Rotatores Longi

General information

Rotatores muscles are a group of short muscles found on the lateral aspect of the vertebral column. The rotatores are part of the transversospinal muscles, along with the semispinalis and multifidus. The rotatores are divided into rotatores colli/cervicis, rotatores thoracis and rotatores lumborum. Out of these, the rotatores thoracis is the most well developed and can be further split into the long rotatores (rotatores longi) and short rotatores (rotatores brevis).

Literal meaning

Long rotators.

Interesting information

Due to their location the rotatores have multiple actions, including spinal stabilisers and back extensors and rotators.


Rotatores breves: Transverse processes of vertebrae T2-T12.

Rotatores longi: Transverse processes of thoracic vertebrae.


Rotatores breves: Laminae/Spinous process of vertebra (1 level above origin).

Rotatores longi: Laminae/Spinous process of vertebra (2 levels above origin).


Bilateral contraction: Extension of thoracic spine.

Unilateral contraction: Rotation of thoracic spine (contralateral).

Nerve supply

Medial branches of posterior rami of spinal nerves.

Blood supply

Dorsal branches of posterior intercostal and lumbar arteries.

Rotatores Longi

Relevant research


Rotatores longi exercises

Neck extension

Neck extension

Sitting down, slowly tilt your head backwards. Stop extending when some compression is felt at the back of the neck. Stop the exercise immediately, and slowly bring your head back to neutral if you get any sudden dizziness or blurred vision


Back extension

Back extension

Lie on your front, resting on the forearms. Place your arms at a 90-degree angle, as shown and hold.


Create exercise plans for your patients

Easiest to use exercise prescription software! Start your free trial today!