Movements of the Shoulder Joint

Shoulder Extension:

Definition: Straightening the shoulder joint by moving the upper arm posteriorly (to the back).
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Shoulder Flexion:

Definition: Bending the shoulder joint by moving the upper arm anteriorly (to the front).
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Shoulder Abduction:

Definition: Moving the upper arm laterally (outward), away from the sagittal plane (midline).
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Shoulder Adduction:

Definition: Moving the upper arm medially (inward), toward the sagittal plane (midline).
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Shoulder External Rotation (Lateral Rotation):

Definition: Rotating the upper arm laterally (outward).
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  • Standing external rotation
  • Lying external rotation

Shoulder Internal Rotation (Medial Rotation):

Definition: Rotating the upper arm medially (inward).
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  • Standing internal rotation
  • Lying internal rotation

Shoulder Horizontal Abduction (Transverse Abduction or Horizontal Extension):

Definition: Moving the upper arm laterally (outward) through a transverse (horizontal) plane, away from the sagittal plane (midline). (I.e. Moving the arms horizontally away from the chest.)
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Shoulder Horizontal Adduction (Transverse Adduction or Horizontal Flexion):

Definition: Moving the upper arm medially (inward) through a transverse (horizontal) plane, toward from the sagittal plane (midline). (I.e. Moving the arms horizontally across the chest.)
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About the Author Alex

Hey! My name is Alex, and I'm the owner and author of King of the Gym. I started this website back in late 2009 during college, and it has been my pet project ever since. My goal is to help you learn proper weight training and nutrition principles so that you can get strong and build the physique of your dreams!

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