Quadratus Lumborum Anatomy
A Lower Back Muscle in the Posterior Abdominal Wall

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The Quadratus Lumborum is often referred to as the QL. It is actually a lower back muscle that is located in the posterior abdominal wall.

Here's a little more about its anatomy.

The QL originates (starts) on the medial half of the inferior border of the 12th rib and tips of the lumbar transverse processes, and it inserts (ends) on the iliolumbar ligament and the internal lip of the iliac crest.

The QL gets its nerve supply from the ventral branches of T12 and L1 to L4. In regards to actions, the QL extends the lower back, laterally flexes (side bends) the lumbar spine, and stabilizes the 12th rib during inspiration.

Since the QL is located on the sides and towards the back, it will work with the abdominals to move the spine when you do exercises like side bends and side planks, and it will also work with the lower back muscles to move the spine when you do lower back exercises.

In addition to moving the spine, the QL will also help to stabilize the pelvis; therefore, it plays a role in core stability.

You don't have to worry about trying to isolate and only strengthen the QL because it will work with the other core muscles. Just use a variety of exercises to make sure your body is well rounded.

Here are pictures of all the ab exercises on this site, and here are pictures of all the lower back exercises on this site.

Have fun with your workouts and work hard.

Yours in Health
Dr. Charles PT/PT

Return to Abdominal Muscle Anatomy from The Quadratus Lumborum Anatomy

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