Abdominus Transversalis

Diagram of posterior muscles.

The abdominus transversalis, also known as the transversus abdominis, is a deep muscle located across the abdomen. It is the deepest (innermost) abdominal muscle and is situated underneath the rectus abdominus.

Origin, Insertion and Actions of the Abdominus transversalis muscle:

Points of Origin:
  • Anterior two thirds of the iliac crest (of the ilium bone)
  • Lateral part of the inguinal ligament
  • Costal cartilages of the lowest 6 ribs (7-12)
  • Thoracolumbar fascia, which is a sheet of connective tissue
Points of Insertion:
  • Xiphoid process, also known as the 'xiphoid cartilage' and located at the lowest part of the sternum ('breastbone')
  • Linea alba via abdominal aponeurosis.
    The linea alba is the region of white fibrous connective tissue that lies along the (vertical) midline of the abdomen, dividing the left and right rectus abdominus muscle. It forms part of the definition of a muscular 'six pack'.
  • Pubic symphysis, the cartilaginous joint that joins the superior rami of the left and right pubic bones
  • Compresses the abdomen, which helps to support the abdominal viscera
The functions of this muscle include helping with the exhalation part of breathing, stabilizing the pelivis and lower-back to help smooth movement, and (in combination with other abdominal muscles) making some contribution to a 'flat tummy' bodyshape.

More about the name of the abdominus transversalis muscle: In the context of anatomy, the word 'transverse' (and its derivatives) refers to structures positioned at right-angles, i.e. perpendicular, to the long axis of either the whole body, or a specific organ. It is usually obvious from the context whether the structure e.g. in this case the abdominus transversalis muscle, is named relative to the whole body, or to a specific organ. The abdominus transversalis muscle is so called due to its position relative to the whole body. Its fibres lie approximately perpendicular to the main (long) axis, or 'midline' of the body.

The approximate location of the abdominus transversalis muscle is shown on the diagram of human anterior muscles.

More about Muscles:

The following are some popular pages in the section about the human muscular system:

There are also more pages about the words used to describe muscles (terminology), the anatomy and physiology of muscles, muscular disorders and associated topics. See also books about sports medicine.

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