Your Workout’s Job

If you take note of how you typically move during an average day, not including your workout, you’ll find it to be mostly done in the sagittal plane. Walking is in the sagittal plane. Sitting down and up from a chair is in the sagittal plane. The action of riding a bike is in the sagittal plane. The spine does tend to engage in more movement variety, like twisting (transverse plane) and side bending (frontal plane), but even those moves tend to be small and what I call inside the box

The problem with this scenario is, over time, it promotes asymmetry and imbalance, muscularly. This explains why it’s so common to feel fine through your twenties and thirties and then “suddenly” have a back problem in your forties. The years of moving asymmetrically finally caught up! The good news is we can defy this norm quite easily by simply tapping into all the ranges of motion the body is capable of, and mindfully going as big as possible within that movement variety.

Frontal plane actions are lateral. Great moves include the shuffle, happy feet, side leg lifts, and karate chops. Transverse moves are twists, and include moves like knee drops, prayer twists and the lasso. A great way to challenge yourself in the sagittal plane is to do standing back bends, and forward folds (maybe even touch your toes). Go bigger than you would just sitting at a desk. (I really marvel at cats, as they naturally go through all the motions, a.k.a., contortions😉, as a form of self-worship.)

Better symmetry leads to better function which leads to feeling good. When the rest of your day is filled with typical movements, it becomes your workout’s job to tap into all of the planes, and then get you to go bigger in those planes. Now, come on…Let’s Move!