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Which Plane Do You Move In!?!

So a client at the gym got involved in a discussion with a friend who doesn’t work out at our gym about exercises and moving in different planes.

He was asking her about her workout routine and definitely didn’t approve of the things she was doing…but that is another conversation.

However, what I do want to discuss is one specific question he asked her…

He asked her…”What planes of motion do your workouts emphasize? The sagittal (forward, backward, up and down), the frontal (lateral movements) and/or the transverse (rotational)?

It’s a really really good question. And I guarantee that if you really start to think about your workouts, 90% of your movements are in the sagittal plane, which honestly isn’t very functional or representative of the way you move in everyday life.

It also doesn’t make you as strong or fit as you could be…especially if you are getting in shape for a sport.

If you truly want to get into shape, you need to move in all three planes.

So right now ask yourself…Does my workout include moves in all three planes of motion or is it all just sagittal (aka squats, forward and backward lunges, cleans, snatches, push presses, push ups, pull ups….)?

I’m betting once you assess, you will realize that you aren’t utilizing the other two planes nearly often enough! I know that our client’s friend didn’t.

And you know what her response was when she realized she was basically only moving in the sagittal plane?

She said that nearly 100% of her workouts are in the sagittal plane and that she rarely works lateral. She said she couldn’t even think of any rotational movement that she does.

She then said that it seems to her that lateral and transverse movements would cause the most injury.



Just because we love our workouts or our trainer that doesn’t mean that what they are doing is the BEST way.

Sorry, but it doesn’t.

It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do our own research and continue learning.

Working ONLY in the sagittal plane is what causes us to GET INJURED.

The transverse and frontal planes are NOT more dangerous!

They are actually essential if you DON’T want to get injured.

I mean think about it….do you really just move forward or backwards…up or down in real life?

Do you not twist and shuffle and rotate and throw and swing and spin?


So why wouldn’t you be doing that in your workouts!?!

Why wouldn’t you do rotational medball passes? Why wouldn’t you do side lunges and curtsy lunges and lunges at an angle. Why wouldn’t you shuffle and crawl laterally? Why wouldn’t you press with rotation and jump at different angles?

Why would you only workout moving forward and back and up and down if you don’t move only those ways in everyday life!?!

Even playing fake knife fighting, we don't just simply move forward and back or up and down. If we did, we wouldn't "live" long!

Even playing games…like fake knife fighting, we don’t just simply move forward and back or up and down. If we did, we wouldn’t “live” long!

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