Training in 3 planes of motion is the best way to improve your posture, avoid injury and get better results. It’s all to easy to just jump on a machine and start an exercise program but the real key is getting your body moving better functionally. In this day a age everything seems to be done for us, whether its through technology and automation right the way through to making our lifestyles less active through gadgets! This however has a flip side as we simply lose our ability to function through all 3 planes of movement, as we become more sedentary in our daily lives. As lve mentioned the body moves in 3 planes which are sagittal, frontal and transverse. Any exercise program you do should encourage all 3 of these planes so you’re moving like you would in everyday life activities.
The following information will give you a better understanding of this.
Dividing the body into left and right halves using an imaginary line gives us the sagittal plane. Any forward and backward movement parallel to this line occurs in the sagittal plane. A walking lunge forward and backward is a perfect way to work this movement pattern.
With the same imaginary line, divide the body into front and back halves and you have the frontal plane. Any lateral (side) movement parallel to the line will occur in the frontal plain. A dumbbell lateral raise is a great way to work this movement pattern.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the transverse plane, which divides the body into superior and inferior halves. Movement parallel to the waistline, otherwise known as rotational movement, occurs in the transverse plane. A horizontal woodchop is a great way to work this movement pattern.
1) It helps create balance
Whether multi-planar movement is a key characteristic of your training program, or simply something that you consider as part of the bigger picture, it forces you to take a greater accountability for your overall physicality. Many traditional gym-based exercises occur in a single plane of motion and this can create issues when the body is required to perform in multiple planes. A few simple adjustments to include forwards and backwards, side-to-side, and rotational movements in your program can do wonders for building balance in both physique and function.
2) It makes you a better athlete
Fostering an ability to work effectively in multiple planes of motion is a valuable trait that transfers into a variety of different exercises, activities and sports. A look at some common sports like Football, Baseball and Basketball and it’s not difficult to see that multi-planar movement patterns are in place in all of them. A training program that recognizes this and appropriately meets the demands of your chosen activity means it will improve your performance.
3) It prevents injury
While injury is a complex issue, there is no denying the fact that a certain level of strength, flexibility and mobility can help to avoid it. Plus, the accompanying attention to detail that your programming will now contain will get you thinking differently about how you can stay injury-free.
It’s also very important to think of the concept of multi-planar movement as both stress and movement.
The resistance to injury might be increased by an individual’s ability to withstand forces that are trying to move them in one of the three planes of motion. Consider the weightlifter pressing a barbell overhead. They absolutely must resist side-to-side (Frontal) and rotational (Transverse) movement for the lift to be successful.
If competent movement through all three planes of motion is important, then the ability to resist movement in all three planes of motion is vital.
4) It widens your skill base
Hard and intelligent work is at the very foundation of improving your physical fitness. Having numerous options that allow you to continue making progress is a fantastic weapon in your arsenal and will allow you to stay fit for life. While there are many great options for building the base of your fitness program, you can use multi-planar movement theory to make that program easier or harder, more specific to the overall goals, or simply add options for progression.
5) Its more fun
When you look at how people tend to naturally move it’s typically multi-planar. Children will climb, clamber, jump, and crawl when left to their own devices. These movements are all multi-planar. Compare those activities with common adult activities, like driving or sitting at a desk and you can see the differences.
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