Define the different species of body movementsIdentify the joints that enable for these motions

Synovial joints allow the human body a tremendous range of movements. Each motion at a synovial joint outcomes from the contraction or be sure of the muscles that are attached to the skeletal on either side of the articulation. The kind of activity that can be developed at a synovial share is figured out by its structure type. When the ball-and-socket joint gives the greatest variety of motion at an individual joint, in other regions the the body, number of joints might work together to produce a particular movement. Overall, each form of synovial joint is important to provide the body v its good flexibility and mobility. There room many species of activity that can take place at synovial joints ((Figure)). Movement varieties are normally paired, v one being the the contrary of the other. Body activities are always described in relationship to the anatomical position of the body: upright stance, with upper four to the next of body and also palms dealing with forward. Describe (Figure) together you go through this section.

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Watch this video to learn around anatomical motions. What movements involve raising or diminish the edge of the foot in ~ the ankle?

Synovial joints offer the body plenty of ways in which to move. (a)–(b) Flexion and extension movements are in the sagittal (anterior–posterior) plane of motion. These motions take place at the shoulder, hip, elbow, knee, wrist, metacarpophalangeal, metatarsophalangeal, and interphalangeal joints. (c)–(d) Anterior bending of the head or vertebral pillar is flexion, while any posterior-going activity is extension. (e) Abduction and adduction are movements of the limbs, hand, fingers, or toes in the coronal (medial–lateral) plane of movement. Relocating the body or hand laterally away from the body, or dispersing the finger or toes, is abduction. Adduction bring the limb or hand towards or throughout the midline the the body, or brings the fingers or toe together. Circumduction is the movement of the limb, hand, or finger in a one pattern, using the sequential mix of flexion, adduction, extension, and also abduction motions. Adduction/abduction and also circumduction take ar at the shoulder, hip, wrist, metacarpophalangeal, and metatarsophalangeal joints. (f) turning of the head next to next or twisting the the human body is rotation. Medial and also lateral rotation of the upper limb in ~ the shoulder or reduced limb at the i know well involves turning the anterior surface ar of the limb toward the midline of the body (medial or internal rotation) or far from the midline (lateral or outside rotation).


(g) Supination of the forearm transforms the hand come the palm forward place in i m sorry the radius and ulna are parallel, while forearm pronation turns the hand come the palm backward place in which the radius the cross over the ulna to type an “X.” (h) Dorsiflexion of the foot at the fishing eye joint moves the peak of the foot toward the leg, when plantar flexion lifts the heel and points the toes. (i) Eversion the the foot moves the bottom (sole) that the foot far from the midline of the body, when foot inversion encounters the sole toward the midline. (j) Protraction that the mandible pushes the chin forward, and also retraction traction the chin back. (k) Depression of the mandible opens up the mouth, if elevation close the door it. (l) the contrary of the thumb brings the tip of the thumb into contact with the pointer of the finger of the very same hand and also reposition brings the thumb back next come the table of contents finger.

Flexion and Extension

Flexion and extension are movements that take place within the sagittal airplane and indicate anterior or posterior movements of the human body or limbs. For the vertebral column, flexion (anterior flexion) is an anterior (forward) bending of the neck or body, if extension entails a posterior-directed motion, such together straightening from a flexed position or bending backward. Lateral flexion is the bending the the neck or body toward the best or left side. These movements of the vertebral pillar involve both the symphysis joint created by every intervertebral disc, and also the plane type of synovial share formed between the worse articular processes of one vertebra and the remarkable articular processes of the next lower vertebra.

In the limbs, flexion to reduce the angle between the skeleton (bending that the joint), while expansion increases the angle and straightens the joint. Because that the upper limb, every anterior-going movements are flexion and also all posterior-going activities are extension. These incorporate anterior-posterior motions of the arm at the shoulder, the forearm at the elbow, the hand in ~ the wrist, and also the finger at the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints. Because that the thumb, extension moves the ignorance away native the palm the the hand, within the same airplane as the palm, when flexion bring the thumb back versus the index finger or right into the palm. These activities take place at the very first carpometacarpal joint. In the reduced limb, bringing the thigh forward and upward is flexion at the hip joint, while any kind of posterior-going movement of the thigh is extension. Note that expansion of the thigh beyond the anatomical (standing) position is greatly minimal by the ligaments that support the i know good joint. Knee flexion is the bending of the knee to bring the foot towards the posterior thigh, and also extension is the straightening the the knee. Flexion and extension movements are seen at the hinge, condyloid, saddle, and also ball-and-socket joints the the limbs (see (Figure)a-d).

Hyperextension is the abnormal or too much extension that a joint past its normal variety of motion, hence resulting in injury. Similarly, hyperflexion is excessive flexion at a joint. Hyperextension injuries are usual at hinge joints such together the knee or elbow. In cases of “whiplash” in i beg your pardon the head is suddenly relocated backward and then forward, a patient may experience both hyperextension and also hyperflexion of the cervical region.

Abduction and also Adduction

Abduction and adduction motions occur within the coronal plane and show off medial-lateral movements of the limbs, fingers, toes, or thumb. Abduction move the limb laterally away from the midline the the body, while adduction is the opposing motion that brings the limb towards the human body or across the midline. For example, abduction is increasing the eight at the shoulder joint, moving it laterally far from the body, when adduction brings the arm down to the next of the body. Similarly, abduction and also adduction at the wrist moves the hand away from or toward the midline that the body. Spreading the fingers or toes personal is likewise abduction, if bringing the fingers or toes together is adduction. For the thumb, kidnapping is the anterior motion that brings the thumb to a 90° perpendicular position, pointing straight out indigenous the palm. Adduction moves the thumb ago to the anatomical position, next to the table of contents finger. Abduction and adduction motions are seen at condyloid, saddle, and ball-and-socket joints (see (Figure)e).


Circumduction is the movement of a body region in a one manner, in i m sorry one finish of the body region being relocated stays reasonably stationary when the various other end describes a circle. It involves the sequential mix of flexion, adduction, extension, and abduction in ~ a joint. This form of motion is discovered at biaxial condyloid and also saddle joints, and at multiaxial ball-and-sockets joints (see (Figure)e).


Rotation can happen within the vertebral column, in ~ a pivot joint, or at a ball-and-socket joint. Rotation the the neck or body is the twisting movement produced by the summation of the tiny rotational movements easily accessible between nearby vertebrae. In ~ a pivot joint, one bone rotates in relationship to one more bone. This is a uniaxial joint, and also thus rotation is the just motion enabled at a pivot joint. For example, at the atlantoaxial joint, the an initial cervical (C1) vertebra (atlas) rotates approximately the dens, the upward forecast from the second cervical (C2) vertebra (axis). This enables the head to rotate from next to side as when shaking the head “no.” The proximal radioulnar joint is a pivot joint created by the head of the radius and also its articulation v the ulna. This joint allows for the radius to turn along the length throughout pronation and supination movements of the forearm.

Rotation can likewise occur in ~ the ball-and-socket joints the the shoulder and hip. Here, the humerus and femur rotate approximately their lengthy axis, which moves the anterior surface ar of the arm or thigh either toward or away from the midline that the body. Activity that brings the anterior surface of the limb toward the midline the the human body is called medial (internal) rotation. Conversely, rotation that the limb so the the anterior surface moves away from the midline is lateral (external) rotation (see (Figure)f). Be sure to differentiate medial and also lateral rotation, which have the right to only occur at the multiaxial shoulder and hip joints, from circumduction, which can occur at one of two people biaxial or multiaxial joints.

Supination and Pronation

Supination and also pronation are movements of the forearm. In the anatomical position, the upper limb is held next to the body v the palm facing forward. This is the supinated position of the forearm. In this position, the radius and ulna space parallel to every other. As soon as the palm the the hand deals with backward, the forearm is in the pronated position, and the radius and also ulna kind an X-shape.

Supination and pronation room the activities of the forearm the go between these two positions. Pronation is the activity that move the forearm from the supinated (anatomical) position to the pronated (palm backward) position. This movement is produced by rotation of the radius in ~ the proximal radioulnar joint, accompanied by motion of the radius in ~ the distal radioulnar joint. The proximal radioulnar share is a pivot joint that allows for rotation of the head of the radius. Due to the fact that of the slight curvature of the column of the radius, this rotation causes the distal end of the radius come cross over the distal ulna at the distal radioulnar joint. This crossing over brings the radius and ulna into an X-shape position. Supination is opposing motion, in i m sorry rotation that the radius return the skeletal to their parallel positions and moves the palm to the anterior facing (supinated) position. It help to remember that supination is the movement you use when scooping increase soup v a spoon (see (Figure)g).

Dorsiflexion and Plantar Flexion

Dorsiflexion and also plantar flexion are motions at the ankle joint, which is a hinge joint. Lifting the prior of the foot, so the the height of the foot moves toward the anterior foot is dorsiflexion, while lifting the heel of the foot indigenous the ground or pointing the toes bottom is plantar flexion. These space the just movements easily accessible at the ankle joint (see (Figure)h).

Inversion and Eversion

Inversion and also eversion are complicated movements that involve the multiple aircraft joints among the tarsal skeletal of the posterior foot (intertarsal joints) and thus are not movements that take location at the fish eye joint. Inversion is the transforming of the foot to angle the bottom that the foot toward the midline, if eversion transforms the bottom the the foot far from the midline. The foot has a greater range of inversion 보다 eversion motion. These are essential motions that assist to stabilize the foot as soon as walking or to run on one uneven surface and assist in the quick side-to-side alters in direction offered during active sports such as basketball, racquetball, or soccer (see (Figure)i).

Protraction and also Retraction

Protraction and also retraction are anterior-posterior movements of the scapula or mandible. Protraction of the scapula occurs as soon as the shoulder is relocated forward, as as soon as pushing against something or cram a ball. Retraction is the opposite motion, with the scapula being pulled posteriorly and medially, toward the vertebral column. Because that the mandible, protraction occurs as soon as the lower jaw is thrust forward, to stick out the chin, if retraction traction the lower jaw backward. (See (Figure)j.)

Depression and Elevation

Depression and also elevation space downward and upward motions of the scapula or mandible. The upward activity of the scapula and also shoulder is elevation, while a downward activity is depression. These motions are used to shrug your shoulders. Similarly, elevation of the mandible is the upward activity of the lower jaw used to close the mouth or bite top top something, and also depression is the downward motion that produces opened of the mouth (see (Figure)k).


Excursion is the side to side activity of the mandible. Lateral excursion move the mandible away from the midline, toward either the ideal or left side. Medial excursion returns the mandible to its resting position at the midline.

Superior Rotation and Inferior Rotation

Superior and also inferior rotation are movements of the scapula and are identified by the direction of activity of the glenoid cavity. These motions involve rotation of the scapula about a allude inferior come the scapular spine and are produced by combine of muscles exhilaration on the scapula. During superior rotation, the glenoid cavity move upward as the medial finish of the scapular spine move downward. This is a an extremely important movement that contributes to top limb abduction. Without superior rotation that the scapula, the higher tubercle that the humerus would hit the acromion the the scapula, thus preventing any abduction of the arm over shoulder height. Premium rotation that the scapula is thus compelled for complete abduction of the upper limb. Superior rotation is also used without eight abduction as soon as carrying a hefty load through your hand or on her shoulder. You can feel this rotation when you pick up a load, such together a heavy publication bag and carry the on only one shoulder. To boost its weight-bearing support for the bag, the shoulder lifts as the scapula superiorly rotates. Inferior rotation occurs throughout limb adduction and also involves the downward activity of the glenoid cavity with upward activity of the medial end of the scapular spine.

Opposition and also Reposition

Opposition is the thumb activity that bring the tip of the ignorance in contact with the guideline of a finger. This activity is produced at the first carpometacarpal joint, which is a saddle joint formed in between the trapezium carpal bone and also the an initial metacarpal bone. Thumb opposition is developed by a mix of flexion and abduction that the ignorance at this joint. Returning the thumb to the anatomical position beside the index finger is referred to as reposition (see (Figure)l).

Movements of the JointsType the JointMovementExample
PivotUniaxial joint; allows rotational movementAtlantoaxial joint (C1–C2 vertebrae articulation); proximal radioulnar joint
HingeUniaxial joint; permits flexion/extension movementsKnee; elbow; ankle; interphalangeal joints that fingers and toes
CondyloidBiaxial joint; enables flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, and circumduction movementsMetacarpophalangeal (knuckle) joints the fingers; radiocarpal share of wrist; metatarsophalangeal joints for toes
SaddleBiaxial joint; enables flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, and also circumduction movementsFirst carpometacarpal joint of the thumb; sternoclavicular joint
PlaneMultiaxial joint; permits inversion and eversion that foot, or flexion, extension, and also lateral flexion that the vertebral columnIntertarsal joints of foot; superior-inferior articular procedure articulations between vertebrae
Ball-and-socketMultiaxial joint; allows flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, circumduction, and also medial/lateral rotation movementsShoulder and also hip joints

Chapter Review

The variety of movements listed by the different types of synovial joints enables for a huge range of human body motions and gives you remarkable mobility. This movements enable you come flex or prolong your human body or limbs, medially rotate and also adduct your arms and flex your elbows to organize a hefty object against your chest, raise her arms above your head, rotate or shake her head, and also bend come touch the toes (with or there is no bending your knees).

Each the the different structural species of synovial joints also permit for particular motions. The atlantoaxial pivot joint offers side-to-side rotation of the head, while the proximal radioulnar articulation permits for rotation the the radius during pronation and also supination the the forearm. Hinge joints, such as at the knee and elbow, enable only because that flexion and also extension. Similarly, the hinge share of the fishing eye only allows for dorsiflexion and plantar flexion that the foot.

Condyloid and also saddle joints are biaxial. These permit for flexion and extension, and abduction and also adduction. The sequential mix of flexion, adduction, extension, and also abduction produce circumduction. Multiaxial aircraft joints carry out for only little motions, however these can add together over several nearby joints to create body movement, such together inversion and also eversion the the foot. Similarly, airplane joints enable for flexion, extension, and also lateral flexion activities of the vertebral column. The multiaxial ball and socket joints enable for flexion-extension, abduction-adduction, and circumduction. In addition, these also permit for medial (internal) and lateral (external) rotation. Ball-and-socket joints have actually the greatest variety of motion of every synovial joints.

Watch this video clip to learn about anatomical motions. What movements involve boosting or to decrease the edge of the foot at the ankle?

Dorsiflexion the the foot in ~ the ankle to reduce the angle of the fish eye joint, when plantar flexion increases the edge of the fishing eye joint.

The joints between the articular procedures of adjacent vertebrae can contribute to i m sorry movement?

lateral flexioncircumductiondorsiflexionabduction

Which motion moves the bottom that the foot far from the midline that the body?

elevationdorsiflexioneversionplantar flexion

Movement of a body an ar in a circular motion at a condyloid share is what type of motion?


Supination is the activity that move the ________.

hand indigenous the palm backward place to the palm front positionfoot so the the bottom the the foot faces the midline of the bodyhand indigenous the palm forward place to the palm behind positionscapula in an increase direction

Movement at the shoulder joint that moves the top limb laterally away from the human body is referred to as ________.

elevationeversionabductionlateral rotation


Critical thinking Questions

Briefly specify the types of joint movements accessible at a ball-and-socket joint.

Ball-and-socket joints are multiaxial joints that permit for flexion and extension, abduction and adduction, circumduction, and also medial and also lateral rotation.

Discuss the joints involved and movements forced for you to cross your arms together in front of your chest.

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To cross your arms, you must use both your shoulder and elbow joints. In ~ the shoulder, the arm would should flex and medially rotate. At the elbow, the forearm would should be flexed.


abductionmovement in the coronal plane that move a limb laterally far from the body; spreading of the fingersadductionmovement in the coronal aircraft that moves a limb medially towards or across the midline the the body; bringing fingers togethercircumductioncircular movement of the arm, thigh, hand, thumb, or finger the is developed by the sequential combination of flexion, abduction, extension, and also adductiondepressiondownward (inferior) activity of the scapula or mandibledorsiflexionmovement in ~ the ankle that brings the top of the foot toward the anterior legelevationupward (superior) movement of the scapula or mandibleeversionfoot movement entailing the intertarsal joints of the foot in i beg your pardon the bottom of the foot is turn laterally, far from the midlineextensionmovement in the sagittal airplane that boosts the angle of a joint (straightens the joint); motion involving posterior bending that the vertebral obelisk or return to the upright position from a flexed positionflexionmovement in the sagittal plane that reduce the angle of a share (bends the joint); motion including anterior bending that the vertebral columnhyperextensionexcessive extension of joint, beyond the normal selection of movementhyperflexionexcessive flexion that joint, past the normal range of movementinferior rotationmovement of the scapula during upper limb adduction in i m sorry the glenoid cavity that the scapula move in a downward direction together the medial finish of the scapular spine move in an increase directioninversionfoot movement involving the intertarsal joints the the foot in which the bottom the the foot is turned toward the midlinelateral excursionside-to-side movement of the mandible far from the midline, toward either the best or left sidelateral flexionbending that the neck or body towards the best or left sidelateral (external) rotationmovement that the arm at the shoulder share or the thigh in ~ the i know good joint the moves the anterior surface ar of the limb far from the midline the the bodymedial excursionside-to-side motion that returns the mandible to the midlinemedial (internal) rotationmovement the the arm at the shoulder share or the thigh at the hip joint that brings the anterior surface of the limb towards the midline the the bodyoppositionthumb activity that brings the pointer of the ignorance in call with the reminder of a fingerplantar flexionfoot movement at the fishing eye in i beg your pardon the hoe is lifted turn off of the groundpronated positionforearm position in i m sorry the palm encounters backwardpronationforearm movement that moves the palm the the hand native the palm front to the palm behind positionprotractionanterior motion of the scapula or mandiblerepositionmovement of the ignorance from opposition back to the anatomical position (next to table of contents finger)retractionposterior motion of the scapula or mandiblerotationmovement that a bone roughly a central axis (atlantoaxial joint) or approximately its long axis (proximal radioulnar joint; shoulder or hip joint); twisting of the vertebral obelisk resulting native the summation of little motions between surrounding vertebraesuperior rotationmovement of the scapula throughout upper limb abduction in which the glenoid cavity that the scapula moves in an upward direction as the medial end of the scapular spine move in a bottom directionsupinated positionforearm place in which the palm deals with anteriorly (anatomical position)supinationforearm activity that moves the palm that the hand native the palm backward to the palm front position