The musculus latissimus dorsi belongs to the back muscles and represents the wide musculature of the dorsum. It is the largest muscle of the human body by area and gives the back its typical V-shape that contributes to an athletic body form.
Musculus latissimus dorsi – location
The musculus latissimus dorsi originates from the 6. chest vertebra until the 5. lumbar vertebra, the sacral bone, the iliac crest, and a few lower ribs. From here it covers the middle of the back and inserts into the crista tuberculi minoris on the front of the bone of the upper arm (humerus).
Musculus latissimus dorsi – function
The musculus latissimus dorsi lowers the lifted arm, pulls the arm toward the body (adduction), and supports the inward rotation of the arm.
Musculus latissimus dorsi – importance and training
The musculus latissimus dorsi is involved in many different activities, especially in throwing and batting motions. Exercising the wide back muscle mostly includes a bending motion in the elbow joint what causes the musculus biceps brachii to work along and forces both muscles (latissimus and biceps) into a mutual dependency. In most cases the latissimus is stronger than the biceps so we usually have to abort a set of repetitions when the biceps tires, even though the latissimus is able to go on. To reach the full capacity of the musculus latissimus dorsi we need to perform exercises that mostly exclude the biceps, what is the case in lat presses.
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