Copyright

Flexion Movement

Dan Washmuth, Catherine Konopka
  • Author
    Dan Washmuth

    Dan has taught college Nutrition and Anatomy courses for several years. He has a B.S. in Exercise Physiology from Furman University and a M.S. in Dietetics & Nutrition from Florida International University. He is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C)

  • Instructor
    Catherine Konopka

    Catherine has taught various college biology courses for 5 years at both 2-year and 4-year institutions. She has a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology.

Learn about flexion movement. This involves learning the flexion definition and about muscle flexion movements and common flexion exercises with examples. Updated: 12/29/2021

Table of Contents

Show

What is Muscle Flexion Movement?

One of the main functions of the musculoskeletal system is to produce movements of the body. The muscles contract and shorten which pulls on bones to move a specific body part. There are several different types of muscle movements, and each type of muscle movement has a different name. One specific muscle movement is known as muscle flexion. So, what exactly is muscle flexion?

Flexion Definition in Anatomy

What does flexion mean? Flexion is a movement that is characterized by a decrease in the angle between two or more bones that form a joint. In simple terms, flexion involves bending a joint. For example, the elbow joint is created by the humerus (a large bone in the upper arm), ulnar (bone on the pinky side of the forearm), and radius (bone on the thumb side of the forearm). The biceps brachii is the muscle located at the front of the upper arm, and when this muscle contracts, it pulls the bones of the forearm upward. The upward movement of the forearm decreases the angle of the elbow, and this movement is known as elbow flexion. Elbow flexion is used in many daily activities, such as when a person bends their arm to bring a utensil to their mouth while eating.


Flexion involves bending a joint, such as when a person bends their arm to bring food to their mouth.

eating


Flexion medical term: Flexion movements of the human body occur in the sagittal plane about the frontal axis. The sagittal plane runs up and down and divides the body into right and left sides. An axis of the body refers to a straight line that a body part rotates around, and the frontal axis is a horizontal line that passes through the body from right to left.

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: What is a Muscle Strain? - Definition, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Not All Muscles 'Flex'
  • 2:25 Two Types of Flexion
  • 3:15 Examples and Exercises…
  • 5:17 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Types of Flexion Movement

There are two types of flexion movements which are known as flexion and horizontal flexion. In the following sections, we will look closer at each of these types of flexion movements.

Flexion & Flexion Movement Examples

As it was previously mentioned, flexion occurs when there is a decrease in the angle between two or more bones that form a joint. Additionally, flexion usually occurs in a non-horizontal motion. Some flexion movement examples include:

  • Elbow flexion: bending the elbow to bring the forearm upward
  • Knee flexion: bending the knee to bring the lower leg upward
  • Shoulder flexion: lifting a straight arm up in front of the body
  • Trunk/back flexion: bending forward at the waist


There are several flexion movements in the human body, including bending over at the waist.

bending over


Horizontal Flexion & Horizontal Flexion Examples

Horizontal flexion is a specific type of flexion that occurs horizontally. An example of horizontal flexion in the human body includes holding an arm straight out to the side then bringing the straight arm toward the midline of the body and across the chest.

Flexion Exercises

There are several exercises that involve flexion of a body part, and the following chart describes some of these exercises:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Frequently Asked Questions

What is difference between flexion and extension?

Flexion and extension are considered to be opposite movements. Flexion occurs when the angle of a joint decreases, such as when a person bends their elbow. Extension occurs when the angle of a joint increases, such as when a person straightens their elbow joint.

What are the 5 types of movement?

5 main types of movement in the human body include flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, and rotation. Flexion involves decreasing the angle between two or more bones of a joint. Extension involves increasing the angle between two or more bones of a joint. Abduction involves moving a body part away from the midline of the body. Adduction involves moving a body part toward the midline of the body. Rotation involves twisting or rotation a body part.

What is flexion and extension movement?

Flexion is a movement that causes the angle between two bones of a joint to decrease, such as when a person bends their elbow joint. Extension is a movement that causes the angle between two bones of joint to increase, such as when a person straightens their elbow joint. Flexion and extension are considered to be opposite movements in the human body.

What is an example of flexion?

There are several examples of flexion in the human body which include bending the elbow joint, bending the knee joint, and bending forward at the waist.

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it now
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account