Did You Know We Are Designed To Move In Many Planes Of Motion? Wednesday, 4th July 2018

Our bodies are meant to move around three dimensionally and should be mobile and strong. However, most people often move in more of a one dimensional way. Did you know there are 3 different planes of movement? 

If you incorporate all three planes of movement this will help you reduce your risk of injury as well as increase your overall movement.  The three planes of motion divide the body along imaginary lines.


This plane divides the body into left and right segments and moving in this plane means we are making our bodies work in either a forward or backward motion. Whether this is walking or something as simple as picking an object up, going from sitting to standing. Extension and flexion also happen along this plane and much of our day to day activity involves us moving forward and backward.


This plane divides the body into front and back segments and moving in this plane means we are working in a side movement.  We are going either towards or away from the mid-line of the body. Abduction (limb moving away from the body) is a movement in this plane.  


This plane of motion divides the body into top and bottom halves and the movement in this plane is rotational. This is probably the least plane in which we move. Even when we exercise! Unless of course you are in a Pilates class, where a well balanced class will incorporate this type of movement. Our major joints such as our hips, shoulders, and spine need this type of movement


How do we make sure we are moving in all of these planes?

Pilates is an exercise method based on exercising the joints in all planes of movement. Ideally we want to be able to move our body efficiently and safely through all planes.

As mentioned, mostly we move in the sagittal plane.  Eg walking, running, cycling, sitting and standing.  These exercises and movements consist mainly of flexion and extension, or moving forwards and backwards and we include much less in the frontal and transverse planes in our daily lives.

Because our muscles, fascia, daily lives, and sporting activities are designed for us to be working in a three dimensional capacity, it is vital that we incorporate all planes into our exercise regime.  Often, movement  occurs simultaneously in all three planes of motion, especially for particular sports and daily movement and we need to be able to respond naturally to this ever changing environment around us.

We can improve our ability to respond to this change in such things as our Pilates classes by learning to incorporate exercises that target movement in all three planes. This variety of movement stabilises and strengthens the core, while increasing stability and mobility in the hips, shoulders and spine. Additionally, by having a more balanced and controlled musculature we help our bodies to become stronger, healthier and much more resistant to pain and injury.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask one of our fabulous Pilates Instructors at Art of Pilates, Neutral Bay.

Belinda x