Planes of Motion
***8/26/14: Please refer to Explaining the Planes of Motion for more up-to-date information on this topic.
It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it's planes of motion!
Planes of motion can be a challenging concept to grasp. The human body is divided into three primary planes - transverse plane, frontal plane, and the sagittal plane.
Sagittal plane: divides body into right and left sides
Frontal plane: divides body into anterior and posterior sides (front/back)
Transverse plane: divides body into superior and inferior parts (top and bottom)
All motion occurs around one of these three planes of motion. Generally they occur as follows:
Sagittal plane: flexion/extension
Frontal plane: abduction/adduction
Transverse plane: internal rotation/external rotation
Pages 109 and 110 in the ACE Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals manual lists all the fundamental movements in each plane. Below is a great website to help with your understanding of movement in different planes.
Understanding Planes of Motion
Another suggestion is if you are viewing the link above and you get to the diagrams of the people…find a doorway that spans two rooms (doorway leading into your bedroom for example).
When reviewing the sagittal plane of motion, stand with your nose against the doorframe so one foot is in the hallway and one foot is in the bedroom. This divides your body into right and left sides down the middle (just like the sagittal plane does).
When reviewing the frontal plane, stand with your back against the wall (and pretend it divides you into half - front half/back half). This might be an easier way to visualize the different planes.
Planes of motion can be difficult to grasp initially, but with some patience and ‘hands on’ practice, you might find the information starting to make sense.
Remember, if you have any questions, please contact an Education Consultant at 1-888-825-3636 x782