The muscles of the forearm are divided into anterior (flexor) and posterior (extensor) compartments. The flexors of the forearm are located in the anterior compartment of the forearm. Their main functions include flexion of the hand and pronation of the forearm. They are divided into:
- Superficial layer: Flexor carpi ulnaris, palmaris longus, flexor carpi radialis and pronator teres
- Deep layer: Pronator quadratus, Flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor digitorum profundus and flexor pollicis longus
The extensors of the forearm reside in the posterior compartment of the forearm. Their primary functions are extension of the hand and supination of the forearm. They are grouped as follows:
- Superficial layer: Brachioradialis, extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor carpi radialis brevis, extensor digitorum, extensor digiti minimi, extensor carpi ulnaris and anconeus
- Deep layer: Supinator, abductor pollicis longus, extensor pollicis brevis, extensor pollicis longus and extensor indicis
Learn the muscles that act on the forearm using interactive animations below and test your knowledge with labeling diagrams and worksheets.