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Your Body, Page Two: From Arms and Hands to Legs and Feet

(Return to Your Body, Page 1)

Below your neck is the part of your body called the torso.  Sometimes it is just called 'your body'.  The upper front part of your torso is called the chest.  The chest is like a skin and muscle-covered cage.  The cage is made of curved bones called ribs.  Inside this cage are your lungs and your heart.  Below the chest is the area called the abdomen.  Sometimes this area is also called your stomach or belly.  Inside the abdomen, or in the abdominal cavity, are located the actual stomach organ, the liver, the spleen, the large and small intestines, and the bladder.   Women also have their uterus and ovaries in the abdominal cavity.

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The rear part of the torso is called the back.  Within each side of the upper back are flat bones called shoulder blades.  Down through the center of the back, from the neck to the bottom of the torso, is a series of bones called the spine or backbone.  The small bones that make up the spine are called vertebrae.  The bottom end of the spine is called the tail bone.  The kidneys are located on either side of the spine inside the lower section of the back.

Below the back and on either side of the tailbone are fleshy mounds called buttocks.  The buttocks provide padding when we sit down.  There are many English words used to refer to a person's buttocks, but some of them are not very polite.  Here are some that are not so bad: backside, rear end, butt, posterior, gluteus maximus (the name of the main muscle in the buttocks).

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At the top center of the torso are two bones that slant down to the top center of the chest.  These are called your collar bones, or clavicles. In the center of your chest is a flat bone called the breast bone or sternum.  On both sides of a man's chest are dark circular patches of skin with a small bump in the center.  This bump, and sometimes the whole dark patch, is called a nipple.  Women have similar, but larger bumps, also called nipples, at the tips of fleshy mounds called breasts.

In the center of the abdomen is a round area of scar tissue called the navel or belly button.  The area around your torso, below your ribs and passing over your navel is called your waist.  The sides of your torso are called sides - left side or right side.

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Finally, we will deal with the parts of your body known as your extremities: arms, hands, legs and feet.  The dividing line between your torso and your legs is a little confusing.  On either side of your body below your waist, where the upper leg bone, or thigh, meets the pelvis bone, is an area known as your hips.  Between your hips, at the very bottom of your torso, is your body's equipment for elimination of waste and for procreation (making babies).  These are the parts that I will not name in this lesson. 

The upper part of your leg is called your thigh.  At the bottom of the thigh is a joint called the knee which allows your leg to bend.  On the front of the knee is a bone called the kneecap, or patella.  The lower half of your leg is called  your shin and the bone in the front of your lower leg is the shin bone
The back of your lower leg is called your calf.  This mainly refers to the large muscle at the top rear of your lower leg.  The lower leg ends at your ankle joint.  Your foot is connected to the other end of the ankle. 
The back of the foot is a well-padded area known as your heel.  The front of your foot ends in five toes, the largest one called your big toe and the smallest one called your little toe.  The tops of the toes are protected by your toenails.

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The place where your upper arm joins your torso is called your shoulder.  The most common term for your upper arm is just that, upper arm.  The large muscle in the front of your upper arm is called your bicep.  The upper arm connects to the lower arm, or forearm, at a joint called the elbow.

 The two bones of your forearm meet at your wrist joint.  Your hand is connected to the other end of the wrist,  A normal hand consists of a palm (the fleshy, padded front part of the hand), one thumb and four fingers.  The finger next to the thumb is called your index finger.  The finger furthest from the thumb is your little finger, or pinkie.  Next to the little finger is your ring finger.  The hard materials at the end of your fingers are called fingernails (or thumbnail on your thumb).

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