Joint Actions

Joint actions

Knowing how the body moves and the actions that various joints allow is crucial for safe and effective exercise instruction.  Some of the key joint actions that you should know are detailed in the following tables.

 

Flexion: Refers to movement where the angle between two bones decreases.  Flexion is commonly known as bending.  
Extension: Refers to movement where the angle between two bones increases.  Extension is otherwise known as straightening.  

 

Abduction: Is movement of a body segment away from the midline of the body.
Adduction: Is movement of a body segment toward the midline of the body.
Circumduction: This is a movement where the joint is the pivot and the body segment moves in a combination of flexion, extension, adduction and abduction.
Rotation:  Refers to a pivoting or ‘twisting’ movement.  Rotation is broken down further into medial and lateral rotation.
Supination: Hand – movement so the palm of the hand faces upward or forward (anteriorly). Foot – combination of inversion, plantar flexion and adduction of the foot occurring at the same time.
Pronation: Hand – movement so the palm of the hand faces downward or backward (posteriorly). Foot – combination of eversion, dorsiflexion and abduction of the foot occurring at the same time.

 

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