planes of movement

Think of almost any movement found in .  What do they all have in common?  Each movement on average takes place within the same plane of movement.  Swing your arms forward and backward and you’ll find the plane of movement in which lives:  the sagittal plane.  But notice in the graphic above, there are still two other planes.  Building strength and endurance in these two neglected planes are key to unlocking total athletic performance.  Training in these planes of movement at least two times a week also helps you prevent overuse injuries and lessens the chance for serious trauma to your connective tissues.

Below you will find three good drills / movements that help build frontal plane strength and endurance.

1.  Cossack Squats

Take a kettlebell and place it in the racked position.  Take a deep step to the side and squat keeping the heel of the planted foot flat on the ground.  Make sure that the leg that hasn’t moved to the side pivots on the heel and that the foot does NOT stay flat on the ground.

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2.  Banded Side Steps

Take a short elastic band with a challenging tension.  Step into the band so that it is wrapped around both of your knees.  Put yourself into a quarter squat.  Keep tension on the band with both legs the entire time.  Perform ten steps in each direction for three sets.

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3.  Suitcase Carries

Pick up the heaviest kettlbell/dumbbell you can find.  Stand tall and walk 50 meters while keeping your back tall and tight.  Walk for 50 meters with each hand for three sets.

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Below you’ll find one good way of building transverse plane endurance.

1.  Landmines

If you don’t have landmine rig attachments, placing a thick 45# plate against a wall as a bar anchor will suffice.  Take a bar of any weight and lean one end of the bar in the plate’s hole.  Next take the end of the barbell and place it in your hands.  Whatever hand is on top is the direction you will shift towards.  Bring the bar down towards your hips, making sure that the back foot pivots.  By pivoting the back foot, this ensure that the spine and hips remain locked and neutral towards each other.  To complete the movement simply return to the beginning position.  When switching directions, make sure you switch which hand is on top of the barbell!

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As you can see, it doesn’t take much time and effort to incorporate any of these movements into your weekly training regimen.  In fact spending five to ten extra minutes twice a week on training these neglected planes will do wonders for your ability to remain healthy and injury free.