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Latissimus dorsi in a cadaver dissection of the torso
2 Credits

Latissimus Dorsi

Integrated functional anatomy of the latissimus dorsi. Attachments, nerves, palpation, joint actions, arthrokinematics, fascia, triggerpoints, and behavior in postural dysfunction. Common activation exercises, foam rolling, stretching, and strengthening exercises for the lats.

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


Course Description: Latissimus Dorsi

This course describes the anatomy and integrated function of the latissimus dorsi muscle (a.k.a. the lats, lats muscle, back muscle, and lat dorsi muscle). This muscle originates on the thoracic vertebrae, thoracolumbar fascia, lumbar vertebrae, iliac crest, and inferior angle of the scapula (shoulder blade), inserts into the intertubercular groove of the humerus (upper arm), and is innervated by the thoracodorsal nerve. This muscle is the largest skeletal muscle of the upper body, and is located on the posterior thorax (trunk and ribs); superficial to the lumbar extensors and core muscles. The latissimus dorsi is composed of an even distribution of type I muscles fibers and type II muscle fibers; however, the muscle fiber composition may be biased toward type II fibers. The latissimus dorsi muscle crosses the shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint), is the prime mover of shoulder adduction and extension, will contribute to shoulder internal rotation, and may contribute to lumbar extension, lumbar lateral flexion, and lumbar rotation. This course also describes the role of the latissimus dorsi muscle in glenohumeral arthrokinematics, fascial integration, postural dysfunction, and subsystem integration. Sports medicine professionals (personal trainers, fitness instructors, physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, etc.) must be aware of the integrated function of the latissimus dorsi for the detailed analysis of human movement, and the development of sophisticated exercise programs and therapeutic (rehabilitation) interventions. Further, this course is essential knowledge for future courses discussing injury prevention and physical rehabilitation (e.g. loss of extensibility (tight lats), latissimus dorsi muscle strain, thoracodorsal nerve injury, recovery from latissimus dorsi flap orthopedic surgery, shoulder impingement, etc.), the synergistic function of the latissimus dorsi (e.g. extension and lateral flexion of the lumbar vertebra in synergy with the erector spinae), and latissimus dorsi exercises and techniques for enhancing sports performance (e.g. shoulder stability, strength, power, upper arm and back hypertrophy, etc.).

Brookbush Institute’s most recommended techniques for the Latissimus Dorsi (see videos below):

Dissection of the latissimus dorsi muscle
Caption: Dissection of the latissimus dorsi muscle

Introduction to the Latissimus Dorsi

3 sub-categories

Latissimus Dorsi Actions

1 sub-category

Fascial Integration

1 sub-category

Postural Dysfunction and the Latissimus Dorsi

Exercises and Techniques for the Latissimus Dorsi

5 sub-categories

Latissimus Dorsi Strengthening Progressions

7 sub-categories


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1. Introduction

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