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Okay so this a tutorial on the muscles of
the flexor compartment of the forearm. So just like the upper arm, the muscles of the
forearm can be split into anterior and posterior compartments – so flexor and extensor compartments.
So the flexor compartment is separated from the extensor compartment by bones, an interosseus
membrane and a lateral intermuscular septum. So here I’m just showing you a cross section
of the forearm, so this is anterior, posterior, lateral and medial, and you’ve got the ulna
and radius we are looking at. So in between the radius and ulna, you’ve got this membrane
called the interosseus membrane. So “inter” meaning “between”, “os” Latin for “bone”,
so “between the bone membrane” – “inter-osseous membrane”. Connecting to the radius you’ve
got the lateral intermuscular septum, which connects to the deep fascia, which surrounds
the muscles of the forearm. So you’ve got these compartments, the anterior flexor compartment,
and the posterior extensor compartment. So this interosseus membrane runs between the
radius and ulna in this gap here, separating the anterior and posterior compartments. So
the anterior compartment, the flexor compartment, which I’m talking about in this tutorial,
the muscles are generally supplied by the median nerve, and these muscles have a common
origin on the medial epicondyle of the humerus. So this part here. And if these muscles are
overused, then you can get inflammation at this origin, so you get medial epicondylitis
which is also known as “golfers elbow”. So the muscles of the anterior compartment flex
the wrist and digits, and pronate the hand. So pronation is bringing the hand round so
that the palm faces away from you, sorry towards you. So in this position here, in the anatomical
position, the palm is facing away from you, so pronation would bring the palm to face
towards you, so that you show the back of the hand, so it would rotate the hand around.
So the muscles of the posterior compartment do the opposite to the anterior compartment
muscles – they extend the wrist and digits, and they supinate the hands, and they have
a common origin on the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. So overuse of the posterior
compartment, the extensors of the forearm, you get lateral epicondylitis, which is also
known as tennis elbow. So you’ve got three layers of muscle in the anterior forearm,
you’ve got the superficial layer, the intermediate layer, and the deep layer. So I’m just going
to talk you through from superficial to deep, these muscles. So in the superficial layer
you’ve got four muscles, you’ve got the flexor carpi ulnaris, the palmaris longus, the flexor
carpi radialis, and the pronator teres. So I’ll just start with this muscle here, which
is the pronator, sorry, the palmaris longus, so this muscle like the rest of the muscles
of the anterior compartment, it originates on the medial epicondyle of the humerus and
it runs down the length of the forearm to insert onto this flat fibrous sheath, known
as the palmar aponeurosis, so this is a thick layer of deep fascia that lies beneath the
skin. So you can see this tendon in yourself, if you flex your wrist, it’s quite superficial,
you can see that tendon. So what this muscle does, the palmaris longus is that it flexes
the wrist joint. So this palmar aponeurosis actually attaches to the overlying skin of
the palm and the fingers. So when you contract the palmaris longus, it flexes the wrist.
So medial to the palmaris longus, you’ve got this muscle called the flexor carpi ulnaris.
So it’s useful to try and think of what the words actually mean, so flexor obviously means
it flexes, causes a flexing action at the wrist, carpi is Latin, “carpus” means wrist,
and ulnaris refers to the ulna side. So it flexes the wrist at the ulna side. So this
muscle actually has two heads, so I’ll just rotate this model round, and you can see one
head inserting on the medial epicondyle of the humerus, and the other head inserting
posteriorly on the ulna and at the olecranon – so its got two heads, the flexor carpi ulnaris.¬¬
So what this muscle does is it runs down and inserts at the wrist, down here. So it actually,
it’s not very clear on here, but it inserts on this little bone here – the pisiform bone,
and this bone has ligaments which attach to this metacarpal, so this fifth metacarpal
bone. So it inserts on this little bone here and this pisiform bone, which I’ll talk about
in another tutorial, has ligaments which attach onto this fifth metacarpal, so what this muscle
does when it contracts, is that it flexes the wrist and adducts the wrist. So just lateral
to the palmaris longus, which I just talked about, so this muscle here which attaches
to the palmar aponeurosis, you’ve got the flexor carpi radialis. So remember what I
just said about the word “carpi” meaning “wrist”, and looking at the name of the muscle to get
an idea of its function and its structure. So flexor – flexes, at the wrist – carpi,
on the radial side. So, you can see here it inserts at the medial epicondyle of the humerus,
sorry, originates there, and it runs down the forearm to insert onto the metacarpals.
So I’ll just remove the palmar aponeurosis, and you can see that it has this insertion
point at the base, so you’ve got these metacarpals here and these phalanges, so these are the
metacarpals, so it inserts onto the base of the second and third metacarpal. And when
this muscle contracts, it flexes and adducts the wrist, sorry abducts – AB-ducts. So the
fourth and final muscle in the superficial layer is this muscle, which lies lateral to
the flexor carpi radialis, it’s the pronator teres. So as the name suggests it pronates
the forearm. So…two origins, two origins, it originates on the medial epicondyle of
the humerus and also on the ulna bone, and it inserts onto the lateral part of the mid-shaft
of the radius. So when this muscle contracts, it pronates the forearm. So you’ve got those
four muscles of the superficial layer of the anterior compartment. You’ve got the flexor
carpi radialis, and ulnaris, which lie either side of the palmaris longus, and then you’ve
got the pronator teres which lies lateral. Okay so now I’m just going to dissect away
the superficial muscles and we’ll look at the intermediate muscle layer, so there’s
one muscle in the intermediate muscle layer – the flexor digitorum superficialis, so the
name gives you some idea of its function. So obviously it’s a flexor muscle, because
it’s in the anterior compartment, so the word digitorum refers to fingers, so it flexes
the fingers. And it’s called superficialis, because it’s superficial to the other muscle
which acts to flex the fingers, which I’ll show you in a moment. So the flexor digitorum
superficialis lies in the intermediate muscle layer, of the anterior forearm, and it has
two origins: it’s got this humero ulna origin, and it’s got this other origin on the radius
bone. I’ll just get rid of that quickly. So it originates on the medial epicondyle of
the humerus also on the ulna and it also originates on this radial, this oblique line on the radius.
It then runs down and you’ve got these four tendons which pass through the carpal tunnel,
so the carpel tunnel is this space between the flexor retinaculum and the carpal bones,
and the median nerve passes through this, and when it, when the contents of the carpal
tunnel get compressed, you get muscle weakness and loss of sensation, and I’ll talk a bit
about that in another tutorial. So you’ve got these four tendons of the flexor digitorum
superficialis which run through the…underneath the flexor retinaculum, and they insert onto
the middle phalanx of the index, middle, ring and little fingers. So this tendon is quite
interesting because it actually split and inserts onto the lateral margins of the middle
phalanx, and it allows this other tendon to pass through, so the tendon of the flexor
digitorum profundus, to pass through. So the tendons of the flexor digitorum superficialis
insert onto the middle phalanx, so they split to allow the passage of this flexor digitorum
profundus. So an easy way of remembering this, is that “superficialis splits; profundus passes
through”, so “s” – superficialis splits, so beginning of the word begins with “s” so “superficial
splits; profundus passes through”. So it inserts on the lateral margins of the middle phalanx.
So just to orientate you a bit, you’ve got the metacarpal bones here, you’ve got the
proximal phalanx, middle phalanx, and distal phalanx. So you’ve got your proximal interphalangeal
joint, and your distal interphalangeal joint. So the action of the flexor digitorum superficialis
is to flex at the proximal interphalangeal joint, of the index, middle, ring and little
fingers, and it can also flex at this joint, so the metacarpophalangeal joints. So it can
flex at the MCP joints and the PIP joints of the index to little fingers. So I’m just
going to move onto the next muscle layer, the deep muscle layer. Okay so I’ve rid of
the flexor digitorum superficialis, and now we’re looking at the flexor digitorum profundus,
so this muscle lies underneath the flexor digitorum superficialis, and it originates
on the anterior and medial surfaces of the ulna bone, and it runs down, and again you’ve
got these four tendons, which pass through the carpal tunnel, underneath the flexor retinaculum,
and they run along to insert onto the base of the distal phalanges. So, I’ll just bring
back those other tendons, so you can see how they split, you can see the tendon of the
flexor digitorum superficialis splitting and the tendon of the flexor digitorum profundus
passing through to insert onto the distal phalanx. So you can probably guess that this
muscle, when it contracts, it flexes the distal interphalangeal joint. So the flexor digitorum
superficialis flexes the proximal interphalangeal joint, and the flexor digitorum profundus
flexes the distal interphalangeal joint. And it can also flex the metacarpophalangeal joints,
so the MCP joints. Just bring you back up here. So the next muscle is the flexor pollicis
longus, so it’s this muscle here, which is actually shown a little out of place on this
model, because it inserts more medially and anteriorly on the radius bone, so more in
this sort of region, so this is the flexor pollicis longus. So pollicis refers to the
thumb, so we’ll go through a lot of other muscles which act on the thumb, and they all
have the words “pollicis, so “pollicis” is Latin, referring to thumb. So what this muscle
does is it flexes the thumb and the interphalangeal joint, so it runs down. Again it’s shown a
bit out of place, it actually runs underneath the flexor retinaculum in the carpal tunnel,
so it runs through the carpal tunnel and it inserts on the distal phalanx. So when it
contracts it flexes the thumb at this interphalangeal joint, and it can also flex at the metacarpophalangeal
joint. So the final muscle of the deep layer is the pronator quadratus, which lies underneath
the tendons of the flexor pollicis longus and the tendons of the flexor digitorum profundus.
So, from its rectangular shape, so “quadratus” referring to its four sides, so I’ve just
removed the flexor pollicis longus and the flexor digitorum profundus, and you’ve got
this pronator quadratus, so as the name suggests it’s a pronator muscle, so it pronates the
wrist, and it’s shown a bit funny here, but I’ll just isolate it. So it’s actually this
rectangular shape. So it originates on this distal anterior surface of the ulnar, and
it inserts distally on the anterior surface of the radius, and it contracts, when it contracts,
it pronates the forearm. So those are the muscles of the anterior compartment, the flexor
compartment of the forearm. You’ve got the superficial, intermediate and deep layers,
and you’ve got muscles which flex the wrist, which flex the fingers, and which pronate
the forearm.

100 thoughts on “Forearm Muscles Part 1 – Anterior (Flexor) Compartment – Anatomy Tutorial

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  10. Super helpful! Fun fact about the palmaris longus: 14 percent of people don't have it, myself included, which made for a confusing in vivo anatomy class. 🙂

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  13. 3:15 Palmaris Longus
    3:33 Palmar Aponeurosis
    4:20 Flexor Carpi Ulnaris
    6:06 Flexor Carpi Radialis
    7:17 Pronator Teres
    8:13 Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
    11:50 Flexor Digitorum Profundus
    13:20 Flexor Pollicis Longus
    14:34 Pronator Quadtratus

    Antior = Flexor
    Posterior = Extensor

  14. The bone you mentioned as pisiform was basically the hook of hamate.the 3D image had it correctly connected! Nonetheless, I did find this video really helpful . Thank you!

  15. thanks, this helped me out a lot!
    Also I thought I sometimes heard people chuckle in the back but I think it actually was the mouse moving.

  16. I saw a diagram somewhere that depicted a structure (ligament or fascia possibly?) that originates somewhere around the humeral head and spans the entire length of the arm, finally inserting into the tip of the middle finger. Can someone help me pin point this super skinny and lengthy structure? Thanks guys

  17. Dang I learned a lot today! 😀 I'm so happy I have a dream of becoming a fitness trainer, this is making me learn what I like learning about :DI now understand how our forearms pronate and supinate, and focused a bit more on how each different muscle in the forearm extends and contracts our fingers, why different grip curls train different muscles, etc.

  18. Just for ease :
    In a flexed elbow state:
    Supination is Palm facing face (holding plate for supper)
    Pronation is Palm facing floor

  19. Hey Guys! I know Anatomy Zone posted a video before where he covered the rhomboid major and minor muscles and for some reason I can't seem to find it anymore. Would anyone know which video this is?

  20. I swear I ruptures a tendon in my forearm when I fractured my elbow. There is a dip in it whenever I lift something and there is a small lump like it curled up inside my arm. I asked my orthopedist 3 times and he says it's nothing but it's obviously something. My other arm doesn't look like it and it didn't look like that before the accident. What should I do? Been 5 weeks now since accident.

  21. Great video but I use Muscle Skeleton app. I think it's much better to see and easier to use. I tried amatomyzone's as well but didn't like it.

  22. Thank you so much for making these videos! they're extremely helpful and easier to get your head round than some other sources! 🙂

  23. Your voice is sooo Cute and masculine! Uh what's ur insta account??? And ur name also??😍😍👄👄🗣️🗣️

  24. I appreciate the help with studying so much! But I am also convinced I am learning anatomy from the guy who plays Gareth on the UK version of 'The Office…'

  25. Away to memorize these muscles
    First letter of each one of them.
    Superficial mm = PFPFF
    1-pronator terris
    2-flexor carpi radials
    3-palmris longs
    4-flexor carpi ulnaris
    5- flexor digituriam superficialis
    And the deep mm (FFP)
    1-flexor pollicis longis
    2-felxor digitorium profendous
    3-pronator Quadrates
    So superficial mm and deep mm form the Anterior felxor musles which are 8 muscles
    * notice that you have two felxor digitorium one: superficialis and two: profendous .
    So they are FDS and FDP.
    *also we have two pronators muscles they are one : pronator terris and two: pronator quadrates .
    Im really sorry for the wrong spelling of muscles I just wanted to help you guys with memorizing them.

  26. Don’t have any mistakes if you want to teach your followers! Add: to teach, you have to have a good clear voice.

  27. pronation is a rotation of the palm of the arm to face backward, supination – palm faces forward. There was a mistake in explanation

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