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Shoulder Anatomy: Teres Major

Jul 20, 2020


MUSCLE OF THE DAY: “Teres Major”

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The teres major is one of the seven scapulohumeral muscles along with the coracobrachialis, deltoid, and SITS muscle. The teres major muscle (from Latin teres, meaning “rounded”) is positioned above the latissimus dorsi. This muscle is commonly confused as a rotator cuff muscle, but is not because it does not attach to the capsule of the glenohumeral joint, unlike it's little brother, the teres minor.

The Teres Major is the LAT's Little helper, as it does the same actions. Remember the acronym DIE HARD? Learn all this and more when you SHOW UP at our Personal Training Internship. NOW ONLINE via

Origin (proximal attachment): Posterior surface of the inferior angle of the scapula.

Insertion (distal attachment): Medial lip of the intertubercular (bicipital) groove of the humerus.

Actions: As a unit with the latissimus dorsi, the teres major acts in synergy to extend, adduct and internally rotate the shoulder.

Common Injuries:

With some help from our partners The Prehab Guys, let's take a closer look at some common injuries to the Teres Major.

Isolated teres major injuries are rare. They are almost exclusively encountered in professional and high-level recreational athletes- baseball pitchers, tennis and hockey athletes. These injuries can be debilitating, requiring lengthy rehabilitation periods and missed seasons of athletics. No clear indications for surgical treatment exist. Outcomes have been generally good after both nonoperative and operative treatment.


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