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(Last Updated On: March 9, 2019)

Rhomboid Major and Rhomboid Minor Origin, Insertion, Action

Muscle Anatomy of the Rhomboid Major

Origin: The spinous processes of T2 to T5
Insertion: Vertebral border of the scapula, from inferior to the scapular spine to the inferior angle
Actions: Retraction of the scapula, downward rotation of the scapula
Innervation: Dorsal scapular nerve (C5)
Blood Supply:Dorsal scapular artery and dorsal branches of the upper five posterior intercostal arteries

Rhomboid Major Rhomboid Minor Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Rhomboid Major Actions With Agonists and Antagonists

Primary Actions of the Rhomboid Major

1. Retraction of the scapula

  Agonists:

  • Trapezius (middle part)
  • Rhomboid minor

  Antagonists:

  • Serratus anterior
  • Pectoralis minor

Secondary Action of the Rhomboid Major

1. Downward rotation of the scapula

  Agonists:

  • Levator scapulae
  • Serratus anterior (upper fibers)
  • Rhomboid minor
  • Pectoralis minor
  • Trapezius (middle fibers)

  Antagonists:

  • Trapezius
  • Serratus anterior (lower fibers)

Muscle Anatomy of the Rhomboid Minor

Origin: Nuchal ligament and the spinous processes of C7 and T1
Insertion: The vertebral border of the scapula, adjacent to the scapular spine
Actions: Retraction of the scapula, downward rotation of the scapula
Innervation: Dorsal scapular nerve (C5)
Blood Supply:Dorsal scapular artery and dorsal branches of the upper five posterior intercostal arteries

Rhomboid Minor Actions With Agonists and Antagonists

Primary Actions of the Rhomboid Minor

1. Retraction of the scapula

  Agonists:

  • Trapezius (middle part)
  • Rhomboid minor

  Antagonists:

  • Serratus anterior
  • Pectoralis minor

Secondary Action of the Rhomboid Minor

1. Downward rotation of the scapula

  Agonists:

  • Levator scapulae
  • Serratus anterior (upper fibers)
  • Rhomboid minor
  • Pectoralis minor
  • Trapezius (middle fibers)

  Antagonists:

  • Trapezius
  • Serratus anterior (lower fibers)

For more information see: Rhomboid Muscles: Shoulder Pain

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Recommended Anatomy Books:

The 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 by 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 Trail Guide To The Body is another excellent book to help you learn the musculature of the human body. Though the book is geared toward massage therapists and physical therapist assistants, the book with its illustrations and text helps anyone gain a thorough understanding of the human musculoskeletal system and movement. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying anatomy and believe that MTs, PTAs, and teachers of body movements should have this book in their possession. I also highly recommend this book for the layperson who wants to gain an understanding of the muscle, skeletal system and how our bodies move. This book will not disappoint!

Out of the scores of books in my office, Basic Clinical Massage Therapy is by far the most referenced book in my library. The musculoskeletal system is overlaid on human models allowing you to learn the precise location, origin, and insertions of each muscle. The models are pictured in various poses throughout the book which also helps you visualize muscles in motion and their actions relationship with the skeletal structure and other muscles. Though it is written for massage therapists, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn about the muscular system. MT's will benefit from the recommended treatments for each muscle.

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