Brachioradialis Muscle Anatomy

Overview
Origin Lateral supracondylar ridge (humerus)
Insertion Lateral surface of the styloid process (radius)
Action Flexion of the forearm at the elbow
Supination and pronation of the forearm
Nerve Radial nerve (C5, C6, C7)
Artery Radial recurrent artery

Location & Overview

The brachioradialis is located in the lateral side of the forearm and crosses the elbow joint. It is a superficial forearm muscle which is able to be palpated in the anterolateral forearm. It also contributes to the border of the cubital fossa forming one of the lateral boundaries along with the wrist extensors. The cubital fossa is the collation of important structures such as the biceps tendon, brachial artery and median nerve [1] [2].

brachioradialis muscle

Here we can see an isolated view of the brachioradialis muscle.

brachioradialis muscle from a superficial view

Here we can see the brachioradialis muscle from a superficial view. It is highlighted in green amongst the other muscles of the arm.

Origin & Insertion

The brachioradialis originates across the proximal two-thirds of the humerus’s lateral supracondylar ridge. Distally, it inserts onto the lateral surface of the radius’s styloid process [3] [4].

origin of the brachioradialis muscle

Highlighted in red is the origin of the brachioradialis muscle on the lateral supracondylar ridge of the humerus.

insertion of the brachioradialis muscle

Highlighted in blue is the insertion of the brachioradialis muscle on the lateral surface of the styloid process.

Actions

The primary action of the brachioradialis is flexing the forearm at the elbow. It is also able to supinate or pronate depending on the rotation/orientation of the forearm. When the forearm is in a pronated position, the brachioradialis assists in supination as it contracts. When the forearm is in a supinated position, the brachioradialis assists in pronation as it contracts [5].

Exercises

The primary action of the brachioradialis is flexion at the elbow joint. Therefore exercises involving flexion with the forearm in a pronated or hammer grip are going to target the brachioradialis most. Exercise examples would be: reverse curls (barbell, dumbbell, ez bar, or even kettlebell), hammer grip curls, or cable curls using the rope attachment.

Innervation

The brachioradialis muscle is innervated by the radial nerve (C5, C6, C7). The spinal nerve roots of C5 and C6 are the nerve roots which provide the primary innervation of the brachioradialis [6] [7] [8] [9].

Blood Supply

Blood is supplied to the brachioradialis muscle via the radial recurrent artery which is a branch of the radial artery [10] [11].

Want some flashcards to help you remember this information? Then click the link below:
Brachioradialis Flashcards

References

References
1, 3, 5, 6 Lung BE, Ekblad J, Bisogno M. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Forearm Brachioradialis Muscle. [Updated 2021 Jul 31]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526110/
2 Voin V, Iwanaga J, Sardi JP, Fisahn C, Loukas M, Oskouian RJ, Tubbs RS. Relationship of the Median and Radial Nerves at the Elbow: Application to Avoiding Injury During Venipuncture or Other Invasive Procedures of the Cubital Fossa. Cureus. 2017 Mar 13;9(3):e1094. doi: 10.7759/cureus.1094. PMID: 28413740; PMCID: PMC5391251.
4 Moore KL, Agur AMR, Dalley AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincot Williams & Wilkins; 2017.
7 Zhang L, Zhang CG, Dong Z, Gu YD. Spinal nerve origins of the muscular branches of the radial nerve: an electrophysiological study. Neurosurgery. 2012 Jun;70(6):1438-41; discussion 1441. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3182486b35. PMID: 22227484.
8 Catala M, Kubis N. Gross anatomy and development of the peripheral nervous system. Handb Clin Neurol. 2013;115:29-41. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52902-2.00003-5. PMID: 23931773.
9 Caufriez B, Dugailly PM, Brassinne E, Schuind F. The Role of the Muscle Brachioradialis in Elbow Flexion: An Electromyographic Study. J Hand Surg Asian Pac Vol. 2018 Mar;23(1):102-110. doi: 10.1142/S2424835518500145. PMID: 29409427.
10 Leversedge FJ, Casey PJ, Payne SH, Seiler JG 3rd. Vascular anatomy of the brachioradialis rotational musculocutaneous flap. J Hand Surg Am. 2001 Jul;26(4):711-21. doi: 10.1053/jhsu.2001.26200. PMID: 11466649.
11 Zampeli F, Spyridonos S, Fandridis E. Brachioradialis muscle flap for posterior elbow defects: a simple and effective solution for the upper limb surgeon. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2019 Aug;28(8):1476-1483. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2019.03.020. Epub 2019 Jun 18. PMID: 31227467.