Forms of movement


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 in weight training among laypeople. 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 upright body. The butterfly lying down is also an adduction, although the arms maintain the same distance from the body as it moves.


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. Here, 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 to retroversion and is characterized by a forward movement of the extremities.

More detailed information on the topic of anteversion is available here.

Retro version

The retroversion is the countermovement 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 reduction of the joint angle. A classic flexion movement is the biceps curl in weight training

You can find more detailed information on diffraction here

Stretching (extension)

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

For examples and animations, see 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