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Why You Should Train in Multiple Planes of Motion


Many strength exercises and programs focus on one or MAYBE two planes of movement, however many of our joints can move in more than one direction. Plus most of our daily movements require us to move in all three planes of motion. Combine these two things and it makes multi-planar training almost essential.

So what are the three planes of movement? There is Frontal, Sagittal, and Transverse.

Frontal

The frontal plane is an invisible line that splits the body down the middle from front to back. Movements that are forward, back, up and down are all in this plane. Movements performed that focus on the frontal plane include squats, hinges, push, pull, and running.

Sagittal

The sagittal plane is an invisible line that splits the body down the middle from left to right. Typically, this means movements involve abduction (moving away from the midline) or adduction (moving towards the midline). Movements performed that focus on the sagittal plane include side lunges, monster walks, side raises, and lateral crawls.

Transverse

The transverse plane divides the body into top and bottom, with the pelvis being the line of division. Transverse movements are a little more difficult to define. These rotation based movements often involve the hip and trunk. This includes any rotational work like slams, curtsy lunges, ropes, or twists and is essential to train stabilizers like the obliques.

Multi-planar movement is important for several different reasons. The three planes allow us to perform activities like running, jumping, throwing, carrying, and more. The biggest problem with training only one plane of movement (most commonly the sagittal) is when we are exposed to movements in other planes, injuries can occur more easily.

Functionality in all planes of motion is important for overall movement function. Training all three planes of motion will not only help reduce the risk of injury, but improve balance, stability, and overall performance.

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