Anconeus Muscle: Action, Origin & Insertion

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

There is a relatively small muscle near your elbow that helps you do a couple of important things, like push-ups. Find out about this muscle, what it does, as well as its origin and insertion in this lesson.

The Anconeus

Do you work out? If so, then it's highly likely that part of your exercise routine involves numerous different exercises for your muscles. For example, you might do bicep curls, or squats, and so on. And you're likely to do at least one of the following: push-ups, bench-press, or dips. Did you spot anything in common among those exercises? They all involve the extension of your arm. There are numerous muscles involved in this. Some of the details of one of them, the anconeus, is discussed in this lesson.

Origin & Insertion

Anconeus is a relatively small muscle with a triangular shape to it. Anconeus originates from the posterior surface of the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. That's a mouthful so let's break down exactly what that means:

  • The posterior surface is the back-facing surface of something.
  • Lateral refers to something away from the body's midline, towards the side.
  • The humerus is the upper arm bone.
  • The epicondyle is a bony knob of the humerus found right at the elbow joint.

In other words, anconeus originates from the back-facing portion of the upper arm bone's outer elbow knob. If that's still confusing, then do the following. Place your arm on a table. Make sure the very large pointy part of the elbow rests on the table. Take your other hand and run it over the sides of your elbow joint. Do you feel two knobs, one on either side of the elbow joint? The knob furthest away from your body is the lateral epicondyle of the humerus.

From this origin, anconeus moves medially, or towards the midline of the body. Specifically, the fibers of this muscle flow towards the ulna, which is one of the two lower arm bones and the one that gives you the large point to your elbow known as the olecranon.

The muscle fibers then insert, or attach, to the lateral surface of the olecranon and the proximal portion of the posterior surface of the ulna. Again, let's break this down.

Again, the olecranon is the part of the ulna that gives you the large bony point to your elbow. This means that part of anconeus inserts on the outward side of this bony point.

The proximal point of something is the first or beginning portion of something. So when we say that it inserts at the proximal portion of the posterior surface of the ulna, we mean that it ends on the initial back-facing portion of the ulna, the part closest to the elbow joint.


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