Difference Between Abduction and Adduction (With Table)

Muscle contractions are the primary means through which the body moves. All muscle movements in humans are categorised according to the direction in which they move, provided the body is in anatomical position. There are two forms of motion when it comes to adjusting in regard to the body’s midline: abduction and adduction.

Abduction vs Adduction

The main difference between Abduction and Adduction is that the motion that pulls a structure away from the middle is known as abduction. Adduction, on the other hand, is a movement that pulls a component toward the midline of the body.

Abduction is the displacement of tissues or limbs away from the center of the body caused by abductor muscle activity. The abductor muscles pull the toes and fingers apart as they contract. The movement of a body portion toward the body’s midline is known as adduction. Adduction is the motion of digits toward the limb in the case of fingers or toes.

Adduction involves raising the arms to the chest or bringing the knees together. Ulnar deviation is the term used to describe wrist adduction. Adduction is a movement that pulls a bodily portion away from the body’s midline.

Comparison Table Between Abduction and Adduction

Parameters of ComparisonAbductionAdduction
DefinitionA limb or structure moves away from the centre of the body.A limb or structure moves towards the centre of the body.
CausesAbductors are responsible for abduction.Adductors are responsible for adduction.
Leg MusclesThe thighs are splayed out in this position.The thighs are pushed inwards in this movement.
Arm MusclesIt occurs in the Supraspinatus and Deltoid muscles.It occurs in the pectoralis major and Latissimus dorsi muscles.
Hand and Foot MusclesThe fingers and toes separate.Toes and fingers move in unison.

What is Abduction?

Abduction is a movement of the body and limbs that draws them away from the centre of the body. The process of abduction begins when the hands are swung higher or taken up to the shoulders. Abduction is defined as the movement of the arms laterally or the separation of the knees from the torso. Abductors muscles are the muscles that participate in the abduction action.

Radial deviation occurs when the hands are separated from the wrist and the axis of the body. It’s a radial styloid when the hands move apart. Abduction occurs when the hips, shoulders, foot, toes, vocal cords, wrist, and face move. When the face moves away from the neck or expands away from the centerline.

When the digits expand away from the feet and hand centerline, this is called abduction. Relaxing is in a silent condition when a person is not speaking. Abduction aids in the separation of the vocal cords, allowing a person to breathe normally.

Abduction is any movement in which you draw one or both of your legs or arms away from your midline and out to the sides. Abduction is when you raise your arms and jump your feet out wide in the first portion of a jumping jack.

What is Adduction?

Adduction is an anatomical word for a movement in which a limb or body part moves toward the body’s centre or medial line. The movement of the fingers or toes toward the middle of the hand or foot is also known as adduction.

Adduction is a term that can be used to describe a variety of motions. Adduction can be demonstrated by a person folding their arms across their chest or squeezing their toes together. It is adducted when a person’s eye moves toward his or her nose.

When one eye is adducted, the other is abducted because proper eye movement requires synchronised motion. The person will have crossed eyes, or strabismus, if both eyes are adducted. Adductors are muscles that help with adduction.

Adduction motions are further characterized based on the specific motion and muscles involved. Adduction of the wrist, for example, is referred to as ulnar deviation. The hand travels toward the ulna, or inner long bone of the forearm, during this motion.

Main Differences Between Abduction and Adduction

  1. The motion that pulls a structure away from the midline is known as abduction. Adduction, on the other hand, is a motion that pulls a structure toward the midline of the body.
  2. The movement of digits toward the limb is called adduction, whereas the movement away from the limb is called abduction.
  3. The abduction of the wrist is known as radial deviation, while the adduction of the wrist is known as ulnar deviation.
  4. Supraspinatus and Deltoid, which are linked to the scapula and humerus, are the sites of abduction. Adduction occurs in the pectoralis major and the back muscle Latissimus dorsi.
  5. Abduction necessitates the use of short fibres. The force of adduction is increased when long fibres are used.
  6. Abduction causes the fingers and toes to move apart. In Adduction, the fingers and toes move in unison.
  7. The Abductors muscles are in charge of the abduction motion. The process of adduction is controlled by the adductor muscles.


Abduction and adduction are movements that occur in the body as a result of anatomy. Both take place from the epicentre of the body, also known as the midline or centerline, which is a convenient imaginary line.

Abduction and Adduction are performed by all limbs, joints, and other body parts. Both are crucial since they are in charge of maintaining the body’s various anatomical positions. Abduction and Adduction are accountable for the stretching of anatomical structures in the body, in simple terms.

The movement of anatomical structures away from the midline is known as abduction. Abduction, for example, elevates the arms out to the sides of the body in the shoulder. Adduction, on the other hand, is the movement of anatomical structures toward the midline. As a result, adduction in the shoulder lowers the arms towards the torso.

Thus, the primary distinction between abduction and adduction is the movement’s direction in relation to the body’s midline.


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-007-9223-4
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0268003311003202