Kinesiology and Functional Anatomy of the Upper Extremities Video Training

Learn anatomy and movement of the upper extremities

NOTE: The following information and videos were provided by Wexford University for NESTA. When Wexford stopped offering degree programs, NESTA acquired the educational content.  NESTA has been offering fitness, wellness, nutrition and sports performance coaches education, certifications and career training since 1992. Enjoy this free training.

The NESTA certification programs most similar to the content below are the Biomechanics Specialist You can enroll online or by calling our office.

Kinesiology and Functional Anatomy of the Upper Extremities Video Training

Kinesiology, in its simplest form, is the scientific study of human movement. This module will present basic concepts in kinesiology, and more specifically, basic movement terminology. It is vital that all coaches and personal fitness trainers understand these terms for proper application. Descriptions that provide a foundation for properly expressing human movement are provided (the efficient application of exercise techniques using these descriptions will be presented in a later module).

Coinciding with Kinesiology is Functional Anatomy. This subject is equally as important for explaining human movement but what is Functional anatomy? Traditional anatomy is, in the classic sense, based on the specific location of different bodily structures. Functional anatomy takes traditional anatomy a step further by considering muscle location (origins and insertions),the movement produced by that muscle to include if a muscle crosses more than one joint, how a muscle moves in the various planes of motion, and the “system” an individual muscle or group of muscles work within. The “system” includes individual bones or multiple bones and the associated joints they interact with (as you will learn a system is a body or group of bodies or objects whose motion is to be examined).

We must also inform coaches and trainers that the term “functional” actually has many meanings; therefore, for our purposes, the various synonyms for this term include (but are not limited to) useful, purposeful, and practical. We learn many aspects of science particularly biology, chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, mechanics, nutrition, etc. Nevertheless, while these subjects are vital to exercise science, many data from these various subjects is only useful in specific circumstances beyond the foundational education required for becoming an effective coach or trainer. This is where the term “functional” applies.

Are these data always useful, purposeful, and/or practical in every circumstance? We must learn this information first then apply it in a useful, purposeful, and practical way depending on when and how the information will best be utilized for providing solutions in a particular situation. As stated in the introduction, this field is inundated with information from an overwhelming number of sources, but is all the information presented the best information for our needs? Let’s begin our quest to the discovery of this vital information by learning the basics of Kinesiology and “Functional” Anatomy to build our scientific and useful information foundation for determining efficient and effective movements as well as a starting point for individualized and practical training programs.

The Necessity and Importance of Kinesiology

Through kinesiology & analysis of skills (a skill is human movement applied to any activity i.e. sporting movement or activity of daily living) all those involved in physical training must enrich their understanding of the fundamentals of human movement to provide the correct instruction and coaching cues for improving all aspects of physical conditioning for performance enhancement as well as overall health and wellness. As stated in Section One’s introduction, Kinesiology is extremely important for learning the basics of human movement related to the kinetic chain for improving human movement as well as understanding how the body adapts accordingly (Exercise Physiology) and mechanical principles (Biomechanics). This information is imperative and extremely necessary to anatomists, coaches, strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers, nurses, physical educators, physical therapists, occupational therapists, physicians, athletic trainers, massage therapists & ALL others in health-related fields. Everyone in the physical training arena should have:

  • an adequate knowledge & understanding of the Kinetic Chain (skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems) to teach others how to strengthen, improve, & maintain these parts of human body
  • not only know how & what to do in relation to conditioning & training but also know why specific exercises are done in conditioning & training for all those participating in a personal fitness or a performance enhancement training program.

The necessity and influence on how these subjects have on all human movement include how each subject is interpreted accordingly. These interpretations are:

  • Kinesiology – study of motion or human movement
  • Anatomic/structural kinesiology – study of human musculoskeletal system & musculo-tendinous system as involved in the science of movement.


The NESTA certification programs most similar to the content below are the Biomechanics Specialist and the Functional Training Specialist. You can enroll online or by calling our office.