Dont be a Robot…. 3 Dimensional Training for the CrossFit Athlete by Coach Rusty

 In Blog


As humans – we move and transition through three planes (dimensions) of movement – Frontal, Sagittal and Transverse. We move in 3 dimensions, which means we should train in them to…

Let me quickly bring you up to speed on what each of these looks like and give you some examples of the movements associated with each:

FRONTAL plane (also known as the coronal plane), is a vertical plane that divides the body into anterior and posterior sections as it passes side to side (shoulder to shoulder).

– Moving something laterally (sideways) towards or away from the mid line of the body

– e.g. Lateral raises, hurdling something, pulling your shoulder blades together (scapula rotation), lateral (side) lunges, lateral over the box/bar burpees, side planks.

SAGITTAL plane or anteroposterior plane, is also a vertical plane but it divides the left half of the body from the right half as it passes front (toe side) to back (heel side).

– Flexion and Extension (bending and straightening) of the wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, trunk, knee or ankle.

– e.g. Squat, Deadlift, Press (and all variations) – most of Crossfit falls into here…

TRANSVERSE plane, or horizontal plane, separates the upper half of the body from the lower half at the waist.

– Rotating the body – upper/lower body separation.

– e.g. throwing with one arm, single arm or leg exercises, punching, barbell rotation, windscreen wipers, turkish get ups, lunges with rotation and walking/running.

But why is this important – why is it important to move in 3 planes of motion?

Do you run, cycle, take stairs, have to avoid people or objects when walking or taking the bus/tube? Do you throw or kick a ball, catch a ball, snowboard, ski, play golf, play sport, swim, spin your kids around or tackle someone you really like for fun?? Just me.…? Thought not.

3 dimensions are a way of life and multiple injuries are avoidable if we clear the body of muscle imbalances by training in all 3 planes of motion. That is what CrossFit specialises in, not specialising GPP – General Physical Preparedness.

So while focusing on perfecting your movement patterns of your squat, deadlift, press, snatch etc. Try adding in some accessory exercises – single arm or single leg work, rotation when doing lunges, throwing, hit your mid line with some windscreen wipers or turkish get ups (kettlebell and barbell). These exercises may not seem the biggest “bang for your buck” but when added to your GPP CrossFit programming they will help you to tune your body for the unknown demands life may throw at you.

Remember, CrossFit generally prepares you for life but you still have to go out there and live it!! So take a few risks, play varied sports, run around and have fun with your family & friends. I mean what’s the point in having all this fitness if you cant go out there and use it.

More on this to come… Have a think about it….


Coach Rusty

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