Multi-Planer Movements Should Be a Part of Any Rehab or Training Program
BY: Chris Lybarger, PT, DPT
Whatever your activity of choice, whether it be running, team sports, dance etc they all require strength and mobility in multiple planes of movement. The major planes of movement are frontal (side to side movement), sagittal (front to back movement) and transverse (rotational movement). Every activity from daily ADL tasks to sports requires some sort of function in multiple planes. Yet, how often do we see people in the gym or the field that are training in a single plane (let alone doing isolated joint movements vs compound)? All too often is the answer. This leads to injuries and time out of your activity.
To emphasize my point, in running the principal movement occurs in the sagittal plane but you need to be able to stabilize in the frontal and transverse plane in order to be efficient and powerful as well as sustain those mechanics over a prolonged time and distance. Many of the injuries that occur with running are related to excessive movement in the frontal or transverse plane. Over pronation, inward collapse (valgus) of the knee, or an opposite side hip drop are all problems of control in either the frontal or transverse plane.
To address the power and strength in the frontal and transverse you could add such exercises as lateral lunges, lateral band walks, any single leg stability exercise, cable chops, side planks, etc.
Improving strength and power production through resistance training can improve performance in any sport or activity (and don’t forget multi-planer mobility and flexibility exercises as well, but if you neglect the frontal and transverse plane you will just increase your risk of injury. To get the clearest picture and advice, you best option is to speak with your trusted Physical Therapist or ATC/Strength and Conditioning Specialist to have an assessment performed and custom program developed to address these areas and movements.