Pronator Teres: Definition, Function & Nerve Supply

Instructor: Dan Washmuth

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

The pronator teres is a muscle located in the forearm that most people use hundreds of times each day. Want to learn more about this muscle? Then be sure to read this lesson!

Arm Wrestling Muscle

Take a look at the following picture of two men arm wrestling, paying close attention to the position of the forearm of the person who is winning this match.

The pronator teres muscle is used during arm wrestling.
arm wrestling

Did you notice how the forearm of the man who is winning this match is rotated inward. This inward rotation of the forearm is caused in large part by the pronator teres muscle.

What is the Pronator Teres?

The pronator teres muscle is a long, thin muscle that is located on the under side of the forearm. This muscle has two different muscle heads (otherwise known as places of origins), the humeral head and the ulnar head. The humeral head of the pronator teres originates from the bottom of the humerus (long bone of the upper arm), and the ulnar head of the pronator teres originates from the top of the ulna (long bone of the forearm).

The pronator teres is located on the under side of the forearm, connected to both the humerus and ulna.
pronator teres

What Does the Pronator Teres Do?

The name of the pronator teres gives away its function. Pronation refers the inward rotation of a body part towards the middle of the body. Since the pronator teres is located in the forearm, its function is to rotate (pronate) the forearm inward. Think back to the arm wrestling example from the beginning of the lesson; an arm wrestler must internally rotate (pronate) their forearm in order to pin the arm of their opponent.

The pronator teres is not only used during arm wrestling; this muscle is used hundreds of times each day. Performing simple tasks like brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and eating all require forearm pronation, and therefore require the use of the pronator teres. The pronator teres also functions to flex the forearm, which involves bending the arm at the elbow joint.

The main function of the pronator teres is to pronate the forearm, which involves turning the forearm inward towards the body.

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