The next thing we're going to go over
is something that I think a lot of people have
a little trouble with. How many of you guys have trouble with planes of motion?
Just a little bit, little confusing.
Probably because somebody pointed to that picture in a book and told you,
learn them. Which is not okay. So what we're going to do is we're going to break down
planes of motion, one plane at a time.
First, we're going to define and we're going to demonstrate and then we're
going to do an activity.
So, let's start with the sagittal plane. Let's start with this plane right here.
Sagittal plane refers, well, let me back up a step,
does everybody know what a plane is? Right, a plane is just like
two-dimensional surface going on forever.
We could say that this is a plane.
So when we... Does anybody know why we have planes of motion?
Why are planes of motion important?
To assess movement. We need to be able to categorize and analyze movement in the
human body, right. So all we've done is we've stolen these from math. We
didn't come up with the cardinal planes. True.
All right, we've stolen these so that we have a way of analyzing what we're
seeing, which is going to be important as we go through the day.
Now, coming back, there's only three planes. I want you guys to remember that.
Only three planes.
How many of you guys have taken multiple choice tests? All right.
Your choices as we go through the next 15 minutes are A: sagittal B: frontal C:
there is no D. Everybody cool with that?
So no matter how confused anything gets in the next 15 minutes,
remember there's only three choices. You have a 33-percent to success rate right
off the bat.
Everybody's cool with that? All right, so let's get back to this sagittal plane.
You guys understand what a plane is. The sagittal plane is the plane,
it goes this way, so it cuts the body into right and left halves.
When we refer to it with motion
generally we are talking about motion that is forward and back and up and down.
Everybody's cool with that?
Now, who wants to be my sagittal plane model?
Come on up, sir. Now to make this easier for you guys for a visualization
I want you to pretend...
What's your name? Lamar. Big round of applause for Lamar coming up here to
the sagittal plane model.
We're going to pretend like Lamar is stuck in a narrow sagittal hallway.
Everybody cool with this? We're going to see what motions could he possibly do if
he was stuck in this narrow sagittal hallway and the walls were made of glass
that we don't want him to break. Everybody's cool with that?
All right, so Lamar, let's go ahead and have you face the room.
You can stay right there.
You ready for this? All right so if i put his head in the narrow sagittal hallway,
what can we do with his head? Yeah
all he can do is say "yes" right?
you can nod his head yes. "Yes, this is a very weird demonstration."
Okay, you guys got that? What about if I put his arms in the narrow saggital hallway?
Up and down. So can you act out, Lamar, what they're talking about? Bicep curls, they
said. Bicep curls, what else could he do? What about his shoulders? Front raise.
Demonstrate, guys, demonstrate. Good. Good.
What about, let me know get under your arms, what about his trunk being stuck in
the narrow sagittal hallway? He can do... give me an exercise someone...
something. He can bend forward, right? You can take a bow.
You can take a bow, Lamar, you are you doing fantastic.
All right, what about his legs? What can he do with his legs?
He could do some high knees. Let's see some high knees.
Allright, all right. What else could he do? You can, he might be able to squat sure,
can you squat?
Cool, he just made it. All right, so here's what I am going to have you guys do
Lamar, you can sit down. Once again, big round of applause for Lamar.
Here's what I'm going to have you guys do. You are going to write down, you guys see
on page, what is this, page 3 of your workbooks, you guys have these boxes.
Now you guys can work in little groups if you want. I'm going to give you about
four minutes to try to come up with as many exercises as you can possibly think
in the sagittal plane. You guys ready? Go.
How you guys doing? You almost got all your exercises?
All right, now we're going to bring them up here. So just so we don't have
absolute exercise chaos,
let's divide these up into big sections, so lets start with upper body.
What do you guys got for upper body in the sagittal plane?
Push up? Mmm could I do push-ups within my narrow sagittal hallway?
So if this is my hallway, imagine this extending all the way up right I'll be
trapped like this,
can I get my arms here? No, right?
Does that mean I can't do a push-up? Not necessarily but I got to modify it. You
got it, you got it so what we're going to call that?
Can you stand up and show me? You go from here and then go which way?
So you can go this way, right, would this be in the sagittal plane?
Sure, so we'll go, you guys want to call that a close grip pushup?
Can we do that? That's cool. Close grip pushup.
What else can we do?
Shrugs. That's..that's a good one, I want you to save that one because the
answer is no. But if I try to put in my hallway it looks like a yes.
So you have to save that until we get to a couple of planes and then ask me that
again. I'll explain that one. Tricep extensions. Can we do tricep extensions
in my narrow sagittal hallway?
Yeah right? And, of course, if I can do tricep extensions, what else could I do?
All right, so I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.
What else? Front raises.
What else? You've had your hand up. Who wants to come up
with a name for this exercise? Overhead tricep extensions.
Yeah what it really comes down to is, if you look at your elbow,
how many planes does your elbow move in? Basically one, right? Your elbow
moves in one.
This isn't really your elbow. It's a different joint, but if we think about it,
it only moves in one plane. If you guys pick something other than a sagittal plane
for your elbow to do,
I'd be worried about you. I would, I would. If it moves in a different plane,
it's probably can only do that once and it's going to hurt a lot.
All right, we got anything we can do with the elbow is going to
probably happen in the sagittal plane.
What other exercise? Anybody got anything else. A closed group seated row. Way to
steal the one from the board, one of my favorite exercises.
All right, let's move on to the lower.
What do you got for the lower body? Lunge.
Squat, I heard. You guys can blurt it out, you don't have to raise your hands.
What else? Hamstring curls, sure.
Hamstring curls, calf raise, sure, leg press. What was that? Deadlifts sure, I can do that in
my narrow sagittal hallway.
Anybody got any trunk stuff, some core stuff?
Crunches. Yeah, crunches we could do right?
Yeah, so this would happen in my narrow sagittal hallway, what else?
Hip extensions. Like this? On the roman chair. Okay, okay so this this exercise?
Okay well, leg raises we'll call them. Not my favorite exercise, we'll find out why
later. What else? Back extensions.
That's pretty good list. It's a really really good list. Should move on to the
next plane? So we got A: sagittal, down.
Let's go for B: frontal, right. So our frontal plane goes this way.
Sometimes it's called the coronal plane right, like a crown.
So it goes this way, cuts our body into front and back halves. Generally refers
to motion that is side to side and up and down.
So who wants to be my frontal plane model?
This one's actually really easy.
Let me give you a story on how I used to teach this. This is going back many, many
years. I used to teach at New York Sports Club, you guys know New York Sports Clubs?
Boston Sports Clubs, Philadelphia Sports Clubs. Right, so used to teach there, teach all their
trainers and we got to planes of motion Iused to teach in this big
group exercise studio with glass enclosure and they used to come up and
just step outside the room and go here's what you think of when you think frontal
I want you to think of what movement you could do if you had a plane of glass in
front of you.
Right so if I have a frontal plane in front of me,
what can I do without breaking through that glass?
Now who wants to be my frontal plane model? Come on up.
What was your name again?
Marla, everybody big round of applause for Marla. This one...you...
you picked the plane to be the model for because here's what we got to do to
poor Marla. Right, this is the frontal plane.
So I'm going to drop it down just a little bit, but what could she
do with her head? She can do this kind of thing right kind of side to side. What could she do
with her shoulders and I'm going to drop just a little bit below. Yeah, maybe side raises.
You won't hit me, I got a longer reach.
All right, what could she do with her trunk? Yeah some of this stuff.
What about her hip? Yeah so she could do, what what is that, yes she
could do that sort of thing right. You guys ready? You guys can call exercise
whatever you want, as long as you know what it means you can call it
whatever you want. Big round of applause for Marla.
Now, what I want you guys to do is the same thing.
You now have a box for frontal plane. I'm going to give you guys three minutes on
this one to come up with as many exercises as you can.
How many guys are stuck?
Few people, okay. I don't want to go too outside the box.
So let's go ahead and do the same thing now, just for the sake of organization.
We'll start with upper body exercises. What do you guys got for upper body?
so lateral raises you guys got a couple more in you, come on. Shoulder press.
How? Show me.
Yeah, so if I had a plane of glass in front of me, could I still do this?
Sure, sure. We'll call that military press. Wide grip shoulder press.
What else could I do? Pull-ups.
Well, maybe you can do pull-ups. Me, not so much. Anybody else have a hard
time with pull-ups? They're hard.
A lat pulldown, sure, sure.
All right, so we got lat pulldown. What about lower body? A side lunge. So you can
do a lunge to the side. It's called a lateral lunge, frontal plane lunge, side lunge.
So as long as we're upright, right, as long as we're here.
If I were to do this seated ab- and adduction and I had a plane of glass in front
of me right
could I get there? No, right. But if as long as it's this way
we're good. Like the multi-hip machine, have you guys ever seen the multi-hip machine?
And you do one of these things you can come in with it...
All right, so that's that's ab- and adduction.
Anybody got anything else?
What about side shuffles? Side shuffles work?
Anybody to lateral drills? Nothing? Nobody?
Trunk, what can you do with your trunk? Core, this thing.
The weeble wobble exercise. Side bends.
We will have fun with this exercise later when we get into anatomy and we
find out what's actually working in that exercise, not what people usually think
All right so we got one more plane. This one's kind of the tuffy as far as
conceptualizing and understanding which exercises fall into this plane.
So that's the transverse plane, also known, to give you guys a little
it's also known as the horizontal plane. has anybody heard that? I'm going to go
artistic on here on you guys here for a second.
You guys ready for all this? All right why is it called the horizontal plane?
Which way is the horizon go? Can you guys tell my mother was a professional artist?
This is the horizon. So the transverse plane is the plane of the
Now, generally speaking when we talk about exercise, we're referring to
rotational movements are transverse plane, that's parallel to the
transverse plane or limb movements, parallel to the horizon.
What else do you have that is parallel to the horizon right in front of you
that could help you visualize limb movement in the transverse plane? Your
desk. So we're talking rotational movements or limb movements that
are parallel to your desk.
You guys got this. All right, three minutes all the exercises you got.
You guys get kind of stuck on this one pretty quick right? You start going
through and you're like wait a second there's not that many exercises for this
All right, so upper. What you guys got for upper? Chest fly.
I like it.
Oh that's an interesting one. I must say no. I'm going to say that that
actually happens in a couple of different plane. You're on the right
This is kind of a weird like crossing planes motion.
What other exercise?
Oh come on, seriously all you guys do his chest flyes? Bench press, and if a
chest fly in a bench press fit here
what else probably fits here? You said it earlier.
Push-ups right? If you think of a traditional push up here,
everybody go through this motion, are you moving parallel to your desk?
Yeah. This was sagittal, but this is transverse.
And evidently you guys only work beach muscles. Is that what's going on here?
"Dude I only work when I can see in the mirror.
That's it." What else? How about a reverse fly? Nobody works their posterior
delt? Nobody? You guys are all just kind of front heavy huh?
You know eventually you're going to have to leave the room and people are going
be staring at your back, just for those of you guys who don't work your back.
Anything else? Barbell rows, how many of you guys have done a barbell
row, wide grip. That's ransverse plane right, your arms are moving parallel to that
All right, lower. What can I do for my lower body? Seated hip abduction and
adduction. How many of you guys have seen these machines?
Again not some of my favorite equipment.
There's an anatomical reason for that which we'll get to later.
when I was training trainers for Equinox I used to have a competition for those
Whoever could carry the machine home could keep it.
I thought that was a good way to get rid of it. Never happened.
Those things are heavy. Anybody have any other exercises?
All right then the lower body for transverse plane I'll admit, it's kind of tough.
We'll get to it in a second. I think I can help you guys out.
What about trunk, what can you do for trunk? Rotation like what is that going
to look like? What do you mean? How as an exercise? A Russian Twist?
Plank. That's an interesting one so let's go back a couple. We've
mentioned a couple exercises that I definitely want to come back to
including your shrug. Let's not forget about the shrug.
So, plank, is their motion in a plank?
So it makes it a little tougher to figure out, but now we have to think
about which way is gravity pushing on our frame?
all right let me ask it this way, gravity is parallel to which plane in a plank?
Which direction are you guys in a plank?
You're like this right on the floor. And gravity is pressing through me how? This
So which plane is this? Sagittal. So, we could write a plank here. Unless I do a
plank on my side, then what happens? If I'm this way,
now which way is gravity pushing? This way right right which is side to
side which is going to be which plane? Frontal, so I could put side planks over
Let's go back to shrugs.
Shrugs are difficult because what you're seeing, what we actually look at when we
do shrugs is usually the front of us. You know what I'm talking about.
I usually do, well, I don't usually do shrugs but if I was doing shrugs, I would be
looking at the mirror that way.
Right? But what bone is moving? My scapula, which is on my back.
And how are my scapulae moving? Up and down, right? Superior to inferior or inferior
to superior, I guess, like this. Which plane is this actually parallel to?
Frontal. I know from my example of the narrow saggital plane hallway,
it looks like you're doing this with your shoulders but in actuality it's your
scapulae moving parallel to that frontal plane. Does that make sense?
So for upper and frontal, we could put shrugs.
Anybody have any other exercise they want me to address? They didn't know
where to put it,
so they didn't say anything.
Shoulder press, all right, hold that because we're actually going get into
that in a little bit more detail in a second.
I got a few ways to look at a shoulder press. So, some things for you guys to
think about is we're about to go into the muscular anatomy section,
I think you guys started to notice something here. We notice we have a lot
of exercises for what muscle group?
Well upper body, yes. But what... chest fly, bench press, wide grip pushup,
what muscles that supposed to be working? Pecs, mostly, right. And the pecs have a
fiber direction in which direction? This way right, its horizontal so they have a
transverse fiber arrangement. Wouldn't it kind of makes sense that muscles with a
transverse fiber arrangement help move us in the transverse plane?
How do you think muscles will be situated to move us in the sagittal
plane? Up and down.
Where would they be located? It's going to be up and down,
where would they be located?
So they're situated, usually muscles that move us in the
sagittal plane are running up and down on either the front or the back of our
bodies. Doesn't make sense? Because we said forward and back, up and down. What about
frontal plane muscles?
Where do you think they're going to be situated? They're going to be situated on the sides
running up and down. Does that kind of makes sense? As we start looking at your
muscular anatomy, the goal will be for you guys to be able to visualize how
these muscles are going to move you, not just memorize a bunch of joint actions
because we all know how tedious that can be. Fair enough.
Now, does life happen in one plane? No, but you guys notice that you had a
really easy time coming up with exercises in which plane? Sagittal was
easy and then we got over there and it was like "ohh." When we get into a gym, how do
most people train, which plane?
Sagitall, do you think that's beneficial for health and performance? For rehab?
No, right. Occasionally, we have to move in other planes.
Imagine if you only have the sagittal plane to move in and you tried to walk
You'd be like okay for a while... sagittal, sagittal, sagittal, sagittal, sagittal and
then you get to the door.
Now what? Can I stay in the sagittal plane?
What are you going to do if you can only move in the sagittal plane because
that's all you've trained in? You're going to walk to the door and be like, "All
right, dude somebody turn me. Somebody turn me. I need to get out of the
sagittal plane." Right, you can't do that. You have to start training outside of
the sagittal, sagittal, sagittal, sagittal thing.
Let me give you guys a little bit of help, we're going to do a little activity
to try to look at a couple exercises and see how we might be able to change them
to work them in different planes and get a little bit more creative with our
exercise selection. So push ups,
we've already done a couple of these already. What did you say, you can do
push-ups in which planes? We said transverse for sure.
So everybody do a transverse plane push up for me. Just go through the
Good, your elbows would be high here right. Let's do a sagittal plane. Now your
elbows would run right next to your body.
What about a frontal plane?
Be creative. This would actually still be transverse right. This
would still be parallel to your desk.
Definitely a creative way to do a push-up.
Oh yeah who said that? Yeah I was like "you you can't do push-ups," this is a true
"you can't do push-ups in the frontal plane," this dude was like, "Yes, you can."
And I was like, "Show me." And sure enough he just walked over the wall and went
Got into a handstand. Now that's not for pecs anymore,
right, that's for what muscles? What muscles are we working? It's more like
shoulders at that point but sure enough he just popped out five.
Show off. And sure enough he created a frontal plane push up.
I like it though, because at least it was creative. He's getting out of the
So pull ups. How can we do pull-ups and multiple planes?
How do you guys usually do pull-ups? This way right? So everybody does pull ups
in what plane? Frontal plane pull ups.
All right so we got frontal plane pull ups, how could I get out of the frontal
Yeah how many guys do chin-ups?
Or maybe you guys have those fancy handle, you guys know the fancy handles
on some of them where they like have two or three different hand grips and you
can kind of grab this way and do a neutral grip pull up.
So that's a sagittal plane pull-up, it's good. So now we got sagittal, frontal, how
could i do a transverse plane pull up?
How many of you have every used a Smith Machine to do what is
basically the opposite of a push-up?
You guys know what I'm talking about? So you hang back from the Smith Machine,
your heels are down on the floor and you just pull up this way. So tough. So tough.
One of my favorite exercises. I actually have a challenge on my youtube channel
where I have the model that's with me doing a horizontal pull up, right, is what
I call that, a hanging pull up, with his feet on a stability ball and I make up to
That's the challenge. Anybody up for that challenge?
All right all right a few you guys are up for the challenge. Send me the video.
Put it on your phone, send me the video. All right, so we got pull-ups in three
different planes. You want to do shoulder press? Should we do some shoulder press. So let's
do a shoulder press through three different planes.
What's this? So this would be frontal plane.
Can I do sagittal plane?
I like sagittal plane press. A lot of people don't do it.
How many of you guys have done like a front squat to press? One
of these things I like teaching that as a sagittal plane thing. Because if we're
playing a sport, we don't know we don't always try to press up this way right? If
I'm coming down the lane, the only sport I know guys is basketball. I'm sorry if
you guys play any other sport.
I wasn't that athletic, remember i was a jazz musician, but if I come up through
the lane right,
am I going to pull up and try to get to the rim going this way?
No, I'm going to come this way.
So there's no problem training through the sagittal plane.
How could I get a little transverse plane component to my overhead press?
Yeah like the old Arnold presses, right. Have a little shoulder rotation
Yeah, you can do stuff like that, there is no problem as long as there's no pain.
You've progressed somebody well. So we can add a little rotation to that.
What about step-ups? What plane are step-ups in? Sagittal. All right, so we got sagittal,
front and back.
How would I make them frontal?
So, yeah if i do a step up, if I put a step here and instead of doing this, I do
this, it becomes a frontal plane step up right. Now I'm starting to train people
to move side to side a little bit better.
How would I make that transverse? Rotate how?
Yes, you rotate in the transverse plane.
So if I started facing this way, put the step here, everybody's with me and I went
would that be a transverse plane step-up? A good thing to practice?
Do you have to move in the transverse plane? As we saw from my example, every
time you want to make a left or right turn, you have to at least move in the
transverse plane for a second.
So these are always for you guys to progress your exercise.
That's a good little activity for you guys to do if you get stuck, you don't
know how to get new exercises into your program,
it might be worth just going okyay, well how can I take this into different planes,
you'd be surprised what you can come up with.
All right let's take a ten-minute break and then we'll get into joint actions.