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a study that uses principles of physics to quantitatively study how forces interact within a living body


positioned above a point of reference


positioned below a point of reference


positioned nearest the center of the body, or point of reference


positioned farthest from the center of the body, or point of reference

anterior (or ventral)

on the front of the body

posterior (or dorsal)

on the back of the body


positioned near the middle of the body


toward the outside of the body


positioned on the opposite side of the body


positioned on the same side of the body


an imaginary bisector that divides the body into left and right halves


the bending of a joint, causing the angles to the joint to increase

frontal plane

divides body into front and back


movement of a body part away the middle of the body


movement of a body part toward the middle of the body

transverse plane

divides the body top and bottom

internal rotation

rotation of a joint toward the middle of the body

eccentric contraction

the lengthening of a muscle

isometric contraction

a muscle maintaining a certain length

concentric contraction

the shortening of a muscle


an influence applied by one object to another, which results in an acceleration or deceleration of the second object

length-tension relationship

the length at which a muscle can produce the greatest force


muscle groups moving together to produce movement around a joint

rotary motion

movement of the bones around the joints


a force that produces rotation

motor behavior

the process of the body responding to internal and external stimuli

motor control

the study of posture and movement and the involved structures and mechanisms that the central nervous system uses to assimilate and integrate sensory information with previous experience


groups of muscles that are recruited by the central nervous system to provide movement


the cumulative sensory input to the central nervous system from all mechanoreceptors that sense position and limb movement

sensorimotor integration

the cooperation of the nervous and muscular system in gathering information, interpreting, and executing movement

motor learning

repeated practice of motor control processes, which lead to a change in the ability to produce complex movements


the use of sensory information and sensorimotor integration to help the kinetic chain in motor learning

external feedback

information provided by some external source, such as a health and fitness professional, videotape, mirror, or heart monitor to supplement the internal environment

internal feedback

the process whereby sensory information is used by the body to reactively monitor movement and the environment

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