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

Synovial joints enable the body a tremendous selection of movements. Each movement at a synovial joint results from the convulsion or be safe of the muscle that are attached to the skeletal on either next of the articulation. The form of movement that have the right to be produced at a synovial joint is established by its structure type. When the ball-and-socket joint gives the greatest range of movement at an separation, personal, instance joint, in various other regions the the body, several joints might work together to produce a certain movement. Overall, each kind of synovial joint is necessary to administer the body v its good flexibility and mobility. There space many species of motion that can take place at synovial joints ((Figure)). Movement types are usually paired, through one gift the opposite of the other. Body motions are always described in relationship to the anatomical position of the body: upright stance, v upper limbs to the side of body and palms facing forward. Refer to (Figure) as you go v this section.

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Watch this video to learn about anatomical motions. What motions involve raising or to decrease the angle of the foot in ~ the ankle?

Synovial joints give the body plenty of ways in which come move. (a)–(b) Flexion and also extension movements are in the sagittal (anterior–posterior) plane of motion. These movements take location at the shoulder, hip, elbow, knee, wrist, metacarpophalangeal, metatarsophalangeal, and interphalangeal joints. (c)–(d) Anterior bending that the head or vertebral column is flexion, while any type of posterior-going motion is extension. (e) Abduction and adduction are movements of the limbs, hand, fingers, or toe in the coronal (medial–lateral) plane of movement. Moving the body or hand laterally far from the body, or dispersing the fingers or toes, is abduction. Adduction bring the limb or hand toward or throughout the midline of the body, or brings the fingers or toes together. Circumduction is the activity of the limb, hand, or fingers in a circular pattern, making use of the sequential combination of flexion, adduction, extension, and also abduction motions. Adduction/abduction and circumduction take ar at the shoulder, hip, wrist, metacarpophalangeal, and metatarsophalangeal joints. (f) turning of the head side to side or twisting that the body is rotation. Medial and lateral rotation that the top limb at the shoulder or reduced limb at the i know good involves turning the anterior surface of the limb toward the midline of the human body (medial or internal rotation) or far from the midline (lateral or external rotation).


(g) Supination the the forearm transforms the hand to the palm forward position in i m sorry the radius and ulna room parallel, while forearm pronation turns the hand come the palm backward position in i beg your pardon the radius the cross over the ulna to form an “X.” (h) Dorsiflexion the the foot in ~ the fish eye joint moves the top of the foot toward the leg, while plantar flexion elevator the heel and points the toes. (i) Eversion of the foot move the bottom (sole) of the foot away from the midline of the body, if foot inversion encounters the sole toward the midline. (j) Protraction that the mandible pushes the chin forward, and retraction pulls the chin back. (k) Depression the the mandible opens up the mouth, if elevation closes it. (l) opposition of the thumb brings the guideline of the ignorance into contact with the guideline of the finger of the same hand and reposition bring the thumb earlier next to the table of contents finger.

Flexion and Extension

Flexion and extension are movements that take ar within the sagittal airplane and show off anterior or posterior movements of the human body or limbs. Because that the vertebral column, flexion (anterior flexion) is an anterior (forward) bending the the neck or body, while extension involves a posterior-directed motion, such together straightening native a flexed position or bending backward. Lateral flexion is the bending that the neck or body toward the ideal or left side. These movements of the vertebral column involve both the symphysis joint created by each intervertebral disc, and the plane kind of synovial share formed between the inferior articular procedures of one vertebra and also the superior articular processes of the next reduced vertebra.

In the limbs, flexion decreases the angle in between the bones (bending of the joint), while extension increases the angle and straightens the joint. Because that the top limb, every anterior-going activities are flexion and also all posterior-going motions are extension. These encompass anterior-posterior motions of the eight at the shoulder, the forearm at the elbow, the hand at the wrist, and the fingers at the metacarpophalangeal and also interphalangeal joints. Because that the thumb, extension moves the ignorance away indigenous the palm of the hand, within the same plane as the palm, when flexion bring the ignorance back against the table of contents finger or into the palm. These motions take location at the first carpometacarpal joint. In the lower limb, pass the thigh forward and also upward is flexion at the i know well 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 limited by the ligaments that support the i know good joint. Knee flexion is the bending the the knee to bring the foot towards the posterior thigh, and also extension is the straightening that the knee. Flexion and extension movements are watched at the hinge, condyloid, saddle, and also ball-and-socket joints of the limbs (see (Figure)a-d).

Hyperextension is the abnormal or excessive extension that a joint beyond its normal selection of motion, hence resulting in injury. Similarly, hyperflexion is extreme flexion in ~ a joint. Hyperextension injuries are usual at hinge joints such as the knee or elbow. In instances of “whiplash” in i m sorry the head is suddenly moved backward and then forward, a patient might experience both hyperextension and also hyperflexion of the cervical region.

Abduction and Adduction

Abduction and adduction motions take place within the coronal airplane and involve medial-lateral activities of the limbs, fingers, toes, or thumb. Abduction moves the body laterally away from the midline the the body, while adduction is the opposing activity that bring the limb toward the human body or across the midline. For example, kidnapping is increasing the eight at the shoulder joint, relocating it laterally away from the body, when adduction bring the arm under to the side of the body. Similarly, abduction and adduction at the wrist move the hand far from or toward the midline that the body. Dispersing the fingers or toes apart is likewise abduction, while bringing the finger or toes together is adduction. Because that the thumb, abbot is the anterior movement that bring the ignorance to a 90° perpendicular position, pointing straight out indigenous the palm. Adduction move the thumb ago to the anatomical position, beside the index finger. Abduction and also adduction motions are viewed at condyloid, saddle, and ball-and-socket joints (see (Figure)e).


Circumduction is the motion of a body an ar in a one manner, in i m sorry one end of the body region being relocated stays fairly stationary when the other end explains a circle. It involves the sequential combination of flexion, adduction, extension, and also abduction at a joint. This kind of movement is uncovered at biaxial condyloid and saddle joints, and at multiaxial ball-and-sockets joints (see (Figure)e).


Rotation can happen within the vertebral column, at a pivot joint, or at a ball-and-socket joint. Rotation the the neck or body is the twisting movement created by the summation of the small rotational movements obtainable between surrounding vertebrae. In ~ a pivot joint, one bone rotates in relationship to one more bone. This is a uniaxial joint, and thus rotation is the only motion allowed at a pivot joint. Because that example, at the atlantoaxial joint, the an initial cervical (C1) vertebra (atlas) rotates about the dens, the upward projection from the second cervical (C2) vertebra (axis). This allows the head to turn from next to next as as soon as shaking the head “no.” The proximal radioulnar share is a pivot joint formed by the head of the radius and its articulation through the ulna. This joint enables for the radius to turn along its length throughout pronation and also supination movements of the forearm.

Rotation can likewise occur in ~ the ball-and-socket joints that the shoulder and also hip. Here, the humerus and also femur rotate around their long axis, which moves the anterior surface ar of the eight or thigh either towards or away from the midline of the body. Movement that bring the anterior surface of the limb towards the midline of the human body is referred to as medial (internal) rotation. Conversely, rotation of the limb so the the anterior surface ar moves away from the midline is lateral (external) rotation (see (Figure)f). Be sure to identify medial and also lateral rotation, which have the right to only happen at the multiaxial shoulder and also hip joints, from circumduction, i beg your pardon can take place at either biaxial or multiaxial joints.

Supination and also Pronation

Supination and pronation are movements of the forearm. In the anatomical position, the top limb is organized 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. Once the palm of the hand deals with backward, the forearm is in the pronated position, and the radius and also ulna form an X-shape.

Supination and pronation are the motions of the forearm the go between these two positions. Pronation is the movement that move the forearm indigenous the supinated (anatomical) position to the pronated (palm backward) position. This activity is created by rotation that the radius at the proximal radioulnar joint, accompanied by motion of the radius at the distal radioulnar joint. The proximal radioulnar share is a pivot joint that allows for rotation that the head that the radius. Due to the fact that of the slight curvature the the shaft of the radius, this rotation reasons the distal finish of the radius to cross end the distal ulna at the distal radioulnar joint. This crossing end brings the radius and also ulna right into an X-shape position. Supination is the contrary motion, in i m sorry rotation of the radius return the skeleton to their parallel positions and also moves the palm come the anterior encountering (supinated) position. It helps to remember that supination is the motion you use once scooping increase soup with a spoon (see (Figure)g).

Dorsiflexion and Plantar Flexion

Dorsiflexion and plantar flexion are motions at the fishing eye joint, i beg your pardon is a hinge joint. Lifting the prior of the foot, so that the height of the foot moves towards the anterior leg is dorsiflexion, if lifting the hoe of the foot native the floor or pointing the toes downward is plantar flexion. These space the only movements accessible at the ankle share (see (Figure)h).

Inversion and Eversion

Inversion and eversion are complicated movements the involve the multiple aircraft joints among the tarsal skeleton of the posterior foot (intertarsal joints) and thus space not movements that take ar at the ankle joint. Inversion is the transforming of the foot to angle the bottom the the foot towards the midline, when eversion transforms the bottom that the foot away from the midline. The foot has a greater variety of inversion 보다 eversion motion. This are vital motions that assist to stabilize the foot once walking or running on an uneven surface ar and assist in the rapid side-to-side alters in direction used during active sports such as basketball, racquetball, or football (see (Figure)i).

Protraction and also Retraction

Protraction and retraction are anterior-posterior movements of the scapula or mandible. Protraction that the scapula occurs as soon as the shoulder is relocated forward, as as soon as pushing against something or throw a ball. Retraction is opposing motion, through the scapula gift pulled posteriorly and also medially, towards the vertebral column. Because that the mandible, protraction occurs when the lower jaw is propelled forward, come stick out the chin, when retraction pulls the reduced jaw backward. (See (Figure)j.)

Depression and Elevation

Depression and elevation space downward and upward activities of the scapula or mandible. The upward motion of the scapula and also shoulder is elevation, while a downward activity is depression. These movements are supplied to shrug your shoulders. Similarly, elevation of the mandible is the upward motion of the lower jaw provided to nearby the mouth or bite ~ above something, and also depression is the downward activity that produces opening of the mouth (see (Figure)k).


Excursion is the next to side movement of the mandible. Lateral excursion moves the mandible far from the midline, towards either the right or left side. Medial excursion returns the mandible to its resting position at the midline.

Superior Rotation and Inferior Rotation

Superior and inferior rotation are activities of the scapula and also are characterized by the direction of motion of the glenoid cavity. These movements involve rotation the the scapula about a point inferior come the scapular spine and also are developed by combine of muscles acting on the scapula. Throughout superior rotation, the glenoid cavity moves upward together the medial finish of the scapular spine moves downward. This is a an extremely important movement that contributes to top limb abduction. Without premium rotation the the scapula, the higher tubercle the the humerus would hit the acromion that the scapula, hence preventing any type of abduction the the arm above shoulder height. Remarkable rotation of the scapula is thus required for complete abduction of the top limb. Exceptional rotation is additionally used without arm abduction as soon as carrying a hefty load v your hand or on your shoulder. You have the right to feel this rotation once you choose up a load, such together a heavy publication bag and also carry that on just one shoulder. To increase its weight-bearing support for the bag, the shoulder lifts together the scapula superiorly rotates. Worse rotation occurs during limb adduction and also involves the downward movement of the glenoid cavity through upward motion of the medial end of the scapular spine.

Opposition and Reposition

Opposition is the thumb activity that brings the tip of the ignorance in call with the reminder of a finger. This activity is developed at the first carpometacarpal joint, i beg your pardon is a saddle share formed between the trapezium carpal bone and also the first metacarpal bone. Thumb opposition is developed by a combination of flexion and abduction the the thumb at this joint. Return the ignorance to its anatomical position alongside the table of contents finger is referred to as reposition (see (Figure)l).

Movements that 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 of fingers and toes
CondyloidBiaxial joint; allows flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, and circumduction movementsMetacarpophalangeal (knuckle) joints the fingers; radiocarpal share of wrist; metatarsophalangeal joints for toes
SaddleBiaxial joint; permits flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, and circumduction movementsFirst carpometacarpal share of the thumb; sternoclavicular joint
PlaneMultiaxial joint; allows inversion and eversion of foot, or flexion, extension, and also lateral flexion that the vertebral columnIntertarsal joints that foot; superior-inferior articular process articulations between vertebrae
Ball-and-socketMultiaxial joint; enables flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, circumduction, and medial/lateral rotation movementsShoulder and hip joints

Chapter Review

The variety of movements listed by the different species of synovial joints permits for a large range of body motions and gives you incredible mobility. This movements enable you come flex or prolong your body or limbs, medially rotate and also adduct her arms and flex your elbow to organize a hefty object versus your chest, raise her arms over your head, turn or shake your head, and bend come touch the toe (with or without bending your knees).

Each of the different structural species of synovial joints also permit for certain motions. The atlantoaxial pivot joint gives side-to-side rotation that the head, when the proximal radioulnar articulation allows for rotation the the radius throughout pronation and supination of the forearm. Hinge joints, such together at the knee and also elbow, allow only because that flexion and extension. Similarly, the hinge share of the ankle only enables for dorsiflexion and also plantar flexion the the foot.

Condyloid and also saddle joints room biaxial. These allow for flexion and also extension, and also abduction and adduction. The sequential mix of flexion, adduction, extension, and also abduction to produce circumduction. Multiaxial airplane joints provide for only little motions, but these can include together end several surrounding joints to produce body movement, such as inversion and also eversion of the foot. Similarly, plane joints permit 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 also circumduction. In addition, these also allow for medial (internal) and lateral (external) rotation. Ball-and-socket joints have actually the greatest selection of movement of every synovial joints.

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

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

The joints in between the articular procedures of surrounding vertebrae can add to which movement?

lateral flexioncircumductiondorsiflexionabduction

Which activity moves the bottom the the foot away from the midline of the body?

elevationdorsiflexioneversionplantar flexion

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


Supination is the activity that move the ________.

hand from the palm backward position to the palm forward positionfoot so the the bottom that the foot faces the midline that the bodyhand from the palm forward position to the palm behind positionscapula in an increase direction

Movement in ~ the shoulder joint the moves the upper limb laterally far from the body is referred to as ________.

elevationeversionabductionlateral rotation


Critical reasoning Questions

Briefly define the species of joint movements accessible at a ball-and-socket joint.

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

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

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To cross your arms, you have to use both your shoulder and elbow joints. In ~ the shoulder, the eight would need to flex and also medially rotate. In ~ the elbow, the forearm would must be flexed.


abductionmovement in the coronal aircraft that moves a limb laterally far from the body; dispersing of the fingersadductionmovement in the coronal aircraft that moves a body medially towards or throughout the midline the the body; bringing fingers togethercircumductioncircular activity of the arm, thigh, hand, thumb, or finger that is developed by the sequential mix of flexion, abduction, extension, and adductiondepressiondownward (inferior) activity of the scapula or mandibledorsiflexionmovement in ~ the ankle that brings the optimal of the foot toward the anterior legelevationupward (superior) movement of the scapula or mandibleeversionfoot movement including the intertarsal joints the the foot in i m sorry the bottom the the foot is turned laterally, far from the midlineextensionmovement in the sagittal plane that rises the edge of a share (straightens the joint); motion including posterior bending the the vertebral pillar or returning to the upright place from a flexed positionflexionmovement in the sagittal plane that decreases the angle of a share (bends the joint); motion involving anterior bending of the vertebral columnhyperextensionexcessive expansion of joint, past the normal variety of movementhyperflexionexcessive flexion the joint, beyond the normal selection of movementinferior rotationmovement the the scapula during upper limb adduction in which the glenoid cavity the the scapula moves in a bottom direction together the medial end of the scapular spine move in an upward directioninversionfoot movement including the intertarsal joints of the foot in which the bottom the the foot is turned towards the midlinelateral excursionside-to-side movement of the mandible away from the midline, towards either the right or left sidelateral flexionbending that the neck or body towards the ideal or left sidelateral (external) rotationmovement the the arm at the shoulder joint or the thigh in ~ the i know well joint that moves the anterior surface of the limb away from the midline the the bodymedial excursionside-to-side movement that return 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 ar of the limb toward the midline that the bodyoppositionthumb movement that brings the pointer of the ignorance in call with the tip of a fingerplantar flexionfoot motion at the fishing eye in i m sorry the hoe is lifted turn off of the groundpronated positionforearm position in i m sorry the palm deals with backwardpronationforearm activity that moves the palm of the hand from the palm front to the palm backward positionprotractionanterior motion of the scapula or mandiblerepositionmovement the the ignorance from opposition ago to the anatomical position (next to table of contents finger)retractionposterior movement of the scapula or mandiblerotationmovement that a bone about a central axis (atlantoaxial joint) or about its long axis (proximal radioulnar joint; shoulder or i know well joint); twisting that the vertebral pillar resulting native the summation of little motions between nearby vertebraesuperior rotationmovement of the scapula during upper body abduction in which the glenoid cavity that the scapula moves in an increase direction as the medial end of the scapular spine moves in a downward directionsupinated positionforearm place in which the palm deals with anteriorly (anatomical position)supinationforearm activity that move the palm of the hand from the palm behind to the palm forward position