Whether you're playing basketball or doing yard work, conditioning movements that include all three planes of motion are integral in avoiding injury. All foundational movement patterns, such as walking, running, skipping, jumping, throwing, crawling, pushing, pulling, lifting, twisting, and carrying, are multiplanar (taking place in multiple planes of movement) and involve multiple joints. Conditioning the body for foundational, functional movement patterns is essential for preventing injury, rehabilitation, and improving athletic development and performance.
* Moving forward and backward, such as running and walking works the sagittal plane.
* Side-to-side movement, such as side stepping and shuffling, utilize the frontal plane.
* Rotational movements, such as the twisting motion of throwing or shoveling, occur in the transverse plane.
Unfortunately, most exercise conditioning programs and equipment focus primarily on the sagittal plane (forward and backward) and research indicates that most injuries occur in the transverse plane (National Academy of Sports Medicine 2003). An example is throwing out the back while bending over or turning sideways to pick up an object.
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