Define the different varieties of body movementsIdentify the joints that allow for this motions

Synovial joints enable the body a tremendous range of movements. Each activity at a synovial joint results from the contraction or be sure of the muscle that space attached to the skeleton on either next of the articulation. The type of motion that deserve to be developed at a synovial share is established by its structure type. When the ball-and-socket joint provides the greatest range of movement at an separation, personal, instance joint, in other regions that the body, numerous joints might work together to develop a certain movement. Overall, each form of synovial share is necessary to carry out the body with its an excellent flexibility and mobility. There space many species of motion that can take place at synovial joints ((Figure)). Movement varieties are typically paired, with one gift the the contrary of the other. Body motions are constantly described in relationship to the anatomical place of the body: upright stance, v upper four to the next of body and palms dealing with forward. Describe (Figure) together you go with this section.You space watching: In uniaxial movement at the elbow joint, the movement allowed is and also .

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Watch this video clip to learn around anatomical motions. What activities involve enhancing or diminish the angle of the foot at the ankle?

Synovial joints give the body countless ways in which come move. (a)–(b) Flexion and extension movements are in the sagittal (anterior–posterior) plane of motion. These movements take place at the shoulder, hip, elbow, knee, wrist, metacarpophalangeal, metatarsophalangeal, and also interphalangeal joints. (c)–(d) Anterior bending that the head or vertebral tower 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) airplane of movement. Relocating the body or hand laterally far from the body, or spreading the fingers or toes, is abduction. Adduction bring the body or hand towards or across the midline of the body, or brings the fingers or toe together. Circumduction is the motion of the limb, hand, or finger in a circular pattern, using the sequential mix of flexion, adduction, extension, and also abduction motions. Adduction/abduction and also circumduction take location at the shoulder, hip, wrist, metacarpophalangeal, and also metatarsophalangeal joints. (f) transforming of the head side to side or twisting the the human body is rotation. Medial and lateral rotation the the top limb at the shoulder or lower limb at the hip involves transforming the anterior surface ar of the limb toward the midline the the human body (medial or inner rotation) or away from the midline (lateral or exterior rotation).


(g) Supination the the forearm turns the hand come the palm forward place in which the radius and also ulna space parallel, when forearm pronation transforms the hand come the palm backward place in which the radius the cross over the ulna to kind an “X.” (h) Dorsiflexion the the foot in ~ the ankle joint move the optimal of the foot toward the leg, when plantar flexion lifts the heel and points the toes. (i) Eversion that the foot move the bottom (sole) the the foot far from the midline that the body, if foot inversion encounters the sole toward the midline. (j) Protraction the the mandible pushes the chin forward, and retraction pulls the chin back. (k) Depression of the mandible opens up the mouth, if elevation close the door it. (l) the opposite of the ignorance brings the pointer of the ignorance into contact with the guideline of the fingers of the exact same hand and also reposition brings the thumb back next to the index finger.

Flexion and also Extension

Flexion and extension are motions that take place within the sagittal aircraft and involve anterior or posterior motions of the human body or limbs. Because that the vertebral column, flexion (anterior flexion) is an anterior (forward) bending of the neck or body, while extension requires a posterior-directed motion, such as straightening indigenous a flexed place or bending backward. Lateral flexion is the bending of the neck or body towards the right or left side. These movements of the vertebral tower involve both the symphysis joint formed by each intervertebral disc, as well as the plane kind of synovial joint formed between the inferior articular procedures of one vertebra and the exceptional articular procedures of the next reduced vertebra.

In the limbs, flexion reduce the angle in between the skeleton (bending of the joint), while extension increases the angle and straightens the joint. Because that the upper limb, every anterior-going activities are flexion and all posterior-going movements are extension. These include anterior-posterior motions of the arm at the shoulder, the forearm at the elbow, the hand in ~ the wrist, and the finger at the metacarpophalangeal and also interphalangeal joints. Because that the thumb, extension moves the ignorance away indigenous the palm that the hand, within the same plane as the palm, if flexion bring the thumb back against the index finger or into the palm. These movements take ar at the very first carpometacarpal joint. In the lower limb, bringing the thigh forward and upward is flexion at the hip joint, while any posterior-going activity of the thigh is extension. Note that extension of the thigh beyond the anatomical (standing) place is greatly minimal 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 of the knee. Flexion and extension activities are checked out at the hinge, condyloid, saddle, and also ball-and-socket joints that the four (see (Figure)a-d).

Hyperextension is the abnormal or excessive extension the a joint beyond its normal range of motion, thus resulting in injury. Similarly, hyperflexion is too much flexion in ~ a joint. Hyperextension injuries are typical at hinge joints such together the knee or elbow. In instances of “whiplash” in which the head is suddenly relocated backward and also then forward, a patient might experience both hyperextension and also hyperflexion of the cervical region.

Abduction and also Adduction

Abduction and adduction motions happen within the coronal plane and show off medial-lateral movements of the limbs, fingers, toes, or thumb. Abduction move the limb laterally far from the midline that the body, while adduction is the opposing motion that brings the limb towards the body or throughout the midline. Because that example, kidnapping is elevating the arm at the shoulder joint, moving it laterally away from the body, when adduction brings the arm down to the side of the body. Similarly, abduction and adduction in ~ the wrist move the hand far from or towards the midline the the body. Dispersing the fingers or toes apart is also abduction, while bringing the finger or toes with each other is adduction. Because that the thumb, kidnapping is the anterior movement that brings the ignorance to a 90° perpendicular position, pointing right out native the palm. Adduction moves the thumb ago to the anatomical position, alongside the table of contents finger. Abduction and also adduction activities are viewed at condyloid, saddle, and also ball-and-socket joints (see (Figure)e).


Circumduction is the activity of a body an ar in a one manner, in i beg your pardon one end of the body region being relocated stays fairly stationary if the other end defines a circle. It requires the sequential mix of flexion, adduction, extension, and also abduction at a joint. This kind of movement is discovered at biaxial condyloid and saddle joints, and also 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 of the neck or human body is the twisting movement developed by the summation the the tiny rotational movements accessible between surrounding vertebrae. In ~ a pivot joint, one bone rotates in relationship to an additional bone. This is a uniaxial joint, and thus rotation is the just motion enabled at a pivot joint. For example, at the atlantoaxial joint, the very first cervical (C1) vertebra (atlas) rotates about the dens, the upward forecast from the second cervical (C2) vertebra (axis). This enables the head to turn from next to side as as soon as shaking the head “no.” The proximal radioulnar share is a pivot joint developed by the head of the radius and its articulation through the ulna. This joint enables for the radius to rotate along its length throughout pronation and also supination motions of the forearm.

Rotation can likewise occur in ~ the ball-and-socket joints the the shoulder and also hip. Here, the humerus and also femur rotate about their lengthy axis, which move the anterior surface of the eight or thigh either toward or away from the midline that the body. Movement that bring the anterior surface of the limb toward the midline of the body is dubbed medial (internal) rotation. Whereas rotation the the body so the the anterior surface moves far from the midline is lateral (external) rotation (see (Figure)f). Be sure to differentiate medial and also lateral rotation, which can only take place at the multiaxial shoulder and also hip joints, from circumduction, which can happen at either biaxial or multiaxial joints.

Supination and Pronation

Supination and pronation are motions of the forearm. In the anatomical position, the top limb is held next come the body v the palm dealing with forward. This is the supinated position of the forearm. In this position, the radius and also ulna are parallel to each other. As soon as the palm that the hand faces backward, the forearm is in the pronated position, and also the radius and also ulna kind an X-shape.

Supination and pronation space the movements of the forearm that go between these 2 positions. Pronation is the motion that move the forearm indigenous the supinated (anatomical) position to the pronated (palm backward) position. This motion is developed by rotation of the radius at the proximal radioulnar joint, attach by motion of the radius at the distal radioulnar joint. The proximal radioulnar joint is a pivot joint that allows for rotation of the head that the radius. Since of the slim curvature of the tower of the radius, this rotation causes the distal finish of the radius to cross end the distal ulna in ~ the distal radioulnar joint. This crossing over brings the radius and also ulna right into an X-shape position. Supination is the opposite motion, in i beg your pardon rotation that the radius return the bones to your parallel positions and also moves the palm to the anterior facing (supinated) position. It help to remember the supination is the motion you use when scooping increase soup v a spoon (see (Figure)g).

Dorsiflexion and Plantar Flexion

Dorsiflexion and also plantar flexion are activities at the fish eye joint, i m sorry is a hinge joint. Lifting the former of the foot, so that the top of the foot moves toward the anterior leg is dorsiflexion, if lifting the heel of the foot indigenous the floor or pointing the toes downward is plantar flexion. These room the only movements available at the ankle share (see (Figure)h).

Inversion and Eversion

Inversion and also eversion are facility movements the involve the multiple airplane joints among the tarsal skeleton of the posterior foot (intertarsal joints) and thus are not motions that take place at the ankle joint. Turning back is the turning of the foot to angle the bottom of the foot toward the midline, if eversion transforms the bottom the the foot away from the midline. The foot has actually a greater selection of inversion than eversion motion. These are important motions that assist to stabilize the foot when walking or running on an uneven surface and aid in the quick side-to-side changes in direction used during energetic sports such together basketball, racquetball, or football (see (Figure)i).

Protraction and Retraction

Protraction and retraction are anterior-posterior activities of the scapula or mandible. Protraction the the scapula occurs as soon as the shoulder is moved forward, as when pushing against something or throwing a ball. Retraction is the opposite motion, v the scapula being pulled posteriorly and also medially, toward the vertebral column. Because that the mandible, protraction occurs once the reduced jaw is moved forward, come stick the end the chin, while retraction pulls the reduced jaw backward. (See (Figure)j.)

Depression and Elevation

Depression and elevation room downward and upward motions of the scapula or mandible. The upward motion of the scapula and also shoulder is elevation, if a downward activity is depression. These activities are supplied to shrug your shoulders. Similarly, key of the mandible is the upward movement of the reduced jaw provided to close the mouth or bite on 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 moves the mandible far from the midline, towards either the best or left side. Medial excursion returns the mandible to its resting place at the midline.

Superior Rotation and Inferior Rotation

Superior and inferior rotation are activities of the scapula and also are identified by the direction of movement of the glenoid cavity. These motions involve rotation that the scapula roughly a suggest inferior to the scapular spine and are created by combine of muscles exhilaration on the scapula. Throughout superior rotation, the glenoid cavity moves upward together the medial end of the scapular spine move downward. This is a really important movement that contributes to upper limb abduction. Without exceptional rotation of the scapula, the greater tubercle that the humerus would hit the acromion that the scapula, for this reason preventing any type of abduction that the arm over shoulder height. Remarkable rotation that the scapula is thus required for full abduction the the top limb. Exceptional rotation is also used without eight abduction once carrying a heavy load v your hand or on your shoulder. You can feel this rotation once you pick up a load, such together a heavy publication bag and also carry that on only one shoulder. To rise its weight-bearing support for the bag, the shoulder lifts together the scapula superiorly rotates. Inferior rotation occurs during limb adduction and also involves the downward activity of the glenoid cavity v upward movement of the medial end of the scapular spine.

Opposition and also Reposition

Opposition is the thumb motion that brings the reminder of the ignorance in call with the pointer of a finger. This movement is produced at the an initial carpometacarpal joint, i beg your pardon is a saddle share formed between the trapezium carpal bone and also the an initial metacarpal bone. Ignorance opposition is created by a mix of flexion and abduction of the thumb at this joint. Return the thumb to that is anatomical position next to the index finger is dubbed 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; enables flexion/extension movementsKnee; elbow; ankle; interphalangeal joints that fingers and also toes
CondyloidBiaxial joint; permits flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, and also circumduction movementsMetacarpophalangeal (knuckle) joints of fingers; radiocarpal joint of wrist; metatarsophalangeal joints for toes
SaddleBiaxial joint; allows flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, and circumduction movementsFirst carpometacarpal share of the thumb; sternoclavicular joint
PlaneMultiaxial joint; enables inversion and eversion the foot, or flexion, extension, and also lateral flexion the the vertebral columnIntertarsal joints of foot; superior-inferior articular procedure articulations in between vertebrae
Ball-and-socketMultiaxial joint; enables flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, circumduction, and also medial/lateral rotation movementsShoulder and also hip joints

Chapter Review

The range of movements detailed by the different species of synovial joints permits for a huge range of body motions and also gives you remarkable mobility. This movements permit you come flex or prolong your human body or limbs, medially rotate and also adduct your arms and also flex your elbow to host a heavy object against your chest, raise her arms over your head, rotate or shake your head, and also bend come touch the toes (with or without bending your knees).

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

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

Watch this video to learn around anatomical motions. What motions involve enhancing or decreasing the edge of the foot at the ankle?

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

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

lateral flexioncircumductiondorsiflexionabduction

Which movement moves the bottom that the foot far from the midline of the body?

elevationdorsiflexioneversionplantar flexion

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


Supination is the movement that moves the ________.

hand native the palm backward place to the palm front positionfoot so that the bottom of the foot encounters the midline of the bodyhand indigenous the palm forward position to the palm backward positionscapula in an upward direction

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

elevationeversionabductionlateral rotation


Critical thinking Questions

Briefly define the varieties of share movements easily accessible at a ball-and-socket joint.

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

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Discuss the joints involved and movements required for you to cross your arms together in front of her chest.See more: Wizards that Waverly place Alex charms A Boy complete Episode 8, Wizards that Waverly Place: Season 3, illustration 8

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


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