The spinalis

(M. spinalis)


The M. spinalis is a skeletal muscle situated on the spine. It is divided into a M. spinalis thoracis (chest part), cervicis (neck part), and capitis (head part). Most people do not have the M. spinalis capitis or it is united with the M. semispinalis capitis. Both parts (thoracis and cervicis) of the M. spinalis connect the processus spinosus of neck, chest, and lumbar column with each other.

The spinalis is often combined with other „straighten up parts of the spine“ to become the M. erector spinae. Muscles run noticeably in two longitudinal torus on the side of the spine and are often strongest in zone of lumbar column. They stabilize human spine and erect it. A dorsal extension, stretching of spine, erecting in cervical and thoracic are produced for contraction on both sides. A one-sided contraction results in a lateral flexion. The counter motion, flexion forwards, is done by abdominal muscles, building antagonist for complete group of m. erector spinae.

The M. spinalis belongs to muscles of inter spinal system. The run of this muscle group is characteristic, they go from one processus spinosus to another situated towards the head. When they skip a segment, they are called musculi interspinales, when they skip more than one segment, they are called musculi spinales.



M. spinalis

I. M. spinalis cervicis



Processus spinosus of 2nd thoracic up to 6th cervical vertebra

Base: Processus spinosus of 4th to 2nd cervical vertebra

Erect and stabilize the spine

II. M. spinalis thoracis



Processus spinosus of third lumbar up to 10th thoracic vertebra

Base: Processus spinosus of 8th to 2nd thoracic vertebra

Erect and stabilize the spine




Exercise examples



Arm lifting in abdominal position



Course of motion:

  • Place in abdominal position on exercise mat
  • Stretch arms forwards
  • Place feet on toes
  • Look towards the floor
  • Grasp Kettlebell with both hands
  • Tense back muscles and slowly lift the weight from the floor
  • Then lower in controlled way without touching the floor
  • Hold tension in back


  • Exhale while lifting the Kettlebell
  • Inhale while lowering

Advices of proof:

  • Avoid jerky motions
  • Adapt exercise weight to fitness level
  • Controlled course of motion
  • Look towards the floor (avoid overflexion of neck)


  • Do exercise without weight
  • Hold tensed a Thera-Band between your hands
  • Use a dumbbell instead of a Kettlebell


Lateral flexion in standing position

 Seitliche Beuge


Course of motion:

  • Stand on the side of a lower cable pull
  • Grasp handle in upright position to the hand
  • Traction cable should be tensed and already produce some resistance
  • Bend torso in counter direction to the multi-gym
  • Keep arms stretched on the body during flexion motion
  • Range of motion is finished once free hand is on height of knee
  • Keep state of tension of abdominal muscles during whole exercise


  • Exhale while bending your torso
  • Inhale while returning your torso

Advices of proof:

  • Avoid distance of motion too short or too long
  • Avoid quick, jerky course of motion
  • Avoid false adjustment of spine
  • Avoid taking a swing
  • Avoid exercise weight too low or too high


  • With barbell bar placed on the neck
  • With dumbbell in neutral grip (hand without dumbbell remains in the air or on the waist)
  • In lying position


Advice: Exercising back muscles should always be completed by exercising abdominal muscles to ensure an even stabilization of the spine. In addition to strengthening, stretching and mobilising exercises are useful for a good posture.

Use versatile training equipment for exercising the M. spinalis and whole m. erector spinae to create a varied and effective back workout:




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