Latin: latissimus dorsi
German: wide back muscle
English: latissimus dorsi muscle

Synergists: Pectoralis major muscle, Pectoralis minor muscle
Antagonists: deltoid muscle, trapezius muscle


The broad dorsal muscle (latissimus dorsi muscle) lies just below the skin surface of the back and makes up the largest muscle in our body. It consists of a flat, 5mm thick muscle plate, which changes in its course to the upper arm leg to a 3 cm thick muscle strand.

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Approach: small bumps of the humerus ( crista tuberculi minoris humeri )


  • Vertebral part ( pars vertebralis ): spinous processes of the 7-12 thoracic vertebrae, as well as lumbar and sacral vertebrae
  • Rib part ( pars costalis ): 10 - 12 rib
  • Pelvic part ( pars iliaca ): iliac crest ( crista iliaca )
  • Shoulder blade part ( pars scapularis ): lower part of the scapula ( anglic inferior scapulae )

Innervation: N. thoracodorsalis, C 6 - 8

Illustration of the broad back muscle (latissimus dorsi muscle)

Illustration of the broad dorsal muscle (latissimus dorsi muscle): Chest seen from the back (A) and side (B).

Broad back muscle
(Latissimus dorsi muscle)

  1. Wide back muscle -
    (1.a + 1.b + 1.c + 1.d)
    Latissimus dorsi muscle
    1a. Scapula share -
    Pars scapularis
    1.b rib portion -
    Pars costalis
    1.c spinal portion -
    Pars vertebralis
    1.d iliac component -
    Pars iliaca
  2. Sacrum - Os sacrum
  3. Iliac scoop -
    Ala ossis ilii
  4. Iliac crest -
    Crista iliaca
  5. Upper arm shaft -
    Corpus humeri
  6. Scapula - Scapula
  7. Big hump -
    Tuberculum majus
  8. 10.Rippe - Costa X
  9. 12.Rippe - Costa XII
  10. Lumbar vertebrae -
    Vertebrae lumbar

How is the muscle trained / contracted?

The muscle is contracted when the raised arms are pulled up. The best exercise for training the broad back muscle in weight training is therefore the

  • Lat pulldown

For detailed information on this topic, visit our topic Back Muscle Training


The latissimus pulls it down with his arm raised (latissimus pull). This adduction, retroverion and internal rotation take place during the recovery movements of litter and shock disciplines of athletics. In supported arms, the latissimus (M. latissimus dorsi) acts as a holder of the trunk.

The greatest strength unfolds the broad dorsal muscle (latissimus dorsi muscle) similar to the large pectoral muscle after a pre-stretching. This can be seen very well by the example of the stroke of a blow with the hatchet.

Strengthening and stretching

The athlete kneels and supports himself with one hand on the side. The other hand is held over the body in a similar way to the oblique abdominal muscles' stretching exercise. The body is tilted sideways, turning the upper body slightly inward.

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