In this blog we are going to talk about the different planes of movement, every exercise fits into at least one of these categories whether you’re training Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu or just hitting the gym and learning the difference can be just the thing to break your plateau, as well as understanding your body better. If you have never heard of this before, that’s okay I’m going to give you the 101 on planes of motion, so the next time you’re training at Hammer’s Gym, Nunawading you can understand what you’re doing better.


The first plane of motion I am going to cover is the most common plane of motion, in fact this plane of motion makes the bulk of what most people in their conventional gym training whether it be bodybuilding or powerlifting do. To describe this plane of motion it is anything going forwards or backwards, this includes – Squats, Deadlifts, Bench, Lunges, shoulder press, and pull ups. Anything going up or down or forwards and backwards. There is a lot you can do on this plane of motion, and a lot of people never really leave it as virtually all conventional gym training lies in this plane. It is a great place to start and to build your foundation however it is not the only plane of motion and at some stage in your training it will likely pay dividends to venture into the other planes of motion, depending on what your goals are.


The second plane of motion I am going to talk about is the frontal plane, now the name at first can be tricky as the frontal plane covers side to side, this plane of motion is still somewhat trained during conventional gym training, but a lot less than the first plane mentioned. Exercises in this plane of motion are – Side lunges, Lateral raises, heel taps, and side planks. This plane of motion can be very beneficial to train in as it can make your day to day life a little bit easier as well as leading to stronger resilience against injury, especially if you are playing contact / combat sports.


The last plane is arguably the most neglected plane of motion in conventional gym training and arguably the most beneficial. The transverse plane can easily be remembered as the rotational plane. Exercises in this plane of motion include – Cable wood chops, Punching, kicking, Russian twists and bicycles. In the transverse plane is where real functional fitness and core strength lies, it is a great motion to train in for Martial Artists, Boxers and anyone wishing to make their day to day life easier.


It pays to mix it up, the stronger you are in all three planes of motion the better you are going to perform, incorporating exercises from other planes of motion can be a great way to keep improving your strength and fitness as well as improve your athletic ability. So next time your in the gym maybe you’d like to throw in some Frontal or Transverse exercises and get the best of both worlds. Happy training.

  • Sam Bonnici PT
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