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Body Movement Terminology Resources

This page is provided for Massage Therapists, Med School students, Nursing students, Chiropractic students, Physical Therapists, and other Health Care students, as well as practicing Medical Professionals, teachers, and instructors at all levels. Anatomical movements are clarified with photographs, textual descriptions of the movement in everyday terms, and the muscles used for each movement.

To view a basic version of this page without the muscles, and have only the images and Anatomical Terms of Movement, please Click Here.

(To Turn Off The Side Menu and make This Full Screen, click on the button on the bottom left hand corner of every page, or click on this button right here. To go back, find the Back Arrow Button, bottom left of every page.)



Anatomical Terms of Movement Glossary

Vertebral Column     Neck     Ribs and Thorax     Scapula     Shoulder     Elbow and Forearm     Wrist     Thumb     Fingers     Mandible     Pelvis     Knee     Ankle     Foot     Toes    




Movements of The Vertebral Column (Spine and Thorax)

Flexion of The Vertebral Column (Spine and Thorax)

Flexion Of The Spine Starting Pose Flexion Of The Spine Middle Pose Flexion Of The Spine Final Pose

Rectus abdominus
External oblique (bilaterally)
Internal oblique (bilaterally)



Extension of the Vertebral Column (Spine and Thorax)

Extension Of The Spine Starting Pose Extension Of The Spine Middle Pose Extension Of The Spine Final Pose

Spinalis (bilaterally)
Longissimus (bilaterally)
Iliocostalis (bilaterally)
Multifidi
Rotatores
Semispinalis Capitis
Quadratus Longborum (assisting)
Intertransversarii (bilaterally)
Interspinalis
Latissumus Dorsi (with fixed arm)



Rotation of The Vertebral Column (Spine and Thorax) {A 'twist' of the spine.}

Rotation Of The Spine Starting Pose Rotation Of The Spine Middle Pose Rotation Of The Spine Final Pose

All Muscles Working UNIlaterally.
Multifidi (twisting to the opposite side)
Rotatores (twisting to the opposite side)
External oblique (twisting to the same side)
Internal oblique (twisting to the same side)



Lateral Flexion of The Vertebral Column (Spine and Thorax) {Leaning sideways.}

Lateral Flexion Of The Spine Starting Pose Lateral Flexion Of The Spine Middle Pose Lateral Flexion Of The Spine Final Pose

All Muscles Working UNIlaterally to the SAME side.
Spinalis
Longissimus
Iliocostalis
Quadratus lumborum
External oblique
Internal oblique
Intertransversarii
Lattisimus dorsi







Movements of The Neck

Flexion of the neck {bringing the chin down to the neck}

Flexion Of The Neck Starting Pose Flexion Of The Neck Middle Pose Flexion Of The Neck Final Pose



All Muscles Working BIlaterally.
Sternocleidomastoid
Anterior scalene
Longus capitis
Longus colii



Extension of the Neck

Extension Of The Neck Starting Pose Extension Of The Neck Middle Pose Extension Of The Neck Final Pose

Trapezius - Upper Fibers (bilaterally)
Levator scapula (bilaterally)
Splenius capitis (bilaterally)
Splenius cervicis (bilaterally)
Rectus capitis posterior major
Rectus capitis posterior minor
Oblique capitis superior
Semispinalis capitis
Longissimus capitis (asisting)
Longissimus cervicis (assisting)
Iliocostalis cervicis (assisting)



Rotation of the Neck

Rotation Of The Neck Starting Pose Rotation Of The Neck Middle Pose Rotation Of The Neck Final Pose

Muscles That Shorten On The Side Rotating Toward When Rotating The Neck Unilaterally
Levator scapula
Splenius capitis
Splenius cervicis
Rectus capitis posterior major
Oblique capitis inferior
Longus colli
Longus capitis
Longissimus capitis (asisting)
Longissimus cervicis (assisting)

Muscles That Shorten On The OPPOSITE SIDE of the Side Rotating Toward When Rotating The Neck Unilaterally
Trapezius - Upper Fibers
Sternocleidomastoid
Anterior scalene
Middle scalene
Posterior scalene



Lateral Flexion of the neck

Lateral Flexion Of The Neck Starting Pose Lateral Flexion Of The Neck Middle Pose Lateral Flexion Of The Neck Final Pose

All muscles unilaterally to the same side.
Trapezius- Upper Fibers
Levator scapula (bilaterally)
Splenius capitis
Splenius cervicis
Sternocleidomastoid
Longus Capitis
Longus Colli
Anterior scalene (with ribs fixed)
Middle scalene (with ribs fixed)
Posterior scalene (with ribs fixed)
Longissimus capitis (asisting)
Longissimus cervicis (assisting)
Iliocostalis cervicis (assisting)





Movements of The Ribs and Thorax

Elevation/Expansion (inhalation)

Anterior scalene (bilaterally)
Middle scalene (bilaterally)
Posterior scalene (bilaterally)
Sternoscleidomastoid (assists action)
External intercostals (assists action)
Serratus posterior superior
Pectoralis major (assists action with some positions of fixed arm)
Pectoralis minor (only if scapula is fixed)
Serratus anterior (only if scapula is fixed)
Subclavius (first rib)



Depression/Collapse (Exhalation)

Internal intercostals (assisting action)
Images Coming Soon! : )







Movements of The Scapula (Scapulothoracic Joint)

Elevation {Bringing the shoulders up.}

Elevation of the Scapula Starting Pose Elevation of the Scapula  Middle Pose Elevation of the Scapula  Final Pose

Trapezius (Upper Fibers)
Rhomboid major
Rhomboid minor
Levator scapula



Adduction (retraction) {Bringing the shoulders back.}

Adduction (retraction) of the Scapula Starting Pose Adduction (retraction) of the Scapula  Middle Pose Adduction (retraction) of the Scapula  Final Pose

Trapezius (Middle Fibers)
Rhomboid major
Rhomboid minor



Abduction (protraction)

Abduction (protraction) of the Scapula Starting Pose Abduction (protraction) of the Scapula  Middle Pose Abduction (protraction) of the Scapula  Final Pose

Trapezius (Upper Fibers)
Serratus anterior (when the origin is in a fixed position only)
Pectoralis minor



Depression

Depression of The Scapula Starting Pose Depression of The Scapula Middle Pose Depression of The Scapula Final Pose

Trapezius (Lower Fibers)
Serratus anterior (when the origin is in a fixed position only)
Pectoralis minor



Upward Rotation

Upward Rotation of the Scapula Starting Pose Upward Rotation of the Scapula  Middle Pose Upward Rotation of the Scapula  Final Pose

Trapezius (Upper and Lower Fibers)



Downward Rotation

Downward Rotation of the Scapula Starting Pose Downward Rotation of the Scapula  Middle Pose Downward Rotation of the Scapula  Final Pose

Rhomboid major
Rhomboid minor
Levator scapula







Movements of The Shoulder (Glenohumeral Joint)

Flexion

Flexion Of The Shoulder Starting Pose Flexion Of The Shoulder Middle Pose Flexion Of The Shoulder Final Pose

Deltoid (Anterior Fibers) Pectoralis major (upper fibers)
Pectoralis minor
Biceps brachii
Coracobrachialis



Extension

Extension Of The Shoulder Starting Pose Extension Of The Shoulder Middle Pose Extension Of The Shoulder Final Pose

Deltiod (Posterior Fibers)
Lattisimus Dorsi
Teres major
Infraspinatus
Teres minor
Pectoralis major (Lower Fibers)
Triceps brachii (Long Head)



Adduction

Adduction Of The Shoulder Starting Pose Adduction Of The Shoulder Middle Pose Adduction Of The Shoulder Final Pose

Latissimus dorsi
Teres major
Infraspinatus
Teres minor
Pectoralis major (all fibers)
Triceps brachii (long head)
Coracobrachialis



Abduction

Abduction Of The Shoulder Starting Pose Abduction Of The Shoulder Middle Pose Abduction Of The Shoulder Final Pose

Deltiod (All Fibers)
Supraspinatus







Movements of The Elbow and Forearm (humeroulnar and humeroradial joint - elbow, proximal and distal radioulnar joints / forearm)

Flexion of the Elbow

Flexion of the Elbow Starting Pose Flexion of the Elbow Middle Pose Flexion of the Elbow Final Pose

Biceps brachii
Brachialis
Brachioradialis
Flexor carpi radialis
Flexor carpi ulnaris (assisting action)
Palmaris longus
Pronator teres (assisting action)
Extensor carpi radialis longus (assisting action)
Extensor carpi radialis brevis (assists action)



Extension of the Elbow

Extension of the Elbow Starting Pose Extension of the Elbow Middle Pose Extension of the Elbow Final Pose

Triceps brachii (all heads)
Anconeus



Supination of the Forearm

Supination of the Forearm Starting Pose Supination of the Forearm Middle Pose Supination of the Forearm Final Pose

Biceps brachii
Supinator
Brachioradialis (assisting action)



Pronation of the Forearm

Pronation of the Forearm Starting Pose Pronation of the Forearm Middle Pose Pronation of the Forearm Final Pose

Pronator teres
Pronator quadratus
Brachioradialis (assisting action)







Movements of The Wrist

Flexion of the Wrist

Flexion of the Wrist Starting Pose Flexion of the Wrist Middle Pose Flexion of the Wrist Final Pose

Flexor carpi radialis
Flexor carpi ulnaris
Palmaris longus
Flexor digitorus superficialis
Flexor digitorum profundus (assiting action)



Extension

Extension of the Wrist Starting Pose Extension of the Wrist  Middle Pose Extension of the Wrist  Final Pose

Extensor carpi radialis longus
Extensor carpi radialis brevis
Extensor carpi ulnaris
Extensor digitorum (assiting action)



Adduction of the Wrist(ulnar deviation)

Adduction of the Wrist(ulnar deviation) Starting Pose Adduction of the Wrist(ulnar deviation) Middle Pose Adduction of the Wrist(ulnar deviation) Final Pose

Extensor carpi ulnaris
Flexor carpi ulnaris



Abduction of the Wrist(radial deviation)

Abduction of the Wrist(radial deviation) Starting Pose Abduction of the Wrist(radial deviation) Middle Pose Abduction of the Wrist(radial deviation) Final Pose

Extensor carpi radialis longus
Extensor carpi radialis brevis
Flexor carpi radialis







Movements of The Thumb (first carpometacarpal and metacarpophalangeal joints)

Flexion of the Thumb

Flexion of the Thumb Starting Pose Flexion of the Thumb Middle Pose Flexion of the Thumb Final Pose

Flexor pollicus longus
Flexor pollicus brevis
Adductor pollicus (assiting action)
Palmar interossei (1st) (assisting action)



Extension of the Thumb

Extension of the Thumb Starting Pose Extension of the Thumb Middle Pose Extension of the Thumb Final Pose

Extensor pollicus longus
Extensor pollicus brevis
Adductor pollicus (assisting action)
Palmar interossei (1st) (assisting action)



Opposition of the Thumb

Opposition of the Thumb Starting Pose Opposition of the Thumb Middle Pose Opposition of the Thumb Final Pose

Opponeens pollicus
Flexor pollicus brevis (assists action)
Abductor pollicus brevis (assisting action)



Adduction of the Thumb

Adduction of the Thumb Starting Pose Adduction of the Thumb Middle Pose Adduction of the Thumb Final Pose

Adductor Pollicis




Abduction of the Thumb

Abduction of the Thumb Starting Pose Abduction of the Thumb Middle Pose Abduction of the Thumb Final Pose

Abductor Pollicis Brevis
Abductor Pollicis Longus
Palmar Interossei








Movements of The Fingers (metacarpophalangeal, proximal and distal interphalangeal joints))

Flexion of the Fingers

Flexion of the Fingers Starting Pose Flexion of the Fingers Middle Pose Flexion of the Fingers Final Pose

Flexor digitorum superficialis
Flexor digitorum profundis
Flexor digiti minimi brevis (5th)
Lumbricals
Dorsal interossei (2nd - 4th) (assisting action)
Palmar interossei (2nd, 4th, 5th) (assisting action)



Extension of the Fingers

Extension of the Fingers Starting Pose Extension of the Fingers Middle Pose Extension of the Fingers Final Pose

Extensor digitorum
Extensor indicis (2nd)
Lumbricals
Dorsal interossei (2nd - 4th) (assisting action)
Palmar interossei (2nd, 4th, 5th) (assisting action)



Adduction of the Fingers

Adduction of the Fingers Starting Pose Adduction of the Fingers Middle Pose Adduction of the Fingers Final Pose

Palmar Interossei (toward the third finger)




Abduction of the Fingers

Abduction of the Fingers Starting Pose Abduction of the Fingers Middle Pose Abduction of the Fingers Final Pose

Dorsal Interossei
Abductor Digiti Minimu








Movements of The Mandible (temperomandibular joint)

Elevation

Depression of the Mandible Final Pose Depression of the Mandible Middle Pose Depression of the Mandible Starting Pose

Masseter
Temporalis
Medial ptergoid



Depression

Depression of the Mandible Starting Pose Depression of the Mandible Middle Pose Depression of the Mandible Final Pose

Geniohyoid
Mylohyoid
Stylohyoid
Digastic (with hyoid bone fixed)
Platysma (assisting)



Lateral Deviation

Lateral Deviation of the Mandible Starting Pose Lateral Deviation of the Mandible Middle Pose Lateral Deviation of the Mandible Final Pose

Lateral Pterygoid (to the opposite side)
Medial Pterygoid (to the opposite side)




Protraction

Protraction of the Mandible Starting Pose Protraction of the Mandible Middle Pose Protraction of the Mandible Final Pose

Lateral pterygoid (bilaterally)
Medial pterygoid (bilaterally)



Retraction

Retraction of the Mandible Starting Pose Retraction of the Mandible Middle Pose Retraction of the Mandible Final Pose

Temporalis
Digastic







Movements of The Pelvis



Posterior Tilt (upward rotation) of the Pelvis

Posterior Tilt (upward rotation) of the Pelvis Starting Pose Posterior Tilt (upward rotation) of the Pelvis Middle Pose Posterior Tilt (upward rotation) of the Pelvis Final Pose

Psoas Minor (present in 40% of population)
Biceps Femoris
Semitendinosus
Semimembranosus






Movements of The Hip (coxal joint)

Flexion

Flexion of the Hip Starting Pose Flexion of the Hip Starting Pose Middle Pose Flexion of the Hip Starting Pose Final Pose

Rectus femoris
Gluteus medius (anterior fibers)
Gluteus minumus
Addutor magnus (assisting)
Addutor brevis (assisting)
Pectineus (assisting)
Tensor fasciae latae
Sartorius Psoas major
Iliacus



Extension

Extension of the Hip Starting Pose Extension of the Hip  Middle Pose Extension of the Hip  Final Pose

Biceps femoris
Semiteninosus
Semimemranosus
Gluteus maximus (all fibers)
Gulteus medius (posterior fibers)
Adductor magnus (posterior fibers)



Adduction

Adduction of the Hip Starting Pose Adduction of the Hip  Middle Pose Adduction of the Hip  Final Pose

Adductor magnus
Adductor longus
Adductor brevis
Pectineus
Gracilis
Psoas major
iliacus
Gluteus maximus (lower fibers)



Abduction of the Hip

Abduction of the Hip Starting Pose Abduction of the Hip  Middle Pose Abduction of the Hip  Final Pose

Gluteus maximus (all fibers)
Gluteus medius (all fibers)
Gluteus minimus
Tensor Fasae latae
Sartorius
Piriformis (only when the hip is held in a felxed position)



Lateral Rotation (external rotation) of the Hip

Lateral Rotation (external rotation) of the Hip Starting Pose Lateral Rotation (external rotation) of the Hip Middle Pose Lateral Rotation (external rotation) of the Hip Final Pose

Biceps femoris
Gluteus maximus (all fibers)
Gluteus medius (posterior fibers)
Sartorius
Piriformis
Quadratus femoris
Obturator internus
Obturator externus
gemellus superior
gemellus inferior
Psoas major
Iliacus



Medial Rotation (internal rotation) of the Hip

Medial Rotation (external rotation) of the Hip Starting Pose Medial Rotation (external rotation) of the Hip Middle Pose Medial Rotation (external rotation) of the Hip Final Pose

Semitendinosus
Semimembranosus
Gluteus medius (anterior fibers)
Gluteus minumus
Adductor magnus
Adductor longus
Adductor brevis
Gracilis
Pectineus
Tensor Fasciae latae





Movements of The Knee (glenohumeral joint)

Flexion

Flexion of the Knee Starting Pose Flexion of the Knee Starting Pose Middle Pose Flexion of the Knee Starting Pose Final Pose

Biceps femoris
Semitendinosus
Semimembranosus
Gracilis
Sartorius
Gastrconemius
Popliteus
Plantaris (weakly)



Extension

Extension of the Knee Starting Pose Extension of the Knee Starting Pose Middle Pose Extension of the Knee Starting Pose Final Pose

Rectus femoris
Vastus lateralis
Vastus madialis
Vastus intermedius





Medial Rotation of Flexed Knee

Medial Rotation of Flexed Knee Starting Pose Medial Rotation of Flexed Knee Starting Pose Middle Pose Medial Rotation of Flexed Knee Starting Pose Final Pose

Semitendinosus
Semimembranosus
Gracilis
Sartorius
Popliteus









Movements of The Ankle (talocrural, talotarsal, midtarsal, tarsometatarsal, metatarsophalangeal and interphalangeal joints-fix for toes, foot, ankle!)

Dorsiflexion of Ankle

Dorsiflexion of Ankle Starting Pose Dorsiflexion of Ankle Starting Pose Middle Pose Dorsiflexion of Ankle Starting Pose Final Pose

Tibialis anterior
Extensor digitorum, longus
Extensor hallucis longus



Plantar Flexion of Ankle

Plantar Flexion of Ankle Starting Pose Plantar Flexion of Ankle Starting Pose Middle Pose Plantar Flexion of Ankle Starting Pose Final Pose

Gastrocnemius
Soleus
Tibialis posterior
Peroneus longus (assisting action)
Peroneus brevis (assisting action)
Flexor digitorum longus (weakly)
Flexor hallucis longus (weakly)
Plantaris (weakly)







Movements of the Foot

Inversion of the Foot

Inversion of the Foot Starting Pose Inversion of the Foot Starting Pose Middle Pose Inversion of the Foot Final Pose

Tibialis anterior
Tibialis posterior
Flexor digitorum longus
Flexor hallucis longus
Extensor hallucis longus



Eversion of the Foot

Eversion of the Foot Starting Pose Eversion of the Foot Middle Pose Eversion of the Foot Final Pose

Peroneus longus
Peroneus brevis
Extensor digitorum longus







Movements of The Toes

Flexion of the Toes (curling the toes)

Flexion of the Toes (curling the toes) Starting Pose Flexion of the Toes (curling the toes)  Middle Pose Flexion of the Toes (curling the toes) inal Pose

Flexor digiroum longus
Flexor digitorum brevis
Lumbricals
Quadratus plantae (assisting action)
Dorsal interossei (2nd - 4th toes)
Plantar interossei (3rd - 5th)
abductor digit minimi (5th)



Extension of Toes (straightening the toes)

Extension of Toes (straightening the toes) Starting Pose Extension of Toes (straightening the toes) Middle Pose Extension of Toes (straightening the toes) Final Pose

Extensor digitorum longus
Extensor digitorum brevis (2nd - 4th)
Lumbricals










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