An untravelled eye or a lay man can see that there are types or physique, observations had shown that certain physique dominate a particular sport or a position with a particular sport.

E.g a cross country runner tends to have small lean body. Whereas, a defensive player in soccer tends to have quite large and muscular body.

    The classification of the human body according to their physique is called somato type. The body physique has been classified into three categories, namely: Endomorph, ectomorph, mesomorphs.

Endomorph: The endomorphic body type is characterized by a roundness and softness of the body. The endomorph is not tall and not lean.

They are not average in height but large and rounded body with heavy muscles. They’re very good in swimming.

The mesomorph: The mesomorphic individual has a very muscular physique with big bones. They’re the type found in wrestling, rugby, weight lifting and boxing.

Ectomorph: The ectomorphic persons are characterized with small bones and lean body. They are also fairly tall. They are found in sports such as volleyball, basketball and long distance race.

This culd be understood by the use of anatomical terms that are used to describe human body features. Some of the terms are bilateral symmetry.

    Bilateral symmetry is one of the most obvious of the external organizational features in human. To say that human body features (Body) are bilaterally symmetry, it simply means that, the right and left side of the body are mirror images of each other.

An important feature of bilateral symmetry is balanced proportion. There’s a remarkable correspondence in size and shape when comparing similar anatomic parts on areas of opposite side of the body. However, right or left dominance influences body strength and mass on the dominant side.

Repetitive exercise of prominent muscle group on an athlete dominant side can result in a localized asymmetry.

Assessment of injury, especially to an extremities often requires careful comparison of the injured and the uninjured side. Minimal swelling on deformity in one side of the body is often apparent only to the trained observant who routinely compares a suspected area of injury with its corresponding fact on the opposite side of the body.

Contralateral: The type contralateral means opposite and it is used to designate or describe an anatomy region or part of the injured on the opposite side of the body.

For example, if the right knee was injured, the left will be described as the contralateral knee.

Ipsilateral: ipsilateral on the other means “on the same side” and refers to a body part or area situated on the same side of the body as the injury.

For example, if reference is made to ipsilateral of muscle spasm on the thigh after an injury to the right knee, those spasm will be on the right tigh.

When assessing an injury, it is necessary to use prescribe terms to describe body parts and areas and the relationships that exist between them.

To avoid misunderstanding when using terms that describe directions and locations of the body.

A standardized anatomic positions had been deducted. In the anatomic position, the body is erect and facing forward, arms by the sides with the palm facing forward and forearms supinated.

When the body is in an anatomic position, the following is used to describe the location of one body part in relation to another.


  • Superior: It means towards the head end of the body. That is, the nose is superior to the mouth.
  • Inferior: It means away from the head end of the body. That is, lower. The bladder is inferior to the stomach, the ankle is inferior to the knee.
  • Anterior/Ventral: means in front. For example, the eyes are located at the anterior surface of the head.
  • Posterior/dorsal: means back. The scapular are located on the posterior part of the body.
  • Medial: Towards the midline of the body. For example. The big toe is located at the medial side of the foot.
  • Lateral: Means away from the midline of the body. Eg, the little toe is located at the lateral side of the body.
  • Proximal: Means nearer to the point of attachment of an extremities to the trunk or the point of origin of a part. The elbow is proximal to the wrist.
  • Distal: Farther away from the point of attachment of an extremities to the trunk or a point of origin of a part. For example, the hand is located at the distal end of the forearm.
  • Superficial: means nearer to the surface. Eg, skin is superficial to the muscles below it.
  • Deep: Farther away from the body surface. The bone is deeper to the muscles surround it.

The body has a whole is divided into two regions or division, namely, Axial and Appendicular region. Under the axial region, we have the following: Head (Cranium) and the face, the neck, the trunk which consists of the thorax, the upper back and lower back, the abdomen and the appendix.

Under Appendicular region, we have upper extremities which consists of the arms, the shoulders, the hands, the fingers, lower extremities that consists buttock, thigh, knee , lower leg, ankle, feet and toes.

To visualize the internal organs of the body, it is necessary to cut or section the body into components parts of the body.

The body is a three dimension structure and as such can be divided by three standard planes or section.

Each plane is oriented at the right angle to the two remaining planes as they pass through.

The coronal or frontal plane: This plane run from side to side. It cuts the body or any of its parts into anterior and posterior. That is, front and back portions ( cut through shoulder).

The sagittal plane: This plane run from front to the back. This length wise plane divides the body into right and left portion.

The transverse plane: This plane is a cross-wise cut or session that divides the body or any of its parts into superior and inferior.