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3 Planes of Motion Explained: Their Importance in Human Anatomy

3 Planes of Motion Explained: Their Importance in Human Anatomy

In mathematics, the movement of an object can be represented by the axis, X, Y, and Z. the movements of the body too are grouped into three distinct planes of motion. The planes are Sagittal, Frontal, and Transverse.

What Are the Three Planes of Motion?

From normal daily activities, the body can either move upwards or downwards, from one side to another, forward or backward, and rotate around itself. The body is divided into three planes into which motion can occur. First, there is the Sagittal plane. This plane symmetrically cuts the body into two parts: the left and right sides. Second, there is the Frontal Plane, which cuts the body into front and back sides. Lastly, there is the Transverse Plane, it cuts the body into the upper and lower section. The Transverse Plane can be thought to be around the waistline. Now we know the planes of motion and how they relate to the body, and as such, body movements are classified into one of the three planes in which the movement of a limb or body part is parallel to that particular plane.

The 3 Planes of Motion Explained

Sagittal Plane

Movements in the Sagittal plane include walking and raising a hand or leg in the forward direction. Whereas exercises in this plane include front lunges, bicep curls, vertical jumping, and squats, among many other exercises.

The movement of muscles in this plane occurs in two major ways. First, there is Flexion joint motion, which is a movement that reduces the angle between two limbs connected at a joint. Then there is Extension joint motion, which is the movement that increases the separation of limbs at a joint. When going down on a squat flexion, the angle between the thigh and the calves is reduced. Inversely when rising from a squat, that’s an extension, thus increasing the angle between the thigh and calf.

Transverse Plane

Movements in the Transverse plane include a hook in boxing, swinging a golf club, and turning your head, among many other motions which occur in this plane. Exercises in this plane include press-ups and bench press. By having an imaginary line from the head going downwards through the spine. Any rotational movement which occurs around this imaginary line is a Transverse motion.

Frontal Plane

Movements in the Frontal plane occur in a sideways motion, for example, when doing splits. Exercises in this plane include lateral arm and leg raise, side lunges, and side shuffles, among many others. The muscles’ movement in this plane includes abduction, which moves a limb away from the body sideways. On top of that, there is adduction, which moves a limb towards the body. Finally, there is Inversion and Eversion, which are the movements of the foot towards or away from the center of the body.

Healthy Benefits of Training in These 3 Planes of Motion

Previously, workout equipment was dedicated to strengthening only targeted muscles, for example, the biceps or the triceps. This type of workout equipment may be suitable for bodybuilders, as their sport requires athletes to have a defined, toned body showing off big muscles. However, for the rest of the athletes, this type of training has been proven to be flawed or rather inadequate. Training one group of muscles in a single plane of motion does not represent how the body operates normally. Getting stronger in only one specific plane may not provide you the strength when combined with another untrained group of muscles. However, compound exercises, which combine different muscles with their respective different planes of motion, produce better results.

A study on compound exercises by experts revealed that they produce better results compared to singular plane exercises. It was mainly attributed to the fact that compound exercises mimic the actual movements during a sporting exercise or a daily activity. As a result, the muscles collaborate efficiently to perform some complex movements requiring more than one plane of motion with much ease.

Better Physical Wellbeing

Compound exercises prepare the body for all range of activities. By training different groups of muscles simultaneously in different planes of motion improves coordination of the body. While most daily activities occur in the Sagittal plane, other body motions in other planes tend to be neglected. This natural bias to neglect motion in other planes of motion reduces flexibility and mobility. As a result, this usually leads to injuries often caused by straining the unused muscles. By doing compound exercises, one prepares the body for all ranges of motion, thus reducing injuries.

For Athletes

Whilst different sports require different strengths in different parts of the body anatomy. It is also essential for other secondary muscles related to the primary muscles to be strong and in sync. For example, a football team with only a good striker, whilst the rest of the team is below average standard, won’t get far. Other team players need to be average and coordinated so that the ball reaches the striker, who can then score. Just like the football team, the muscles must be strengthened in all planes of motion. That is to say, the primary muscles required for the sport and also secondary muscles which collaborate with the primary.

Sadly, around the world, up-and-coming athletes have had their careers cut short as a result of injuries that could have been easily prevented. It’s not always whenever an athlete uses the primary muscles for their sport. In tight situations, other maneuvers which require a combination of different planes of motion may be required. If there is a weak group of muscles in the execution of the movement, they will snap, resulting in injuries which depending on the nature of the movement could be catastrophic.

Therefore, multi-planar exercise strengthens different groups of muscles at once and prepares the body for complex maneuvers with minimum risks of injury.

Planes-of-Motion

How to Begin Exercising in These Planes of Motion

Exercising was not meant only for athletes but for everyone who wants a happier and healthier livelihood. Below is a description of how different types of exercises in different planes of motion can be executed.

Exercises in Different Planes of Motion

Since most of our movement is multi-planar, it is necessary to make sure that all your workouts involve different planes of motion. For instance, one can incorporate Sagittal and Transverse motion in a single workout. When doing squats, the torso is rotated in a downward movement.

Other multi-planer exercises include jumping sideways, which includes Sagittal and Frontal movements. Compound exercise prepares one for realistic movements that occur daily. It also takes care of other naturally neglected motions and is the most cause of body injuries. Also, they improve the dynamics of the human body, and it makes workouts interesting.

Although it might seem difficult at first to perform these compound exercises, in the end, they are worthwhile. Initially, one can incorporate compound exercises gradually into your normal workout routine, increasing the reps with each session until one gets the hang of it.

Home Gym Equipment

Initially, when starting exercising, the only equipment one needs is their body. Many exercises can be performed without the aid of any equipment yielding amazing results. However, for those who feel strong enough to want some extra resistance, they can acquire home gym equipment to increase workouts’ intensity.

First, there are dumbbells, which are very effective in compound exercises. On their own, they provide sagittal resistance due to gravity. By doing a Transverse workout with dumbbells, will be a compound exercise.

Next is the elastic code. It is one of the best versatile workout equipment. Almost all exercises can be performed using the elastic code, despite its simple makeup. Its main function is to provide resistance to motion in a selected workout.

Exercises for Seniors at Home

For the elderly at home, they might not require any equipment. In case a need arises for one, lightweight equipment such as low-weight dumbbells will do. As we age, the body starts to deteriorate, muscles start to weaken, and the body’s mobility is greatly reduced. In most cases, aids in walking sticks are required for one to move from point to point. Therefore, to reduce this immobility, it is necessary to strengthen necessary muscles that have been weakened by age.

By doing light compound exercises, the muscles start to improve bit by bit. Gradually by performing exercises, they get stronger and stronger. With a constant workout plan, the muscles regain their normal strength, and the need for a walking aid might be no longer necessary.

Exercises for the elderly that can be done at home are walking up and down the stairs several times. This strengthens the muscles in their legs. Another exercise is dropping a bottle, picking it up, performing an abdominal rotation, dropping the bottle again, and repeating the exercise. This exercise workout their cores, and with a strengthened core, they will be able to stand upright without aids.

Final Thought

With improvements in technology, the human movement has been greatly reduced. Physically fit people are now probably athletes and a very few who took the initiative to have their workout program. Mainly this is because of the demanding jobs people have and the technology which has replaced the need for physical movement. Our human body contains muscles that enable us to perform a wide range of movements. By neglecting them, they become weaker, and as a result, the range of motion is greatly reduced, increasing the risks of accidents.

The body was designed to perform movements in three planes, and we must prepare it for any complex maneuver we might want to accomplish. We prepare it by exercising correctly, doing compound workouts that cover more than one plane of motion. Finally, take care of the body in all planes of motion, and it will return the favor by keeping you out of simple sprains and injuries.

Charles A. Lipman

Charles A Lipman graduated from Nairobi University in Kenya with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Biological sciences. His focus appears to be writing, and he goes on to publish his first Book on fitness in 2012. Charles Lipman later gets employment from a fitness and wellness company but does stay for long. He quits his job and begins writing and educating people about lifestyle, diet, fitness, and weight loss. He now boasts for his thousands of followers and subscribers who enjoy hits timely and educative content. Charles Lipman is an inspiration to all generations in writing and educating people about weight loss and diet plans that will lead to health and fitness goals.

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