Difference Between Abduction and Adduction

Abduction is a concept related to anatomy. It shows the motion of the body or anatomical structure that is away from the midline. 

Adduction is also related to anatomy and physiology. It shows the motion of the body towards the midline. It means the movements of our body parts are inside.

Comparison Table Between Abduction and Adduction

Parameters of ComparisonAbductionAdduction
CausesAbductors are responsible for abduction.Adductors are responsible for adduction. 
Leg MusclesIn this, thighs are spread. In this, thighs are moved inwards.
Arm MusclesIt takes place in Supraspinatus and Deltoid. It takes place in pectoralis major and Latissimus dorsi.
Anatomical StructuresIt involves short fibres.It involves long fibres. 
Hand and Foot MusclesFingers and Toes move apart.Fingers and toes move together.

What is Abduction?

Movement of the body and limbs which pulls it away from the centre of the body is termed as Abduction. When the hands are swung higher or taken up to the shoulders is when the process of abduction takes place.

When the hands are far away from the wrist and the centre of the body, then it is called radial deviation. When hands move apart, it is a radial styloid.

It takes place in the shoulder when a person raises their arms and moves far away to the sides. In hips, also when a person raises the legs and moves it far away out to the sides, then abduction happens.

What is Adduction?

 The movement of the body and limbs which pulls it towards the centre of the body is termed Adduction. When there is a contraction in the toes and fingers, it moves towards the body via the help of the adductor’s muscles.

Adductor Magnus and Brevis have a greater force. For the adduction of the fingers, palmar interossei are responsible. For arms, the latissimus dorsi is responsible, which is also a back muscle of our body.

For the movement of the big toe, adductor hallucis is responsible. For spreading toes, plantar interossei also play an important role.

Main Differences Between Abduction and Adduction

  1. Abduction involves short fibres in length. Adduction involves long fibres in length has a greater force. 
  2. Fingers and Toes move apart in Abduction. Fingers and toes move together in Adduction.
Difference Between Abduction and Adduction


Both Abduction and Adduction are motions that occur due to anatomy in the body. Both take place from the epicentre of the body i.e. midline or centerline, which is an imaginary line drawn for convenience.

All the limbs, joints and other parts perform the functions of Abduction and Adduction. Both are very important as they are responsible for maintaining varied anatomical position in the body.

In simple words, it can be said Abduction and Adduction are responsible for the expansion and contraction of anatomical structures in the body.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1051044307613086
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002192900100080X
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