ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Basic Anatomical Terminology and Planes of Motion

Updated on August 13, 2015
Source

In order to easily refer to any part of human anatomy or describe any human motion, one must understand the terminology for the three dimensional planes that the human body moves in and some terminology that explains anatomy or motion based on a reference point on the body.

Planes of Motion

The human body moves in three dimension space, and each of those dimensional planes has a name.

  • Motion within the Sagittal Plane is forward or backward and is parallel to an imaginary plane dividing the body's left and right sections
  • Motion within the Frontal Plane is left or right and is parallel to an imaginary plane dividing the body's front and back sections
  • Motion within the Transverse Plane is rotational and is parallel to an imaginary plane dividing the body's upper and lower sections, also the waistline


Anatomical Reference Terms

The following terms are vital to describing anything in relation to a fixed point of human anatomy

Term
Refers to
Term
Refers To
Anterior
Toward the Front
Ventral
Same as Anterior; Toward the Front
Posterior
Toward the Back
Dorsal
Same as Posterior; Toward the Back
Superior
Toward the Head; Upper
Inferior
Away from the Head; Lower
Medial
Toward the midline of body (spine)
Lateral
Away from the Midline of body (spine)
Proximal
Toward the attached end of the limb, origin of the structure, or midline of the body
Distal
Away from the attached end of the limb, origin of the structure, or midline of the body
Superficial
External; close to or on the surface of the body
Deep
Internal; located further beneath the surface of the body than superficial structures
Cervical
The region of the neck
Thoracic
The region between the neck and the abdomen; the region of the chest
Lumbar
Region of back between the abdomen and the pelvis
Plantar
The sole or bottom of the feet
Dorsal
Top surface of feet or hands
Palmar
The palm of the hands

Examples of Terminology in Motion

Extension and Flexion, such as the movement of walking, occurs on the Sagittal Plane
Extension and Flexion, such as the movement of walking, occurs on the Sagittal Plane | Source
Adduction and Abduction, such as the movement of lateral dumbbell raises, or jumping jacks, occurs on the Frontal Plane
Adduction and Abduction, such as the movement of lateral dumbbell raises, or jumping jacks, occurs on the Frontal Plane | Source
Horizontal abduction and horizontal adduction, as well as rotation, such as the movement of swinging a golf club, occur in the Transverse Plane
Horizontal abduction and horizontal adduction, as well as rotation, such as the movement of swinging a golf club, occur in the Transverse Plane | Source

Fundamental Movement Terminology

To better understand the terminology, try doing each movement.

Movements in the Sagittal Plane

  • Flexion: Decreasing the angle between two bones
  • Extension: Increasing the angle between two bones
  • Dorsiflexion: Moving the top of the foot toward the shin at the ankle joint
  • Plantarflexion: Moving the sole of the foot downward; pointing the toes

Movements in the Frontal Plane

  • Abduction: Motion away from the midline of the body
  • Adduction: Motion toward the midline of the body
  • Elevation: Moving to a superior position (i.e. shoulder shrugs)
  • Depression: Moving to an inferior position
  • Inversion: Lifting the medial border of the foot
  • Eversion: Lifting the lateral border of the foot

Movement in the Transverse Plane

  • Rotation: Internal or External turning about the vertical axis of bone
  • Pronation: Rotating the hand and wrist medially from the elbow
  • Supination: Rotating the hand and wrist laterally from the elbow
  • Horizontal flexion/adduction: From a 90-degree abducted arm position, the humerus is flexed/adducted in toward the midline of the body
  • Horizontal extension/abduction: The return of the humerus from horizontal flexion/adduction

Multiplanar Movements

  • Circumduction: Motion that describes a "cone"; combines flexion, extension, abduction, and adduction in sequence
  • Opposition: Thumb movement unique to humans and primates

Using what you know

view quiz statistics

About this Hub

As I study for certification as a Personal Trainer with the American Council on Exercise, I'm creating these hubs which follow along with the course material. If you are studying for ACE Certification as well, you can use these hubs for exam review, or just use them as general information to better understand exercise science.

Thanks for Reading!

If you like this hub, please click here to share it.

I love hearing your feedback, or suggestions for what I should cover next, so PLEASE leave me a comment below.

If you have questions, comment below. I do read and respond! It's always an open discussion in my hubs :)

Be sure to follow me on Hubpages for new articles!

You can follow me on Facebook at:

facebook.com/yourcoachmatt
and
facebook.com/iqpawf

And on Twitter @yourcoachmatt

For information about personal coaching, book your free consultation from the 'Book Now' tab at fb.com/yourcoachmatt. Limited spaces available!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      Wow, this is great information and so educational. I am sure you will see this of interest to many studying the human body and motion. Wish I could understand it more because it is so interesting. Voted up.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)