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Biceps brachii

Other Terms: Musculus biceps brachii, Muscle biceps brachial

Muscle parts

Long head; Short head

Latin name

Musculus biceps brachii

Latin muscle parts

Caput longum; Caput breve


Brachial muscle – anterior compartment


In English, the muscle’s name is the two-headed muscle of the arm. The term biceps comes from the Latin words bi or bis meaning “two” and caput meaning “head.” The Latin term brachium derives from the Greek brachion meaning “arm,” in reference to the region of the upper limb between the shoulder and the elbow.


Short head – coracoid process of the scapula Long head – supraglenoid tubercle of the scapula


Radial tuberosity and antebrachial fascia


Supination – EMG studies clearly show the biceps to be a powerful supinator, especially when overcoming resistance. It shows no activity in supination of the unloaded and extended arm. In this situation it is reflexively inhibited as a supinator because it would also create elbow flexion. It only becomes active in supination of the extended arm when it has to overcome resistance. Flexion of the elbow joint – it is most active as an elbow flexor in the supine and semiprone arm. Studies show that it is active in flexing the supine arm whether the arm is loaded or unloaded. It only becomes active in flexing the semiprone arm when a load of 1 kilogram is lifted. It shows no activity, in most cases, as a flexor of the pronated arm even when overcoming strong resistance. Weak flexion of the humerus – it shows slight activity in both heads during flexion of the shoulder joint, especially if working against resistance.

Nerve supply

Musculocutaneous nerve (C5 and C6)

Blood supply

Muscular branches from the brachial artery supply the entire course of the muscle and the anterior circumflex humeral artery supplies the proximal tendons of the muscle.


Musculus biceps brachii


Muscle biceps brachial


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