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Flexion vs. Extension: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sara Rehman || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on January 19, 2024
Flexion is the bending of a joint decreasing the angle between bones, while extension is straightening a joint increasing the angle.

Key Differences

Flexion involves a decrease in the angle between the bones of a joint, like bending the elbow. Extension is the opposite movement, increasing the angle as in straightening the arm.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024
In flexion, muscles contract to bring bones closer, commonly observed in knee bending. Extension involves muscles elongating, returning the knee to a straightened position.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024
Flexion is essential in daily activities, such as squatting, which reduces the hip and knee angles. Extension movements are evident when standing up from a squat, increasing these angles.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024
Flexion can be limited by muscle tightness or joint problems, affecting movements like bending the wrist. Extension can also be limited by similar factors, impacting the ability to fully straighten the wrist.
Sara Rehman
Jan 19, 2024
Flexion and extension are fundamental in exercises, with flexion seen in bicep curls and extension in leg presses, demonstrating their role in muscle strengthening.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Joint Angle Change

Decreases angle
Increases angle
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024

Movement Example

Bending the elbow
Straightening the elbow
Sara Rehman
Jan 19, 2024

Muscle Action

Contracting muscles
Elongating muscles
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024

Daily Activities

Sitting down (hip/knee flexion)
Standing up (hip/knee extension)
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024

Exercise Example

Bicep curls (arm flexion)
Leg presses (leg extension)
Aimie Carlson
Jan 19, 2024
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Flexion and Extension Definitions

Flexion

Flexion refers to reducing the angle between two body parts.
Knee flexion is necessary for walking.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Extension

Extension is the straightening of a joint.
Extension of the arm releases the thrown ball.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Flexion

Flexion is the act of bending a joint.
The flexion of her fingers allowed her to grasp the object.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Extension

Extension is a movement that increases the angle of a limb at a joint.
Knee extension occurs when kicking a ball.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

Flexion

Flexion is a movement decreasing the angle of a limb at a joint.
Elbow flexion is used to lift weights.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Extension

Extension is the action of lengthening muscles around a joint.
Elbow extension is part of a push-up movement.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Flexion

Flexion is the action of bending muscles around a joint.
Spinal flexion is common in yoga poses.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Extension

Extension increases the angle between two body parts.
Hip extension is crucial for standing up.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Flexion

Flexion involves the bending of a body segment.
Neck flexion helps in looking downwards.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

Extension

Extension involves straightening a body segment.
Back extension helps in maintaining posture.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

Flexion

The act of bending a joint or limb in the body by the action of flexors.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Extension

The act of extending or the condition of being extended
The extension of the subway into the suburbs.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Flexion

The resulting condition of being bent.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

FAQs

What is extension?

Extension is the movement that increases the angle between body parts at a joint.
Sara Rehman
Jan 19, 2024

Which activities involve extension?

Extension is involved in activities like standing and reaching out.
Janet White
Jan 19, 2024

What is flexion?

Flexion is the movement that decreases the angle between body parts at a joint.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024

Where is flexion commonly seen?

Flexion is common in joints like the elbows, knees, and fingers.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024

Is flexion always voluntary?

Flexion can be both a voluntary and involuntary movement.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024

Are flexion and extension opposite movements?

Yes, they are generally considered opposite movements.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 19, 2024

What role does extension play in posture?

Extension is important for maintaining upright and proper posture.
Harlon Moss
Jan 19, 2024

Can extension help in back pain?

Proper extension exercises can alleviate certain types of back pain.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 19, 2024

Can flexion be limited due to injury?

Yes, injuries can limit both flexion and extension movements.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024

Can flexion and extension occur in all joints?

Most joints allow flexion and extension, but the range varies.
Harlon Moss
Jan 19, 2024

How do flexion and extension relate to exercise?

They are key movements in many exercises for building muscle strength.
Harlon Moss
Jan 19, 2024

Do flexion and extension occur in the spine?

Yes, the spine is capable of both flexion and extension movements.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024

How is extension used in rehabilitation?

Extension exercises are often part of rehabilitation programs.
Harlon Moss
Jan 19, 2024

Can flexion and extension be asymmetric?

Yes, there can be asymmetry in these movements in some individuals.
Janet White
Jan 19, 2024

Are there diseases that affect flexion and extension?

Conditions like arthritis can affect the range of both flexion and extension.
Janet White
Jan 19, 2024

What muscles are involved in extension?

Extension typically involves muscles opposite those used in flexion.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024

Is flexion important for flexibility?

Yes, the ability to flex joints is a measure of flexibility.
Harlon Moss
Jan 19, 2024

How do flexion and extension affect balance?

They play a crucial role in maintaining and adjusting balance.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024

Can flexion be improved with exercise?

Yes, exercises can improve the range of flexion in joints.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024

Is extension limited as we age?

Aging can reduce the range of extension in some joints.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 19, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.

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