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Rectus Abdominis Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Rectus Abdominis AnatomyRectus Abdominis Anatomy Study

Origin: Pubic crest and the pubic symphysis
Insertion: From the fifth to seventh costal cartilages, and the inferomedial costal margin and posterior aspect of the xiphoid process of the sternum
Actions: Flexion of the vertebral column, posteriorly tilts the pelvis, compresses abdominal contents, assists with forces expiration
Innervation: Ventral Primary rami of (T7 to T12)
Blood Supply: Muscular branches from the superior and inferior epigastric arteries



Primary Actions of the Rectus Abdominis:

1. Flexion of the thoracic spine when acting bilaterally

  • Agonists: None
  • Antagonists: Iliocostalis cervicis, Iliocostalis thoracics, Iliocostalis lumborum, Longissimus cervicis, Longissimus thoracics, Spinalis thoracics, Semispinalis cervicis

2. Flexion of the lumber spine when acting bilaterally

  • Agonists: None
  • Antagonists: Iliocostalis lumborum, Longissimus thoracics, Spinalis thoracics

Secondary Actions of the Rectus Abdominis:

1. Assists with forced expiration

  • Agonists: Serratus posterior inferior, Transversus Abdominis
  • Antagonists: Serratus posterior superior, Levatores costarum breves and longi

For more information see: Rectus Abdominis Muscle: Mid and Low Back, Abdominal, Heartburn,Testicular Pain 

Anatomy Coloring Book – Learn your anatomy

coloring_bookThe Anatomy Coloring Book is one of the best study and reference books for beginning anatomy students. The diagrams are clearly labeled and allow you to see the relationship and placement of the various structures of the body. You will also be surprised how the act of coloring will help with recall. But this is not just a beginners book, it is also great for practitioners and therapists to have on hand to use with clients and patients to use as a visual reference.


The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook – Claire Davies, Amber Davies, and David G. Simons

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment – James H. Clay and David M. Pounds

Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain – Donna Finando and Steven Finando


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