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External oblique

Other Terms: External abdominal oblique muscle, Musculus obliquus externus abdominis, Obliquus externus abdominis muscle, Muscle oblique externe de l'abdomen

Muscle parts

Outer layer; Inner layer

Latin name

Musculus obliquus externus abdominis

Latin muscle parts

Laminae externus; Laminae internus


Abdominal wall – lateral musculature – external layer


This muscle’s name in English is the outer slanting muscle of the belly. The Latin term obliquus means slanting or sideways and describes its orientation. The Latin term externus means “outward.” The word abdomen is of uncertain etymology. Two possible origins of this word are from the Latin abdere meaning “to stow away,” which the abdomen does to the digestive organs. The other possibility is that it comes from adipem meaning “fat.”


External surfaces and inferior borders of lower 8 ribs


Linea alba


Help compresses the abdominal cavity; compress and depress the lower thoracic cavity to aid in expiration; rotates trunk to opposite side; weakly assists in flexion

Nerve supply

Intercostal nerves 7 through 11 and subcostal nerve (T12)

Blood supply

Numerous arteries supply and anastomose within this extensive muscle sheet including the superior and inferior epigastric arteries, posterior intercostal arteries from the three lowest intercostal spaces, the subcostal artery, the musculophrenic artery, superficial epigastric artery, superficial circumflex iliac artery, ascending branch of the deep circumflex iliac artery, lumbar arteries.


Musculus obliquus externus abdominis


Obliquus externus abdominis muscle


Muscle oblique externe de l'abdomen


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