Man doing bicep curls. Important movement for workouts.


Whether you workout at the gym, at home, you work out with weights or not, you will be making movements.

You can’t just make any movement you like because this is unproductive. You need to know how to move and what you are doing just as you need to know how your muscles work. This will make your workouts more efficient and easier to do and also it will help you achieve your fitness goal. Furthermore, doing your workouts right will help prevent workout injuries.

Joints help facilitate movements for workouts. Important joints that help facilitate movements are the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle joints.

Important movements and examples of exercises where you need these movements

Diagrammatical representation of important movements for workouts

Flexion and Extension. Flexion refers to a movement that decreases the distance between two body parts while extension refers to a movement that increases the distance between two body parts. For example, to do bicep curls, you will need to flex and extend the arms. Flexion brings your forearm closer to your upper arm decreasing the angle between them while extension takes your forearm away from your upper arm increasing the angle between them.

Abduction and Adduction. These terms are used to describe movements towards or away from the midline of the body. Abduction is the movement away from the midline while adduction is the movement away from the midline. For example, to do Rear delt raise you need to abduct and adduct both arms.

Medial and Lateral Rotation. Rotation is the movement of the limbs along their long axis in relation to the midline of the body. Medial rotation is the rotation towards the midline while lateral rotation is the rotation away from the midline. You will need rotation mostly for core body workouts.

Elevation and Depression. Elevation is the movement in a superior direction while depression is the movement in an inferior direction. An example of an exercise you will need this is the Dumbbell shoulder shrug.

Dorsiflexion and Plantarflexion. These terms are used to describe movements at the ankle. The dorsum is the superior surface of the foot while the plantar is the sole of the foot. Dorsiflexion, as the name suggests, is the flexion of the ankle towards its superior surface while plantarflexion is the extension of the foot towards its sole. Heel raise exercise requires the plantar flexion of the foot in the standing position.

Inversion and Eversion. These are terms for the rotation of the foot at the ankle joint in relation to the midline of the body. Inversion is the rotation inwards towards the midline while Eversion is the rotation outwards away from the midline. For example, you might want to invert or evert your feet while performing heel raises to increase or decrease the intensity of the workout.




Dr Klas

Dr Klas aka Dr Emmanuel Adeniran is a medical doctor, a health educator, and a fitness enthusiast who has been into fitness for more than five years. He is willing to share his knowledge and experience with you.

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