Shoulder Anatomy: Ultimate Guide to Parts, Names, Functions & Diagram

The human shoulder joint links the upper arm bone or humerus with the shoulder blade or scapula. It’s a multifaceted and complex system that serves as a gateway to the human body’s incredible range of motion and capabilities. With this intricate network of bones, muscles, tendons & ligaments, the shoulder allows us to perform extraordinary accomplishments with our arms. From lifting heavy objects to throwing a ball at incredible speeds, the shoulder can have a remarkable range of movements and precision. Its great flexibility and versatility make it the most mobile joint in the human body. The intricate shoulder anatomy is a stunningly complex and interdependent system of bones, muscles, and connective tissues that work harmoniously to enable us to achieve various actions.

Prepare to embark on a fascinating journey through the complex wonders of the shoulder. In this article, we will see the various parts of a shoulder with its unique function contributing to its remarkable capabilities.

Parts of a Shoulder Diagram

Shoulder Anatomy, Parts, Names & Diagram

Parts of a Shoulder Names


  • Scapula (Shoulder Blade)
  • Clavicle (Collarbone)
  • Humerus (Upper Arm Bone)


  • Glenohumeral Joint
  • Acromioclavicular Joint
  • Sternoclavicular Joint


  • Deltoid
  • Rotator Cuff Muscles
  • Biceps Brachii
  • Triceps Brachii


  • Glenohumeral Ligaments
  • Coracohumeral Ligament
  • Transverse Humeral Ligament
  • Coracoacromial Ligament


  • Rotator Cuff Tendons
  • Biceps Tendon
  • Deltoid Tendon
  • Long Head of Triceps Tendon


  • Subacromial
  • Subscapular

Shoulder Anatomy: Parts & Functions

Shoulder Bones Anatomy

Scapula (Shoulder Blade)

The scapula, sometimes known as the “shoulder blade,” is a bone with a powerful secret. According to legend, a person’s scapula may reveal their soul’s darkest secrets.

Shamans and mystics in ancient societies would examine the scapula to learn about a person’s past, present, and future. There was a belief that a person’s character, personality, and fate could be inferred from the form and texture of their scapula.

Additionally, in many instances, individuals are born with a special scapula that gives them access to a supernatural ability. They possess tremendous strength, agility, and intuition thanks to their power.

These “Scapulists” are regarded as potent healers and spiritual authorities in their communities.

Clavicle (Collarbone)

The clavicle joins the arms and torso’s divine and mortal realms. The clavicle is said to be endowed with a mystical force that spreads throughout the body since it is formed from stronger bones.

It acts as a channel for this energy, enabling unfettered passage between the heart and the hands and enabling us to accomplish amazing feats of strength and agility.

However, the clavicle represents our mortality as the most often fractured human bone. The clavicle is nevertheless a strong structure, despite its frailty.

Humerus (Upper Arm Bone)

The bone in the upper arm is sturdy. It joins the elbow and shoulder joints, enabling a variety of arm motions, such as high-fiving and hammering.

The humerus is a crucial component of life because it serves as a fortress to protect the nerves and blood arteries that pass through the arm. Traumatic humerus injuries can leave one’s arm dangling like a noodle, necessitating a heroic surgical procedure or a protracted period of rest and immobilization.

The battle to restore strength and mobility in the upper arm via physical therapy is the last line of defense; it is a journey that distinguishes the strong from the weak.

Shoulder Joint Anatomy

Glenohumeral Joint

Its ball-and-socket design gives the upper limb unmatched movement and agility, enabling humans to carry out various tasks—from tossing a ball to playing an instrument—with astonishing accuracy and elegance.

Due to its complex design and biomechanics, this joint is a remarkable engineering achievement and a monument to the human body’s incredible powers.

Acromioclavicular Joint

The acromioclavicular joint exemplifies how form and function can come together flawlessly. The acromion process of the scapula joins the clavicle at this elegant joint, which enables a variety of intricate shoulder motions. It is incredible how this joint adjusts to shifting shock loads and weight distributions.

Sternoclavicular Joint

The “breastbone-collarbone junction,” also known as the sternoclavicular joint, is a unique anatomical feature that permits a variety of upper body motions.

The human body’s ultimate power source, muscles, can generate forces strong enough to move us across space and time or lift heavy objects by hundreds of pounds.

Together, the muscles and the sternoclavicular joint form a dynamic interaction that enables us to carry out various physical accomplishments, from the elegant accuracy of playing an instrument to the sheer strength of lifting weights or running a marathon.

Shoulder Muscles Anatomy


The impressive deltoid muscle, which has outstanding strength and agility, surrounds the shoulder joint.

This muscle group is so intricate and versatile that it was designed to carry out a specific task. The deltoid muscle supplies a wide variety of shoulder motions and is essential for preserving the stability and balance of the upper body.

Without the deltoid, the shoulder would be a weak and incomplete joint that couldn’t bear the stresses of daily living, let alone the strains of difficult athletic feats.

Rotator Cuff Muscles

This muscle tirelessly works to ensure that our shoulders remain stable and functional. This dynamic group of four muscles is responsible for attaching the scapula to the humerus and facilitating a wide range of movements in the arm.

Whether throwing a fastball, lifting weights, or just reaching for a cup of coffee, your rotator cuff muscles are stiff at work, providing the support and stability you need to perform these everyday tasks.

Biceps Brachii

This muscle is inserted into the forearm from the powerful scapula. More than merely a muscle, the biceps brachii stands for strength and masculinity. It epitomizes the spirit of the warrior and what it means to be physically strong. The power of the biceps brachii is demonstrated with each lift, pull, and throw.

Triceps Brachii

The “three-headed muscle,” often called the triceps brachii, is a powerful force in the upper arm with a remarkable capacity to extend the forearm.

Its tendons are essential in jobs requiring great upper body strength because they carry force from the muscles to the bones with unmatched efficiency.

The triceps brachii muscle is a crucial part of your muscular system, ensuring that your arm motions are strong and regulated, whether lifting weights, moving a big object, or doing vigorous physical exercise.

Shoulder Ligaments Anatomy

Glenohumeral Ligaments

The glenohumeral ligaments have the strength and fortitude to endure the most powerful forces of nature. These fictitious ligaments connect the humerus to the glenoid fossa, producing an impenetrable barrier that guards against instability and prevents dislocation. It does an excellent job of preserving peak shoulder performance and preventing injuries.

Coracohumeral Ligament

A magnificent piece of nature, the coracohumeral ligament functions as both a proprioceptive organ and structural support for the shoulder joint.

It can sustain a variety of strains and stresses during arm motions thanks to its composition of various collagen fiber layers with unique mechanical characteristics.

Transverse Humeral Ligament

The transverse humeral ligament is a vital, yet sometimes disregarded, part of the upper arm necessary for sustaining healthy shoulder function.

This strong band of fibers protects the tendon of the long head of the biceps muscle as it goes through the intertubercular groove and spans the space between the two tubercles of the humerus.

The transverse humeral ligament stands out for being exceptionally strong and resilient. It can endure powerful pressures and maintain its structural integrity even under great stress.

Coracoacromial Ligament

This broad band of fibrous tissue creates a radiant arch-like structure by bridging the space between the acromion and coracoid process of the scapula.

The fragile shoulder joint is kept safe from damage by the coracoacromial ligament’s heroic resistance to the pressures of superior dislocation.

Shoulder Tendons Anatomy

Rotator Cuff Tendons

It connects the rotator cuff muscles to the humerus bone. These tendons are the celestial architects of our shoulders, engineering a network of unparalleled strength and stability that allows us to lift & throw weight.

Biceps Tendon

This magical fiber is the binding force between the robust biceps brachii muscle and the formidable scapula and radius bones, forging a connection that is as strong as steel.

Deltoid Tendon

The deltoid tendon, for instance, is like a robust cable that connects the deltoid muscle to the arm bones, allowing us to lift heavy weights and perform acrobatic feats like backflips or handstands.

Long Head of Triceps Tendon

As for the triceps tendon, it’s like a sturdy anchor that holds the long head of the triceps muscle in place, allowing us to push and pull heavy objects with ease.


A celestial sac of fluid exists as a sacred barrier between tendons, bones, and other joint structures. Within the primary domain of the shoulder joint lies a trove of these cushions. Their purpose is to provide comfort and protection over the joint.


With its power to reduce friction and promote effortless motion, the subacromial region protects against the wear and tear of the shoulder joint.


It resides between the subscapularis tendon and the scapula. It is the protector that reduces friction during the most rigorous physical activities. The subscapular muscle enables athletes to push their limits and gymnasts to defy gravity. Its location and function make it an indispensable component of the musculoskeletal system, providing stability, power, and resilience to the shoulder joint.

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