Brachioradialis Muscle: Definition, Function & Nerve

Instructor: Dan Washmuth

Dan has taught college Nutrition, Anatomy, Physiology, and Sports Nutrition courses and has a master's degree in Dietetics & Nutrition.

The brachioradialis muscle is one of several muscles located in the forearms. Be sure to read this lesson to educate yourself about this muscle, including information about its definition, function, and nerve.

Take the Wheel and Steer

Picture yourself driving a car with both hands on the steering wheel. In your mind, imagine you are turning the steering wheel to the right, thinking specifically how your forearms rotate as they turn the wheel. Now imagine how your forearms rotate as you make a left turn. One of the main muscles that allows you to rotate your forearms so you can turn the steering wheel of a car is the brachioradialis muscle.

The brachioradialis muscle allows you to rotate your forearms so you can turn a steering wheel.

Definition of Brachioradialis

The brachioradialis muscle, also called Venke's muscle, is one of several muscles that are located in the forearms. Specifically, this muscle extends from the lower part of the humerus (long bone in the upper arm) all the way down to the bottom of the radius (long bone on the thumb side of the forearm).

The brachioradialis is both a fusiform and superficial muscle. Fusiform refers to muscles that are skinny at their ends and much thicker in the middle, much like a spindle. Superficial muscles are muscles that are located directly underneath the skin and fat tissue without other muscles or tendons located on top of the muscle.

The brachioradialis is located on the thumb side of the forearm.

Function of Brachioradialis

The brachioradialis muscle has several different functions, and the following chart describes these various functions.

Function Description of Function
Flexion of forearm Forearm flexion involves raising the forearm by bending the elbow, such as when you bring your hand and cup to your mouth to take a drink.
Pronation of forearm Forearm pronation involves rotating the forearm so the palm faces down, such as when you put your hand down on a hot surface to see how hot it really is.
Supination of forearm Forearm supination involves rotating the forearm so the palm faces up, such as when you put your hand under a large tray to carry it.

The brachioradialis functions to both supinate and pronate the forearm.

Nerve of Brachioradialis

Each muscle in the body is connected to a nerve that supplies the muscle with electrical impulses from the brain, and the nerve that is connected to the brachioradialis is the radial nerve. The radial nerve is a large nerve that consists of nerve fibers from the fifth through seventh cervical nerves (C5-C7). The cervical nerves are the nerves that originate from the neck region of the spinal cord.

The nerve of the brachioradialis is the radial nerve.
radial nerve

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