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Movements of the Shoulder Joint

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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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Exercises:
  • Standing external rotation
  • Lying external rotation

Shoulder Internal Rotation (Medial Rotation):

Definition:Rotating the upper arm medially (inward).
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Exercises:
  • 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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