Mix up the way you move
All movements that we perform move through one of the three planes of motion associated with human movement; Sagittal, Transverse (Horizontal) and Frontal.
This divides the body into left and right (pink line), allowing for movements to occur forward and backward and up and down. We spend the majority of our time working in this plane, with our primary movement involved here being walking followed by sitting and standing (squatting). The majority of exercises stay along this plane with limited movements away from it so this is a very safe place to work.
This divides the body into top and bottom (green line), allowing for movements to occur that involve twisting, turning or arm abduction . This would usually be demonstrated when we are seated and rotate through our back to look over a shoulder, similar to that of a Russian Twist exercise.
This divides the body into front and back (blue line), allowing for movement to occur sideways. This is demonstrated by side lunges, arm abduction and star jumps.
Most exercises will work primarily through one of these planes, mainly compound and isolation exercises and others will occasionally involve a second or even all three. Taking part in sports will increase your movement throughout these planes, for example in a game of football a player will run forwards, backwards, sideways and turn on the spot so they will transfer between these planes of motion without realising.
So the next time you are working out, think about moving out of the Sagittal plane and mixing up your training by trying a “3D approach” by moving through a variety of the planes, where it allows you to obviously e.g. when performing lunges, why not trying adding a rotation through the upper body to the exercise thus making it a sagittal and transverse exercise.
The planes of motion should be considered within your training to ensure that you have a balanced approach and expose the body to different external forces to help strengthen it and also reduce the risk of injury if and when you do move out of the Sagittal plane.
At LMC Physio & Fitness we run small and personalised fitness classes in our Fitness studio in Rugby. We also offer movement analysis and personal training sessions. For more information please contact via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01788 331570.