Move in Ways You Never Thought Possible


A simple concept from what I will call “Exercise 101″…

Your body moves in three planes of motion.

1- Side to Side (Frontal/Coronal plane)

2- Forward and Backward (Saggital plane)

3 – Twisting/Rotating (Transverse plane)

Why should I care?

It’s worth knowing and internalizing this simple piece of information because our bodies feel their best when we strengthen, move, and stretch in all three planes of motion. When we work our bodies too hard in one plane we tend to fall prone to injury and dysfunction. Similarly, if we avoid a plane entirely then we may find certain exercises, sports, or daily activities difficult.

For example: If a woman only bikes, runs or does the elliptical, then she is only moving in the forward/backward plane. This means that over time, she will lose the ability to move efficiently in twisting or side-to-side motions. The challenges may be subtle or debilitating. She might be more prone to ankle sprains when stepping onto an uneven sidewalk curb or she may find that twisting to one side to pick up her toddler is uncomfortable.

The following two pictures will help you visualize these planes of motion and see how they apply to movements you may already perform.

3 Planes of Movement

In the picture above you will see three planes of motion in action. The woman playing soccer is stepping to the side for the ball. Really not sure if she has just kicked the ball or is getting ready to receive it. Hm. The women in the middle picture are riding bikes. As mentioned earlier, bike riding is in the forward/backward or saggital plane. Lastly, the woman playing golf has completed a powerful twist, driving her into her backswing.

3 Planes of Movement 2

Let’s go from more active pictures to passive ones. In the picture above, the woman on the far left is doing a side stretch. The woman in the middle is stretching forward to loosen her hamstrings. The woman on the far right is in a yoga twist called “Half Lord of the Fishes” or Ardha Matsyendrasana (as I learned to call it while training in India).

As you can see, moving in lots of different planes is not rocket science. It’s simply something to become aware of and to consider as you choose your sports, exercises and daily habits so that you can feel your best.

Yours in health and wellness,


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