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Shoulder Anatomy: Rhomboid Major & Minor

Jul 20, 2020


MUSCLE OF THE DAY: “Rhomboids”
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The rhomboids (Major & Minor) are deep to the trapezius, and as the word rhomboid suggests (meaning unequal parallelogram from geometry), the rhomboid major is superior & larger, whereas the minor is inferior and diamond shaped. The minor in its name indicates that it is the smaller of the two rhomboids.

Major – Origin: Spinous processes of the second to fifth thoracic vertebrae (T2-T5) Minor – Origin: Nuchal ligament and spinous processes of the seventh cervical (C7) and first thoracic (T1) vertebrae.

Major – Insertion: Medial border of scapula, between the inferior angle and root of the spine of the scapula.

Minor – Insertion: Medial end of the spine of the scapula; the dorsal (backside) layer attaches dorsolateral and inferior to levator scapulae while the ventral (underside) layer inserts inferomedially to levator scapulae. (Note: At the insertion point of the ventral layer, the fasciae of rhomboid minor and serratus anterior muscles connect.)

Major – Actions: Scapula retraction around the scapulothoracic joint, rotates glenoid cavity inferiorly and supports position of the scapula (posture).

Minor – Actions: Scapula retraction around the scapulothoracic joint, rotates glenoid cavity inferiorly and supports position of the scapula (posture).

Common Injuries to the Rhomboids:

“Are you dealing with a nagging discomfort in between your shoulder blade and your spine? No matter how many stretches you do, or how much time you spend foam rolling it, does it persist? Pain in this area often gets labeled as a rhomboid issue because it is a relatively superficial muscle that you can appreciate from any anatomy chart. However, how to fix rhomboid pain sometimes may have little to do with the rhomboids. In this article, you will learn the ultimate secret of how to fix rhomboid pain by looking at a very specific movement!” – Prehab Guys

Here's a related Study/Journal Article:


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