If you were to place your arms around someone in an embrace, the following four sets of muscles would be mainly responsible for the action: biceps, triceps, pectorals and deltoids.

Pectoral muscles across the chest contract to make the arms close in together and then the biceps form the hug by contracting to make the arms bend at the elbow.   The deltoids are the muscles that contract rounding the shoulder forwards and inwards so that the arms can wrap around the person being hugged.  To move the arms out of the hugging position, the triceps will contract as the biceps relax.


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