Home » Anatomy » Upper Extremity Muscles » Shoulder Muscles » Rotator Cuff Muscles » Teres Minor – Functional Anatomy

Teres Minor – Functional Anatomy


teres minor with surrounding muscles

Teres minor is a simple muscle in a complicated area of structural anatomy. Its a flat muscle that lies up under the inferior belly of infraspinatus and posterior deltoid. It is the border of rotator cuff muscle. Consequently, teres covers the long head of the triceps, which attaches to the infraglenoid tubercle and separates it from teres major.

It is easy to think of it as a 4th head of infraspinatus. It originates from the lateral border of the scapula It is covered by the inferior head of infraspinatus. Also, it attaches to the complex fascial structure that covers the infraspinatus muscle.

Teres Minor inserts on the posterior greater tubercle of the humerus. Tjhe inferior belly of infraspinatus inserts with teres minor to the fascia of the posterior joint capsule. This tendon attachment of the inferior infraspinatus is notably inferior and medial to the insertion of the other infraspinatus bellies.

It appears to act synergistically with the infraspinatus, even though it has a different nerve supply. Primarily, it secures the humeral head while externally rotating the humerus. Other actions, like abduction of the humerus and extension of the shoulder seem possible based on its location. However, electromyographical studies don’t support those possibilities.

Wikipedia entry for teres minor.

teres minor


Origin – lateral border of the scapula

Insertion – greater tubercle of the humerus and posterior surface of the joint capsule

Function – lateral rotation of the humerus

Support Integrative Works to
stay independent
and produce great content.

You can subscribe to our community on Patreon. You will get links to free content and access to exclusive content not seen on this site. In addition, we will be posting anatomy illustrations, treatment notes, and sections from our manuals not found on this site. Thank you so much for being so supportive.

Featured Post

Does Your Shoulder Hurt From the Covid-19 Vaccine?

This post offers quick, lasting relief from the pain in your shoulder that came from the vaccine. You will need an ice cube and about 2 minutes.

Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

Question? Comment? Typo?
(404) 226-1363
[email protected]

*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistencies in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.