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Latissimus & Teres Major

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The latissimus, “the swimmer’s muscle”, is a powerful extender, adductor, & internal rotator of the humerus located along our back body. It has a broad attachment in the lower back & sacral area. It attaches to spinous processes to the mid-thoracic spine & also attaches to the lower ribs. Similarly to the pectorals, it attaches to the humerus via the bicipital groove. 

Teres major is a small, dense muscle that aids latissimus dorsi in adduction & internal rotation. It attaches from the bicipital groove to the bottom of the scapula.

As internal rotators, the latissimus & teres major can inhibit our backbends in poses like wheel where we attempt to point the elbows straight up & with the arms parallel to one another. If these muscles are tight, they can cause our elbows to point out to the sides & restrict our arms from fully extending. By engaging the serratus anterior (think about squeezing a soft ball between your upper arm & torso), we upwardly rotate the scapula & encourage proper alignment & lengthening of the latissimus.

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Larissa Farrell

Environmentalist, yogini, sex educator, & graphic designer.