnar hand flexors (M. flexor carpi ulnaris), the contraction of which is a Flexion in the wrist as well as a Ulnar abduction causes.

Deep layer of the flexor group

The Pronator quadratus muscle, Flexor pollicis longus muscle and Flexor digitorum profundus muscle together form the deep layer of the flexor group on the forearm. An important supporter of the Pronation is the quadratic inward rotator (M. pronator teres), a flat muscle with a square shape. The diffraction and Opposition movement (The thumb is placed opposite the palm of the hand) of the thumb is made possible by the long flexor of the thumb (M. flexor pollicis longus). The deep finger flexor (M. flexor digitorum profundus) pierced with its tendons, which in a common tendon sheath through the Carpal tunnel run, the terminal tendons of the superficial flexor digitorum superficialis muscle and is therefore also called M. perforans designated. It is the only muscle that can flex the end joints of the second through fifth fingers.


With the extensors, the muscles are divided into a radial group in addition to a superficial and deeper group.

Radial group

The radial group is from Brachioradialis muscle, Extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle and the Extensor carpi radialis longus muscle formed all one Flexion in the elbow joint cause. The short radial hand extensor (M. extensor carpi radialis brevis) starts at the humerus and runs to the wrist, where together with the medially located long radial hand extensor (M. extensor carpi radialis longus) the Extension of the hand (Extension or dorsiflexion) as well as the weak abduction in the direction of the radius. The upper arm radial muscle (M. brachioradialis) brings the forearm into the middle position and, depending on the position of the forearm, can do a Pronation or Supination cause.

Superficial layer of the extensors

The group of superficial extensors includes three muscles: the extensor carpi ulnaris muscle, Extensor digitorum muscle as well as the Extensor digiti minimi muscle. Both the ulnar abduction and the Extension (Dorsiflexion) in the wrist are caused by the ulnar hand extensor (M. extensor carpi ulnaris), which runs with a long tendon over the wrist to the metacarpal bones. The extensor digitorum muscle originates from the humerus and ends with its tendons in the dorsal aponeurosis (Fascia on the back of the hand) of the second to fifth finger, where there is a Elongation the finger as well as one Dorsiflexion causes in the wrist. The little finger is also supported by the little finger extensor (M. extensor digiti minimi) stretched. This muscle also supports one Ulnar abduction in the wrist.

Deep layer of the extensors

Belong to the deep layer of the extensors Abductor pollicis longus muscle, Extensor pollicis brevis muscle, Extensor pollicis longus muscle, Extensor indicis muscle and the Supinator muscle. The Extension of the thumb (Abduction) is supported by the abductor pollicis longus muscle together with the short thumb extensor (M. extensor pollicis brevis), whose respective tendons run through a common tendon compartment and are often fused together. The long thumb extensor (M. extensor pollicis longus) causes a Extension of the thumb dorsally and one Abduction towards radial. The Elongation (Extension) of the index finger extensor is carried out by the index finger extensor (M. extensor indicis). The Away from home (M. supinator) is a broad muscle that loops around the radius and, by contraction, to the Supination leads.

Strengthen the forearm muscles

The Strengthening the forearms leads to a improved grip strength and protects against injuries of the muscles. Gripping strength is the ability to exert force with the closed hand.It is about twice as high for men as it is for women. The forearm muscles can be improved through exercise with dumbbell, Kettlebell and Barbell be trained in a targeted manner and thus lead to better results Pull-ups and Weightlifting to lead.

But strong forearms are also for many Full body exercises advantageous. The flexors and extensors can for example by Curls with the Dumbbell should be strengthened with the palm of the hand facing up or down.

However, since the muscles in the forearm are quite small, only limited growth is possible even with intensive training. In general, one is recommended for forearm training high repetitions (up to 60 Repetitions) during each set. Care should also be taken to keep the breaks as short as possible in order to achieve maximum results.

Stretching the forearm muscles

To avoid pain in the hand and forearm, it is advisable to use the after training or long hours at the computer Forearms extensively too stretchDon't forget your fingers and wrists. By Interlocking your fingers and then Extension of the arms the entire muscles of the forearms and hands are loosened. In general, do not pull or tear when stretching. Pulling hard on the muscles is okay, that's better To hold stretch longeralthough severe pain should be avoided. The stretching exercises can be performed several times a day depending on the symptoms and held for one to two minutes each time. In addition to the stressed muscles, not only the tendons and ligaments can be lengthened, but also the Mobility of the joints be improved.

Forearm muscle pain

Pain in the forearms is often caused by excessive or incorrect use of the muscles. In the western world, forearm tension is constant for hours Typing on the computer and pain especially in the Mouse hand No rarity. Furthermore results Tense writing with the hand in shortened and sore forearms. Sports injuries can cause tears and strains in the muscles, which are manifested in pain. Likewise, an acute or chronic leads Poor posture or stress painful tension in muscles and connective tissue. Stretching exercises and Massages can have a pain-relieving effect and relieve cramping.

Other causes of forearm pain can be a Tennis elbow, the Carpal tunnel syndrome or one Tendinitis be. Long-lasting or recurring pain should always be clarified by a doctor. In general, it is important not to look at forearm pain in isolation, as it is a cohesive chain of muscles and is often closely related to misuse of the upper arm and shoulder.