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The flexor carpi ulnaris

(M. flexor carpi ulnaris & M. flexor carpi radialis)


Both skeletal muscles (M. flexor carpi ulnaris and M. flexor carpi radialis) are part of the superficial flexor carpi ulnaris on the forearm. You bend the wrist and provide lateral snapping off of the hand. When the flexor carpi ulnaris is tensed, the hand snaps off in direction of the little finger; when the flexor carpi radialis is used, the hand bends towards the radius to the thumb. 
The M. flexor carpi ulnaris has two origins and includes two heads, the caput humerale and the caput ulnare. Both fulfill the same function: bending the hand.
The M. flexor carpi radialis supports additionally the rotators of the forearm by supporting the pronation in the elbow. You can feel the pulse of the Arteria radialis on the wrist on its base tendon.

The origin of both muscles on the inner upper arm bone is responsible for pains for golf elbow (or golf arm).
It is an inflammation of origin of tendon on the inside of the elbow. The tendon is irritated by a strain and becomes inflamed. When a surgery takes place, a part of both tendons gets loosened from the bone.
The repetitive strain injury is influenced by the M. flexor carpi ulnaris. Its tendon, which is based on the pisiform bone, is intensively demanded by little motions which are always the same (i.e. keypad or mouse clicks).



M. flexor carpi ulnaris



caput humerale: Epicondylus medialis (forward bending of bone on upper arm; medial)

caput ulnare : Back surface of the ulna

Base: Pisiform bone (Os pisiforme; carpus)

Bending in wrist (Palmar flexion), Ulnar abduction (tilting to the side of the little finger)




M. flexor carpi radialis


Origin: Epicondylus medialis (forward bending of bone on upper arm; medial)
Base: Os metacarpale II and III (via a long tendon on 2nd and 3rd metacarpus)

Bending in wrist (Palmar flexion), Radial abduction (tilting of the wrist on the side of the radius), supports pronation motion (rotating inwards) for stretched elbow and bending of elbows





Exercise example



Bending hand with dumbbell


Course of motion:

  • Kneel in front of a flat bench
  • Put forearm on the bench
  • Grasp dumbbell with one hand
  • Put wrist just behind the edge of upholstery
  • Hand is stretched down
  • Palms show upwards
  • Bend wrists (palms show towards the body)
  • Lower slowly back to starting position



  • Breath regularly while doing the exercise


Advices of proof:

  • Slow and fluent motions
  • Adapt weight to fitness level



  • Bending hand with barbell in sitting position
  • Bending hand with weighted ball
  • Bending hand with Thera-Band


Get a varied and motivating workout for the flexor carpi ulnaris. Use different workout tools and accessories, i.e.:


back to the muscle guide overview

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