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Planes Of Motion: Movement In Three Dimensions

July 3, 2019

 

This past weekend was a busy one!  I got my first official sports massage and lifted my heaviest on the bench!  Woohoo!

 

Between having a great lift and getting my muscles stretched, tweaked, and massaged it got me thinking about the way we move and the human bodies mobility.  It's so incredibly important to stretch and lengthen the muscles.  Something I'll admit I'm terrible at doing and was made VERY evident during my massage.  Coach is always telling me to foam roll.  Foam rolling is like the dentist, we know we need to go and we understand the importance but we HATE going. 

 

While working out Coach educated me on the planes of motion the body has.  It made me think and gave me another outlook on resistance and endurance training.  Our bodies move in all sorts of ways!  It's no surprise to find out that our body doesn't move in one dimension, if it was, we wouldn't be able to move our arms or legs.  

 

The human body moves in 3 dimensions.  learning about the planes of motion our body uses will help create a more extensive workout routine and a better understanding of how our body moves in real life. The three planes of motion are sagittal, frontal, and transverse.

 

Sagittal Plane (forward and backward)

Dividing the body into left and right halves using an imaginary line will give us the sagittal plane.  The sagittal plane is any forward and backward movement parallel to this line. The motion is front to back or back to front, including straight forward running.  

  • Bicep Curls

  • Forward or reverse lunges

  • Sit Ups

  • Forward running

     

Frontal Plane (side to side)

Divide the body into front and back halves and you will have the frontal plane.  Any lateral (side) movements parallel to that line will be a frontal plane of motion. Frontal plane motion would include leaning from left to right like sidebands.

  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises

  • Jumping Jacks

     

Transverse Plane (rotational)

Divide the body straight through the hips to divide the body into halves with an imaginary line, movement parallel to the waistline known as rotational movement occurs in the transverse plane. The main thing to remember with a transverse plane is rotation.  

  • Horizontal wood chop

  • Swinging a golf club

     

It's important to understand the planes of motion so we can make sure our training programs include exercising each of the planes.  The most common motion in the gym is the sagittal plane like bench presses, pushups, and squats.  Creating a plane in the gym that adds a little bit of movement in each plane will help with injury prevention and ensure muscular balance. 

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