Planes of motion

Human movement is described in three dimensions, based on three planes of motion:

The sagittal plane

The sagittal plane cuts vertically through the body, dividing it into a right and left part. The sagital plane involves forward and backward movement, like the back squat or a chin-up.


The frontal plane

The frontal plane also cuts vertically through the body, dividing it into an anterior and posterior part. The frontal plane involves right and left (lateral) movement, like overhead pressing.


The transverse plane

The transverse plane is horizontal, as it divides the body into an upper and lower part. The transverse plane involves rotational movement, like the Russian twist, bench press, push-up and rowing exercises.


Activities in sports and daily life require movement in all three planes simultaneously. A forehand in tennis, a header in football, a dunk in basketball, a spike in volleyball, a golf swing are all multi-plane movements. A workout that involves movements in all three planes of motion will therefore have a better carry-over to sport.

Multi-plane movement is an essential component of fun

ctional training. Adding exercises that occur in two or three planes of motion to your workout, like the lateral squats, the 3-spot lunge, the PNF rotational chop and lift, will maximize the carry-over to sports.