Hinge Joints: Move Your Arm Like a … Door?

Contributor: Kaitlyn Zimmerman. Lesson ID: 12810

How many hinges does it take to open and close a door? Count the hinges on the door, then add one more: the one in the arm you used! Learn about the hinges designed into your body that help you move!


Life Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
PreK/K, Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Have you ever hit the side of your elbow and had it start tingling? If so, you probably hit your funny bone! It wasn't so funny, was it? In fact, it probably hurt! Did you know that the funny bone isn’t actually a bone? Instead, it is a nerve that is located on the inside of your elbow and is known as the ulnar nerve.

man and woman doing push-ups

Go ahead and do a push-up.

  • How many can you do in a row?
  • Do you think you can break the world record of 10,507 push-ups in a row?

That is a lot of push-ups!

  • As you were performing the push-ups, did you notice that your elbows were constantly bending to move you up and down?

Take a walk up and down the stairs.

  • Did you notice that your knee was constantly bending in order to help you go up and down the stairs?

We need the flexibility in our elbows and knees in order to move!

  • Did you know that your elbows and knees are made up of joints — the areas where two bones meet — that act like a door hinge?

This may sound strange at first, so let’s join Dr. Jo to learn more!

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Joints are very important structures in your body. Without them, you would hardly be able to move; instead, you would shuffle around and resemble something close to a robot! As you learned from Dr. Jo, both your elbow joints and knee joints are special joints known as hinge joints. This type of joint allows your body to do specific movements, such as running, climbing, and even standing up! Elbow and knee joints are only able to move in one plane.

  • Do you know what it means to only move in one plane?

Continue on to the Got It? section to find out!

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