17 Anatomical Movements in Human Body

  • Flexion

The movement that Reduces the angle between the articular surface and ending in nature. Example., Elbow flexion.  hyperflexion is excessive flexion at a joint. Hyperextension injuries are common at hinge joints such as the knee or elbow.

  • Extension

Stretching movement and opposite to flexion which is Increase the angle between the articular surface. Example., Elbow Extension Hyperextension is the abnormal or excessive extension of a joint beyond its normal range of motion, thus resulting in injury.



  • Abduction

A movement where bony Segments move away from the midline. 

  • Adduction

A movement where bony Segments move towards the midline.

Abduction and adduction motions occur within the coronal plane and involve medial-lateral motions of the limbs, fingers, toes, or thumb. Abduction moves the limb laterally away from the midline of the body, while adduction is the opposing movement that brings the limb toward the body or across the midline. For example, abduction is raising the arm at the shoulder joint, moving it laterally away from the body, while adduction brings the arm down to the side of the body. 


  • Medial rotation

Rotational movements occur in the articular surface towards the midline. also known as internal rotation.

  • Lateral Rotation

Rotational movements occur in the articular surface away from the midline. also known as External rotation.

  • Circumduction

Combination of flexion, extension and abduction, adduction and medial rotation and lateral rotation.

  • Inversion

Moving the sole of the foot inwards so that each sole of the foot faces each other.

  • Eversion

moving the sole of the foot in an outward direction

  • Dorsiflexion

bending the ankle in an upward direction.

  • Plantar flexion

bending the ankle in a downward direction.

  • Protraction

Forward Movement of body joints like mandible and shoulder girdle.

  • Retraction

The backward movement of the mandible or shoulder girdle.

  • Supination

Movement in which the palm facing upwards.

  • Pronation

Movement in which the palm facing downwards.

  • Elevation

Upward Movement of the Body part

  • Depression

Downward Movement of the Body part

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