The musculus trapezius belongs to the back muscles but can also be allocated to the shoulder girdle (shoulder muscles). It covers the upper part of the back and is responsible for the shape of the neck. Below the trapezius muscle the rhomboid muscles (Musculi rhomboidei) can be found. Both, the trapezius and rhomboid muscles form a functional unit.
Musculus trapezius and musculi rhomboidei – location
The musculus trapezius is divided in three parts, an
- upper descending part (pars descendens), a
- middle transverse part (pars transversa), and a
- lower ascending part (pars ascendens).
The upper part originates from the cervical vertebrae and inserts into the clavicle (clavicula) and the acromion. The middle part originates from the upper thoracic vertebrae and also inserts into the acromion. The lower part originates from the 3. until the 12. thoracic vertebrae and inserts into the spina scapulae.
The musculi rhomboidei consist of two parts, the musculus rhomboideus major and the musculus rhomboideus minor. Their origination are the 6. cervical until the 4. thoracic vertebrae and their insertion is the inner (medial) edge of the shoulder blade (scapula).
Musculus trapezius and musculi rhomboidei – function
- The upper part of the musculus trapezius elevates the shoulders, supports the rotation of the shoulder blade to lift the arm above 90°, and inclines the head to the side.
- The middle part moves the shoulders toward the back (retraction).
- The lower part lowers the shoulders and also supports the rotation of the shoulder blade to lift the arm above 90°.
- The musculi rhomboidei elevate the shoulders backward and fixate the shoulder girdle.
Musculus trapezius and musculi rhomboidei – importance and training
The musculus trapezius and the musculi rhomboidei are important for the body posture and the ease and prevention of back problems. Especially to alleviate complaints of a hunched back or problems in the cervical spine these muscles should be exercised regularly.
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