The largest and most superficial of the three pairs of muscles that form the lateral abdominal wall. The external obliques have their origin on the outer surface of the lower ribs and most fibres insert via a broad aponeurosis onto the linea alba with their fibres inserting onto the pubic tubercle or the iliac crest. When the pair of external obliques contract simultaneously they cause flexion of the spinal column, compress the abdominal wall, and increase abdominal pressure. When acting individually on one side of the body, they contribute to spinal rotation and lateral flexion.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.