Spending Time in the Transverse Plane

 In Blog, Fitness Updates, Updates

Introduction to the Planes of Motion:

There are multiple planes of motion that movement takes place in. The frontal, sagittal, and lastly the transverse plane. The transverse plane introduces rotational movement to the body, playing a vital role in everyday activities such as twisting, turning, and reaching. Despite its importance, it’s often overshadowed by the more popular linear exercises commonly performed in frontal and sagittal planes such as bench, deadlift, squat, and pressing motions.

Importance of Training in the Transverse Plane and Muscles Included:

Incorporating transverse plane exercises into your fitness routine is more than just a matter of throwing diversity in your workout—it is a proactive step towards injury prevention and enhance functional movement. While gym exercises are typically executed in the sagittal and frontal plane, real-life scenarios demand dynamic movements that are in the transverse plane that demand rotation of the body such as picking up your child off the ground, lifting clothes out of the washer and dryer, or even cutting the grass. Neglecting transverse plane training increases the risk of spine-related injuries, as the spine may be forced into positions beyond the capacity of supporting muscles. Injuries such as herniated discs, general low back pain, and other muscular injuries such as strains are all common injuries that are associated with this deficiency. In addition to spinal injuries, neglecting this aspect of training can also lead to imbalances and decreased mobility for athletes who are training at high levels.
Training in the transverse plane engages a complex network of muscles, including the internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, quadratus lumborum, erector spinae group, and deep stabilizers. These muscles work synergistically to provide stability and support to the spine during rotational movements.

What Exercises Can I Do?

Incorporating transverse plane exercises into your routine doesn’t have to complicated, nor does it have to take the place of your traditional favorite lifts. Simple movements such as wood chops, paloff lunges/presses, and medicine ball throws can effectively target the muscles involved in rotational movements. General weight and repetition overload satisfies scaling and progressions effectively just as if they were your traditional lifts.
Don’t overlook the importance of training in the transverse plane. By incorporating rotational movements into your workout routine, you not only enhance your overall fitness but also reduce the risk of injury and improve functional movement in everyday life. Remember, a well-rounded fitness program encompasses movements in all planes of motion, including the often-overlooked transverse plane. Whether you are an athlete, every day gym go-er, or someone who is just getting started in their fitness journey, training in the transverse plane has a benefit for everyone.
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