When you workout, do you stay in the same plane of motion or do you change it? What do I mean by this?
In our daily activities and in sports, we tend to move in multiple planes of motion. However, traditional forms of exercise, specifically resistance training, limits our planes of motion. This poses a problem, especially as we get older. If a joint is not utilized in a certain plane, it can potentially lock from underuse.
For example, exercises or yoga postures that open the muscles of our side body will make a simple overhead reach easier. A good yoga posture is Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), which strengthen your legs, hips and core muscles that support the spine and back (quadratus lumborum, transversus abdominis and obliques).
The three planes of motion are sagittal, frontal and transverse. Most of us work mainly in the sagittal plane. By working in all three planes, not only do you diversify your workout, but you create balance in your body. The next time you workout, consider working in more than one plane. Here are some ideas:
Sagittal Plane Exercises Movements in this plane are forward and back, as well through the midline of the body.
- Reverse lunge to knee lift with a bicep curl
- Burpee – remember these? (See TIP TUESDAY: Hail to the Burpee!)
Frontal Plane Exercises Movements in this plane are side-to-side, as well as lateral movements along the plane, such as abduction and adduction.
- Lateral (side) lunge to knee lift with a side lateral raise
- Side plank position with leg raise
Transverse Plane Exercises Movements in this plane include horizontal abduction or adduction (movements away and towards the body’s midline), as well as rotation.
- Wood chops with a medicine ball
- Lunge with torso twist
Finding new twists on traditional exercises and using equipment other than weight machines, will force you to get creative. The TRX Suspension Training System is also a great tool to exercise in all of these planes.