Have you ever wondered what the names of the muscle of the back are and their responsibilities? Every man should be familiar with his back muscles and their jobs as it is the first step to developing them and preventing back injuries. Be sure to study the list below for the anatomy of the muscles of your back.
The Latissimus Dorci (Lats) muscles are the largest muscles in your back. The Lats are large fan-shaped muscle that cover the lower 2/3 of your back on both sides. These back muscles are responsible for providing force in a wide variety of positions, such as back and straight vertical leans as well every position in between. You also use your Lats to push and pull your arms (away and towards) your pelvis (like when you do chin-ups). Your Lats are attached to the upper end of your humerus by fibers that run down in the shape of a fan to your vertebral column and pelvic girdle.
The Trapezius (Traps) muscles are long and trapezoid-shaped. Your Traps originate at the base of your skull; they run down the upper section of your spinal cord and are attached to the middle to your lower back. The angle of the fibers of your Traps provide pulling in three different directions: up, down and in towards the center of your body. Your traps are what brings your shoulder blades together when you shrug them.
The Spinal Erectors (erector spinae) are a group of muscles that support your spinal column. This muscle group consists of the Longissimus, the Spinalis and Iliocostalis; they extend from your spine to your ribs and pelvis. These back muscles work together to help you bend over and stretch upwards.
The Teres Major muscles are the smallest ones of your back. These muscle originate on the outer edge, or the scapula, and are attached to the humerus; they can look like wings when they are well developed. The Teres Major muscle works with your rotator cuff to stabilize your shoulder joint; they also work with your Lats to bring your arms forward and backwards.
Your Rhomboid muscles (major and minor) originate at your spinal column and are attached to your scapula. You use your Rhomboids to move your scapula towards your spinal column (like when you squeeze your shoulders together).