Anatomy

Anterior Deltoid: Functional Anatomy Guide

The anterior deltoid (L. anterior, before, in front of ; deltoides, triangular) refers to the front head of the deltoid muscle. This part of the delt is responsible for shoulder flexion. Classified as part of the scapulohumeral (intrinsic shoulder) muscle group, the anterior deltoid is situated medial to the lateral deltoid and lateral to the clavicular head of …

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Lateral Deltoid: Functional Anatomy Guide

The lateral deltoid (L. latus, side ; deltoides, triangular) is the outermost head of the deltoid and is primarily responsible for performing shoulder abduction. The lateral deltoid is part of the scapulohumeral (intrinsic shoulder) muscle group. It is situated between the anterior and posterior deltoid, and lies superficial to the insertions of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor. It originates from the acromion process on …

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Infraspinatus: Functional Anatomy Guide

The infraspinatus (L. infra, below ; spinus, spine [of scapula]) is a thick rotator cuff muscle covering the majority of the posterior surface of the shoulder blade below the scapular spine. It is a prime mover in shoulder external rotation and plays important roles in shoulder stability. Most notably, it prevents excessive anterior and posterior …

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Levator Scapulae: Functional Anatomy Guide

The levator scapulae (L. levator, elevator ; scapulae, shoulder blades.) is a strap-like muscle in neck and shoulder region. It acts on the scapula and cervical spine, and as its name reveals, its most prominent role is scapular elevation. Classified as a superficial posterior axioappendicular (extrinsic shoulder) muscle, the levator scapulae is situated deep to …

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Rhomboids: Functional Anatomy Guide

The rhomboid major and minor (L. rhomboideus, parallelogram ; major, larger ; minor, smaller.) are two muscles located between the shoulder blades and spinal column. If you took geometry, you might’ve guessed that they’re named after the rhombus shape, which they both resemble. Acting on the shoulder blades, both of these muscles are prime movers …

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Pronator Teres: Functional Anatomy Guide

The pronator teres (L. pronus, lying face down ; teres, round and long.) is an elongated, cylindrical forearm muscle that crosses the gap between radius and ulna. It’s the strongest of the two pronator muscles. However, it is only active during rapid or resisted forearm pronation, which it carries out with help from the pronator quadratus. Notably, it also plays …

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Serratus Anterior: Functional Anatomy Guide

The serratus anterior (L. serratus, saw ; anterior, front.), named for its saw-like appearance, is located on the side of the ribcage. It acts on the scapula and is the prime mover in both scapular protraction and scapular upward rotation. It’s also a key scapular stabilizer, keeping the shoulder blades against the ribcage when at …

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