The latissimus dorsi forms two-thirds of the superficial back muscles, originating from the posterior iliac crest, sacrum and thoraco-lumbar fascia, rotating 180° before inserting on the inside of the proximal humerus. This "twist" increases the torque generated by contraction of the latissimus dorsi. This muscle draws the arm down and toward the body from the overhead position, internally rotating the humerus. When the humerus is fixed (as in certain twists or upward dog), contraction of the latissimus draws the chest forward and opens it. Tightness limits overhead postures such as virabhadrasana I, urdhvadhanurasana, and adhomukhasvanasana.
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