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The primary movers of the arms are a group of four muscles locted on both sides of the body.  Their names are: 1) pectoralis major , 2) posterior deltoid, 3) teres major and 4) latissimus dorsi.  These muscles are shown in Figure 1 below:  

Primary movers of the arms

Figure 1. The primary movers of the arms.


The pectoralis major muscle is supplied by the anterior thoracic nerves.  The posterior deltoid muscle is supplied by the circumflex nerve. The latissimus dorsi and teres major muscles are supplied by the subscapular nerve.

"LifeART (and/or) MediClip image copyright (2005) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved."


The primary movers of the arms have multiple functions.  As a group, they are primarily responsible for performing athletic movements such as swinging a golf club, swinging a tennis racket or swinging a baseball bat.  See Figure 2  below:

baseball swing

Figure 2.  Swinging a baseball bat for a right hand player involves the pulling of
 the arms forward from right to left.
Muscles involved:  R-pectoralis major, L-posterior deltoid, L-teres major,
and L-latissimus dorsi.


Always glad to help, and remember, at, We'll bring you up to speed!
Dr. Larry Van Such

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