Action of bones and joints

Medical Vocabulary / Movements

It involves bending or decreasing the angle at the joints.


  1. When the calf bends back toward the thigh, flexion occurs.
  2. When a bodybuilder flexes his muscles, he changes the angle of his bones at the joints. 

It is the opposite of flexion, with bones straightened to a 180- degree angle—a straight line.

It involves turning a body part on an axis. Just as the earth turns, the entire body may turn.


Moving a muscle or bone around its longitudinal axis, such as rotating a shoulder.

However, a single body part (such as an arm or leg) cannot turn in a complete circle of 360 degrees because doing so would tear tissues such as blood vessels and nerves.

It involves drawing away from the midline of the body.


Lifting up the arm at the shoulder joint moves it away from the body.

It involves moving toward the midline or trunk.

Dropping the arm at the shoulder joint moves it back toward the body.


A circular movement of a limb or eye.

Turning the palm of the hand up.

Turning the palm of the hand down towards the ground.

Lifting or elevating the foot.

Lowering the foot, such as when pointing one’s toes.

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