Medical, health and fitness professionals use the terms lateral and medial to indicate where parts of the body are in relation to each other, and to reference injured areas of limbs and organs.
Lateral refers to a point of reference to the outside or away from the center of the body, while medial indicates a point of reference toward the middle of the body.
The heart is more medial than the lungs, and the knee is more medial than the foot. Similarly, the eyes are more lateral than the nose, while the pinkie toe is more lateral than the big toe.
Lateral vs. Medial Exercises
The side lateral raise depicts lateral concentric (the muscle exerts more force than is put upon it) movement away from the middle of the body, while the thigh adductor represents concentric movement toward the middle of the body.