The synovial joints of the human body allow for large ranges of movement. These movements are the result of muscles relaxing and contracting. When naming these movements, anatomists generally pair together one motion with its direct opposite. References to anatomical motions assume the body is in an upright stance with arms to the side and palms facing forward, like Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. Two such paired movements are flexion and extension.
Three principal planes allow for accurate descriptions of motion. The sagittal plane bisects the body, separating it into left and right sides. The coronal plane also divides the body down the middle, but in the other direction, designating the dorsal and ventral or back and front portions. The transverse plane is the only horizontal plane, and it divides the body into cranial or upper body and caudal or lower body.
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