Directions of movement, abduction, adduction, anteversion, retroversion, flexion, extension


The directions of movement / dimensions of movement of the extremities in the joints is often controversial among laypeople in weight training. This is due to the fact that the individual exercises in strength training can be a mixture of several directions of movement (bench press, leg press, etc.).

In addition, the body position plays a decisive role. In adduction, for example, the straight arms can be brought to the vertical body. The butterfly lying down is also an adduction, although the arms maintain the same distance from the body when moving.


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During abduction, the arms and legs are removed from the body.

The butterfly reverse is a form of abduction in the shoulder joint, but the arms are held in front. (As with the flying ones)

Example. The stretched arms are close to the body. In the contraction phase, the arms are removed from the body.

Here you will find detailed information on the subject of abduction


Adduction is the opposite movement to abduction. The arms or legs that are removed from the body are brought to the body.

Here you will find detailed information and animations on the subject of adduction


Anteversion is the countermovement of retroversion and is characterized by the extremities being moved forward.

More detailed information on anteversion is available here.

Retro version

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The retroversion is the counter-movement of the anteversion and is characterized by the return of the extremities.

Here you will find detailed information on the subject of retroversion


The flexion or flexion is a decrease in the joint angle. A classic flexion movement is the biceps curl in weight training

Here you can get more detailed information about diffraction

Stretching (extension)

The stretching or extension causes an increase in the joint angle. Extension is the countermovement to flexion.

Examples and animations can be found under Stretching.

External rotation and internal rotation

To the External rotation To describe it in a simple and understandable way, one should imagine tightening a screw. There is an external rotation in the forearm (Elbow joint). Hence is a Internal rotation the countermovement. External and internal rotation can be performed in the Shoulder joint, Elbow joint, hip joint and knee joint.

  • Internal rotation
  • External rotation

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