7 2.0 The Bio in Biomechanics

A discussion of Biomechanics would not be possible without a brief presentation of anatomical terms. This section introduces the basics of muscles, joints and bones as these terms will be used for the rest of the course when discussing human movement.

Since the human body can move in different position, we will often discuss human movement relative to the anatomical position. The anatomical position refers to an upright body, facing the observer, feet flat and directed forward. The upper limbs are at the body’s sides with the palms facing forward. Certain terms used to describe the body and segments include:

  1. Superior: towards the head
    Inferior: away from the head
  2. Anterior: towards the front of the body
    Posterior: towards the back of the body
  3. Medial : towards the midline of the body
    Lateral : away from the midline of the body
  4. Proximal: closest to the trunk
    Distal: away from the trunk
  5. Superficial: towards the surface of the body
    Deep: away from the surface


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Biomechanics of Human Movement Copyright © August 22, 2016 by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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