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You Should Exercise Using More Than One Plane of Motion

Posted Aug 25 2008 3:31pm

In order to properly train your body during exercise, you will have to get off of the machines at some point! It is important to remember that although an activity might be one-plane dominant (running straight ahead is sagittal plane dominate), the other two planes of motion must be stable in order to perform the activity efficiently. Also, no motion occurs in one plane only. The three planes of motion are explained below:







1. Frontal Plane – This is an imaginary bisector that divides the body into equal front and back halves. The motions primarily involve abduction and adduction (side-to-side motions). Abduction takes a limb away from the midline of the body and adduction takes the limb closer to the midline of the body. Examples include exercises performed on hip abductor and hip adductor machines. Other frontal plane motions would be side lunges, dumbbell lateral shoulder raises and lateral spinal flexion. Quickness and agility movements made by athletes require adequate frontal plane stability, strength, power, flexibility and balance.



2. Sagittal Plane – This is an imaginary bisector that divides the body into left and right halves. The motions involve forward-backward and up-down movements relative to the body and/or joint. Examples would be walking, running, bicep curls, leg curls and seated back rows. Traditional training techniques (such as training with machine weights) have focused on the sagittal plane of motion. This is not an effective training technique if the other planes of motion are ignored during training.



3. Transverse Plane – This is an imaginary bisector that divides the body into top and bottom halves. The motions are primarily rotational. Obviously, this will be a dominate plane of motion for many sports. Baseball players (swinging, turning, pivoting, etc.) and football defensive backs (hip rotations, quick turns, etc.) are just two examples of dominate transverse plan usage.



Your body will thank you for training it properly!

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