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Rectus abdominis



Rectus abdominis - anterior
Rectus abdominis - anterior unilateral
Rectus abdominis - anterolateral

General information

  • This section is strictly limited to anatomy, you might be looking for clinical relevant information which is found under the clinical chapters -- muscles section, click here to go to that page


  • Superficial


  • Symphysis pubis
  • Crista pubis


  • Costal cartilage of 5-7th ribs
  • Processus xiphoideus

Main function

  • Trunk
    • Flexion
  • Pelvis
    • Posterior tilt

Secondary function

  • Trunk
    • Lateral flexion
  • Abdomen
    • Compression

Nerve innervation

  • Segmental
    • Th5-Th12

Arterial supply

  • Upper epigastric artery
  • Lower epigastric artery


  • Patient position
    • Supine
  • Place pillows beneath the patient's legs so that the hips are passively flexed
  • Place your hand between the processus xiphoideus and pubis
  • Ask the patient to lift/flex the upper body while you feel for contraction

Strength test

  • Patient position
    • Supine
  • Ask the patient to hold the arms along the side of the body
  • Place pillows beneath the patient's knees
  • Ask the patient to move the pelvis posteriorly (posterior tilt) while the head is lifted off the bench/pillow