Rectus Abdominis

Written by Aren Mnatzakanian

Last updated April 8, 2024 • 5 Revisions •

The rectus abdominis is a muscle of the anterior abdominal wall.

It is a long, paired vertical muscle found on either side of the midline of the anterior abdominal wall. It is split into two by the linea alba.

  • Attachments: Originates from the crest of the pubis bone. It inserts onto the xiphoid process of the sternum and the costal cartilage of ribs 5-7.
  • Actions: As well as assisting the flat muscles in compressing the abdominal viscera, the rectus abdominis also stabilises the pelvis during walking, and depresses the ribs.
  • Innervation: Thoracoabdominal nerves (T7-T11).
  • Blood supply: Inferior epigastric and superior epigastric arteries; contributions from posterior intercostal, subcostal and deep circumflex arteries.

Fig 1
The muscles of the anterolateral abdominal wall. Note how the flat muscles form aponeuroses medially.

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