Part of the TeachMe Series

Rectus Abdominis

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Original Author(s): Aren Mnatzakanian
Last updated: January 2, 2023
Revisions: 4

Original Author(s): Aren Mnatzakanian
Last updated: January 2, 2023
Revisions: 4

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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.