Human Muscles

Use the tabs below to view shoulder muscles and arm muscles of the upper body or scroll further down the page for leg muscles, back muscles and other muscles of the lower extremities.

Click on the links to view more detail of each muscle including muscle origin, insertion, muscle actions, exercises that work each muscle as well as common sports injuries they are related to.

Upper body, shoulder and arm muscles:

Trapezius Trapezius

 

Upper back and shoulder muscle.

Serratus anterior Serratus anterior

 

Shoulder muscle draws the scapula forward.

Levator scapulae Levator scapulae

 

Neck and shoulder muscle.

Sternocleido-mastoid Sternocleido-mastoid

 

Prominant muscle in the neck.

Rhomboids Rhomboids

 

Upper back & scapula muscle.

Quick Quiz Quick Quiz

 

Test yourself with our shoulder girdle quiz.

Pectoralis minor Pectoralis minor

 

Small shoulder blade and chest muscle.

Deltoid Deltoid

 

Shoulder muscles which raise the arm out sidewards.

Subscapularis Subscapularis

 

Rotator cuff muscle on the underside of the shoulder blade.

Pectoralis major Pectoralis major

 

The largest of the two chest muscles.

Supraspinatus Supraspinatus

 

Shoulder muscle which intiates abduction.

Sternocleido-mastoid Sternocleido-mastoid

 

The long strap muscle at the front of the neck.

The Rotator Cuff Muscles The Rotator Cuff Muscles

 

Four muscles in the shoulder called the 'rotator cuff muscles'

Teres minor Teres minor

 

Shoulder muscle which rotates the humerus laterally.

Latissimus dorsi Latissimus dorsi

 

Large muscle of the lower back which attaches to the humerus.

Infraspinatus Infraspinatus

 

Muscle on the lower, back of the shoulder blade.

Teres major Teres major

 

Muscle which aids the lats in extending the arm.

Biceps Brachii Biceps Brachii

 

The main muscle which bends the arm.

Anconeus Anconeus

 

A small muscle which helps to straighten the elbow.

Brachialis Brachialis

 

Assistes Biceps in bending the arm.

Supinator Supinator

 

Turns the palm of the hand upwards.

Brachioradialis Brachioradialis

 

Helps to bend and turn the hand over.

Pronator Teres Pronator Teres

 

Turns the hand palm down.

Triceps Brachii Triceps Brachii

 

The main muscle for straightening the arm.

Pronator Quadratus Pronator Quadratus

 

Helps turn the hand palm downwards.

Flexor Carpi Radialis Flexor Carpi Radialis

 

Flexes and radially deviates the wrist.

Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Flexor Carpi Ulnaris

 

Flexes and ulnar deviates the wrist.

Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis

 

Extends and radially deviates the wrist.

Extensor Carpi Ulnaris Extensor Carpi Ulnaris

 

Extends and ulna deviates the wrist.

Extensor Digitorum Communis Extensor Digitorum Communis

 

Extends the wrist and fingers.

Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Flexor Digitorum Superficialis

 

Flexes the wrist and fingers.

Extensor Pollicis Longus Extensor Pollicis Longus

 

Extends the thumb.

Flexor Pollicis Longus Flexor Pollicis Longus

 

Bends the thumb and helps flex the wrist.

Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus

 

Extends and radially deviates the wrist.

Lower body muscles

Iliopsoas Iliopsoas

 

A deep hip/abdomen muscle which bends the hip and trunk.

Gluteus medius Gluteus medius

 

a small upper glute muscle - lIfts the leg out to the side.

Biceps femoris Biceps femoris

 

One of three hamstring muscles at the back of the thigh.

Adductor brevis Adductor brevis

 

One of the short groin muscles which adducts the hip.

Hamstrings Hamstrings

 

The three hamstring muscles

Gluteus minimus Gluteus minimus

 

In the upper buttock -  abducts and rotates the hip.

Semitendinosus Semitendinosus

 

One of three hamstring muscles at the back of the thigh.

Sartorius Sartorius

 

A muscle across the thigh that assists several movements.

Adductor longus Adductor longus

 

One of the short groin muscles which helps adduct the hip.

Groin muscles Groin muscles

 

The 5 muscles which adduct the thigh / hip.

Gluteus maximus Gluteus maximus

 

The largest buttock muscle which extends the hip.

Gracilis Gracilis

 

A long groin muscle which helps adduct the hip.

Rectus femoris Rectus femoris

 

Quad muscle - flexes the hip and straightens the knee.

Adductor magnus Adductor magnus

 

A long groin muscle.

The Glutes The Glutes

 

The buttock muscles are often called 'the glutes'.

Piriformis Piriformis

 

A small buttock muscle which rotates the hip outwards.

Pectineus Pectineus

 

A short groin muscle which helps adduct the thigh.

Semimembranosus Semimembranosus

 

One of three hamstring muscles at the back of the thigh.

Tensor fascia latae Tensor fascia latae

 

An outer hip muscle with a long thick tendon (ITB).

Vastus lateralis Vastus lateralis

 

The most lateral of the four quad muscles.

Quadriceps muscles Quadriceps muscles

 

The quads are the four muscles at the front of the thigh

Vastus intermedius Vastus intermedius

 

The central quad muscle which straightens the knee.

Vastus medialis Vastus medialis

 

The most medial of the four quad muscles.

Popliteus Popliteus

 

A small, deep muscle at the back of the knee.

Gastrocnemius Gastrocnemius

 

The largest calf muscle which raises the heel upwards.

Peroneus brevis Peroneus brevis

 

The shorter of two peroneal muscles on the outer lower leg.

Extensor digitorum longus Extensor digitorum longus

 

Muscle at the front of the shin which pulls the foot and toes up.

Soleus Soleus

 

A deep calf muscle which raises the heel up.

Peroneus longus Peroneus longus

 

The larger of the two peroneal muscles which evert the foot.

Extensor hallucis longus Extensor hallucis longus

 

Muscle at the front of the shin which extends the big toe.

Tibialis posterior Tibialis posterior

 

Muscle in the calf which helps Gastrocnemius.

Flexor hallucis longus Flexor hallucis longus

 

Bends the big toe and helps to plantarflex the foot.

Tibialis anterior Tibialis anterior

 

The muscle at the front of the shin which pulls the foot up.

Flexor digitorum longus Flexor digitorum longus

 

This muscle bends the toes and helps with plantarflexion.

Rectus abdominus Rectus abdominus

 

The '6-pack' muscle at the front of the stomach.

Internal obliques Internal obliques

 

Muscles at the sides of the stomach which help twist and bend.

External obliques External obliques

 

Muscles at the sides of the stomach which help twist and bend.

Erector spinae Erector spinae

 

Small muscles either side of the spine which help stabilise the it.

Quadratus lumborum Quadratus lumborum

 

Muscle between the pelvis and ribs which sidebends the trunk.

Splenius Splenius

 

Split into two muscles: Splenius Capitus and Splenius Cervicis

Transverse abdominus Transverse abdominus

 

Also known as TVA, the deepest core muscle.

Multifidus Multifidus

 

Small muscles which travel up the length of the spine