In this anatomy lesson, I’m going to demonstrate protraction and retraction, which are special body movements in anatomy that most commonly involve the scapulae (shoulder blades).
Protraction moves the scapula forward (anteriorly) and toward the side of the body (laterally) in an anterolateral direction.
Retraction is the opposite movement. It causes the shoulder blades to move back (posteriorly) and toward the body’s midline (medially). This movement is known as a posteromedial movement.
Protraction and Retraction Mnemonic
Here’s a simple way to remember protraction and retraction body movements in anatomy:
· You Retract when you Reach Back!
· You Punch to Protract! In fact, the serratus anterior muscles assist with protraction of the scapulae, and they even call this muscle the boxer’s muscle for that very reason.
Free Quiz and More Anatomy Videos
Take a free protraction vs retraction quiz to test your knowledge, or review our protraction vs retraction video. In addition, you might want to watch our anatomy and physiology lectures on YouTube, or check our anatomy and physiology notes.