Latissimus Dorsi Origin and Insertion - Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology Muscles

Latissimus Dorsi Origin and Insertion

Latissimus Dorsi Origin and Insertion is a sure-fire muscle that will come up in your level 3 anatomy & physiology exam.

[There are 50 muscles you MUST now ready for your Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology exam – today we will dive deep into understanding everything about the Latissimus Dorsi. Plus SCROLL to the very bottom of this blog and you have mock questions below all about this muscle. These mock questions help you practice the type and pattern of muscle questions that might come up in your final level 3 anatomy & physiology exam.]

You must be able to locate the Latissimus Dorsi muscle on the body, be confident in the Latissimus Dorsi Origin and Insertion plus know the joints it crosses and the movement associated with it!

It sounds like a lot to remember however this blog breaks it down super simple.

Where is the Latissimus Dorsi located?

You can see in the image below the Latissimus Dorsi is the large muscle in your back.  The Latissimus Dorsi spans the entire back and is global muscle. A global muscle ultimately means it moves the skeleton!

The opposite of global muscles is local muscles.  These are located much deeper than the global muscles in the body and have a stabilising effect. For example, the transverse abdominus is a local muscle that stabilisers the core.

To fully activate the Latissimus Dorsi you must get your client to retract their scapula [the shoulder blade]. This pulling your shoulder blades (the scapulae) in towards each other/towards the spine – WITHOUT shrugging up toward your ears allows the Latissimus Dorsi to get a full range of movement.

Latissimus Dorsi Origin and Insertion - L3 Anatomy and Physiology Exam Revision

Latissimus Dorsi Origin and Insertion:

You can see in the image below the Latissimus Dorsi Origin and Insertion. The origin spans a large portion of the spine, from lumber 5 [L5 to Thoracic 7 [T7].  All muscles attach to a bone via a tendon, the tendon of the Latissimus Dorsi is also known as the thoracolumbar aponeurosis. This is a sheet of pearly white fibrous tissue that takes the place of a tendon in flat muscles having a wide area of attachment. This fibrous aponeurosis provides the perfect attachment for the wide area of the  Latissimus Dorsi. This wide attachment is needed as the Latissimus Dorsi is a large global muscle that can bear a lot of loading.

The Latissimus Dorsi insertion is on the bicipital groove close to the proximal [top section] of the humerus. You can see the insertion is far small compared to the wide span of the origin.  In your final level 3 anatomy & physiology exam the insertion will often be referred to the upper humerus.

50 Muscle Memory Flashcards

The Latissimus Dorsi crosses the shoulder joint and brings about 3 actions of the shoulder joint:

  1. Adduction of the shoulder
  2. Extension of the shoulder
  3. Internal rotation of the shoulder

Latissimus Dorsi Origin and Insertion - L3 Anatomy and Physiology Exam

Check out this short video shows you how to teach a client into the correct technique to get the most out of the Latissimus Dorsi.

As I mentioned above there are 50 muscles you MUST know ready for your level 3 Anatomy and Physiology exam. As a quick recap you must know:

  • Location of each muscle
  • The origin and insertion of each muscle
  • The joint each muscle crosses
  • The action that is bought about by each muscle
  • A selection of exercises that work each muscle

Now that’s a fair bit to remember and the course manual provided can be tricky and hard to retain all the knowledge. That’s why we have created the Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology Revision Mastery Bootcamp.

Here you get 8x full HD video tutorials, so it’s kinda like being in the classroom with us.  Better than that, you can press PLAY, PAUSE, REWIND, AND FAST_FORWARDS to ensure you truly get understand each golden nugget of knowledge.

Alongside each video tutorial is a cheat – these guide you towards exactly what you must know ready for your exam, unlike the course manual.

Further still, all the video tutorials can be downloaded to MP3 and MP4, meaning you can learn ANYWHERE, ANYTIME even without WiFi.

You also get a ton of BONUSES that helps break down learning and gives you the EXACT exam day strategy that has helped over 6500 other learners pass first time. Click the link below to learn more and I’ll see you on the Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology Revision Mastery Bootcamp.

Dedicated to your learning


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Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology Exam Revision Course

Level 3 Anatomy & Physiology Mock Questions

1. Which Joint does the Latissimus Dorsi Cross?
A. The Hip
B. The Shoulder
C. The Elbow
D. The Cervical Spine

2. What is the Insertion of the Latissimus Dorsi?
A. Base of the Skull
B. The Thoracolumbar Aponeurosis
C. The Upper Humerus
D. The Iliac Crest

3. When the Latissimus Dorsi Contracts Concentrically which movement occurs at the Shoulder Joint?
A. Adduction
B. Abduction
C. Flexion
D. External Rotation


  1. B
  2. C
  3. A
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