This is a two-headed fusiform muscle. The short head originates from the coracoid (crow's beak) process of the scapula, near the insertion of the pectoralis minor. When the elbow is fixed, contracting the short head tilts the scapula forward. The long head originates from the top of the glenoid of the scapula, curving over the humeral head and into the bicipital groove, (a trough into which it is tethered by a ligament). Contracting the long head with the elbow fixed depresses the humeral head, stabilizing it in the joint.
Both heads combine to form one tendon inserting on the bicipital tuberosity of the radius. When the biceps contract, the forearm rotates into supination (palm up) position. Further contraction flexes the elbow.
Tightness in this muscle limits poses such as purvottonasana. Weakness limits poses such as sarvangasana.
The brachialis muscle acts in synergy with the biceps, flexing the elbow.
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