As we break into the new year, many people have made promises and goals about getting their bodies in better shape. The goals are often focused on weight loss or better output in the gym. Oftentimes, it includes some combination of the two. The reality of sticking with those promises and reaching those goals can be complicated. Some combination of factors including motivation, discipline, healthy eating, and exercising can get you most of the way there. However, one of the important and often overlooked factors in reaching your health and fitness goals is the ability to stay injury-free.

All the best intentions in the world can be derailed if you're sidelined by a sore back or tweaky shoulder. Many people fail to realize that staying injury-free is, for the most part, within their control. Injury prevention is actually a skill that can be refined and trained. In today's post, I want to take a look at one of the more important aspects of avoiding injury: training in all three planes of motion.

If we examine the most common modes of exercise, one thing stands out to the interested observer: they all occur in the sagittal plane. In other words, the exercises and movements consist mainly of flexion and extension, or some combination of moving frontwards and backwards. Running, biking, CrossFit, weightlifting, and powerlifting mostly consist of sagittal plane motion- and rarely include any focused training in the frontal and transverse planes.

This isn't a full indictment on these exercise regimens, because the orientation of a large majority our joints (toes, ankles, fingers, elbows, knees, even spine, etc) are designed with flexion and extension as the main type of movement. But our muscles, fascia, daily lives, and sports are designed in a three dimensional capacity that isn't limited to the sagittal plane. Movement occurs simultaneously in all three planes of motion, and we must be ready and willing to respond to a rapidly changing environment.

We can improve our ability to respond to such constant change by learning to incorporate exercises that target movement in the frontal and transverse planes. Those exercises can help to stabilize the core, while increasing mobility in the hips and thoracic spine. Additionally, by integrating increased balance to our musculature, we help to make our bodies stronger, healthier and more resistant to injury.

If you are interested in learning more, please come join us for one of our FREE workshops, "Training in all Three Planes of Motion: How to avoid injury while improving at your sport." Both Dr. Kelli and I will be presenting at CrossFit Vae Victis on January 30th at 11:30am and at CrossFit DT1 at 9am on January 31st.

Please call 856-767-8800 to register for the free program.

Dr. David Velez