General Terms for the Muscles
The names of the muscles are not as mysterious as they appear. Often, once you translate them from the Latin, they're self-explanatory.
The following are terms used to describe action, as well as for the muscle names:
Flex - to bend. A muscle that flexes is a flexor.
Extend - to straighten. A muscle that extends is an extensor.
Abduct - to draw away from the midline. A muscle that abducts is an abductor (ab-DUC-tor).
Adduct - to draw toward the midline. A muscle that adducts is an adductor (ad-DUC-tor, although I sometimes say AD-duc-tor to distinguish it from
Pronate (PRO-nate) - to turn downward (prone), for the forearm. A muscle that pronates is a pronator (PRO-nay-tor).
Supinate (SOO-pin-ate) - to turn upward (supine), for the forearm. A muscle that supinates is a supinator (SOO-pin-ate-er).
Supine contains the word
Prone sounds somewhat like
The following terms are used mostly as muscle names:
Levator (leh-VATE-or) - a muscle that lifts, as in elevator.
Depressor - a muscle that lowers.
Erector - a muscle that erects, or uprights.
Tensor - a muscle that tightens.