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Empowering Movement: Balancing Your Workout Across Body Planes

Balancing Your Workout Across Body Planes

As we all strive for a stronger, healthier body, understanding the way we move is fundamental. The human body navigates through life in three primary movement planes: sagittal, frontal, and transverse.

Each of these planes represents a unique dimension of movement, from forward lunges to side stretches and rotational twists. But why does this matter for busy women seeking fitness amidst their hectic schedules? It's simple: balancing exercises across these planes can lead to a more effective, injury-resistant body, capable of tackling everyday challenges with ease and strength.

For busy women, integrating exercises that target these diverse movement planes into a weekly routine isn't just about building muscle; it's about building a body that's as dynamic and versatile as the lives they lead. This approach not only enhances physical health but also ensures each workout contributes to overall well-being and fitness in a time-efficient manner.

Let's dive into the essence of these movement planes and unveil a weekly exercise plan designed to empower you towards achieving a balanced, stronger physique. This guide aims to educate, inspire, and provide you with actionable steps to incorporate a comprehensive fitness regimen into your busy life.

Understanding Movement Planes

At the heart of our movement lie the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes, each facilitating a range of motions essential for comprehensive fitness. The sagittal plane divides our body into left and right halves, governing forward and backward movements like walking, squatting, and lunging. It's crucial for exercises that enhance our front-to-back mobility and strength, pivotal for daily activities and core stability.

The frontal plane slices the body into front and back sections, overseeing lateral movements. Exercises such as side lunges and arm raises fall into this category, crucial for side-to-side agility and balance. Meanwhile, the transverse plane cuts across, separating the body into top and bottom halves, central to rotational movements. This plane's exercises, like torso twists, are essential for a well-rounded fitness regimen, improving flexibility and rotational strength, which is often overlooked.

By engaging in exercises that encompass all three planes, you're not just working towards a more balanced and robust physique; you're enhancing your body's ability to handle real-life movements and challenges more effectively.

Best Exercises for Each Movement Plane

A well-balanced workout regimen that includes exercises from all three movement planes is not just beneficial; it's essential for building a stronger, more resilient body. Let's explore some of the best exercises for each plane, designed to fit into the busy schedules of women who are on a mission to enhance their fitness levels.

Sagittal Plane Exercises

The sagittal plane is all about forward and backward movements, forming the foundation of most traditional workouts. Exercises in this plane improve strength, flexibility, and endurance in the anterior and posterior chains of the body.

  • Forward Lunge: A typical example of a sagittal plane exercise, the forward lunge not only strengthens the legs and glutes but also improves balance and core stability. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, and your other knee doesn't touch the floor. Push back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

  • Squats: A foundational lower-body exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. The movement involves bending at the hips and knees to lower the body as if sitting back into a chair, then returning to the standing position.

  • Lunges: This exercise involves stepping forward (or backward) with one leg and lowering the hips until both knees are bent at approximately a 90-degree angle. Lunges target the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

  • Deadlifts: A powerful exercise for the posterior chain, including the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and traps. The movement involves lifting a weight off the ground while keeping the spine neutral, then lowering it back down.

  • Push-Ups: An upper-body exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. The movement involves lowering the body to the ground using the arms and then pushing back up to the starting position.

  • Bench Press: A compound exercise targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps. It involves pushing a weight upwards from the chest level while lying on a bench, then lowering it back down.

These movements are pivotal for developing leg strength and endurance, essential for daily activities and overall fitness.

Incorporating these exercises into your routine will ensure you're building strength and flexibility in a way that supports your body's natural movements, making your fitness routine more effective and efficient.

Frontal Plane Exercises

The frontal plane governs the side-to-side movements of our body, playing a crucial role in enhancing lateral stability and mobility. Exercises targeting this plane are essential for developing balance, coordination, and strength across the sides of the body.

  • Lateral Arm Raises: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. With a slight bend in your elbows, raise your arms straight out to your sides until they're level with your shoulders, then lower them back down. This exercise targets the shoulders and the lateral aspects of the body, improving stability and strength.

  • Side Lunges: This variation of the traditional lunge focuses on lateral movement, targeting the inner and outer thighs, glutes, and quadriceps. From a standing position, take a large step to the side, bending the knee of the leading leg while keeping the other leg straight. Push back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

  • Cable Woodchoppers: This exercise involves rotating the torso while holding a cable or band with both hands, moving from high to low or low to high across the body. It engages the core, shoulders, and hips, making it a compound movement that works across the frontal plane.

  • Lateral Plyometric Jumps: These are high-intensity movements that involve jumping side to side, engaging the leg muscles, core, and requiring coordination and balance, thus working multiple muscle groups.

Including frontal plane exercises like these in your weekly routine will help ensure a balanced approach to your fitness, promoting symmetry and preventing muscle imbalances.

Transverse Plane Exercises

The transverse plane is perhaps the most neglected in traditional workout routines, yet it's vital for rotational movements and overall functional fitness. Exercises in this plane enhance core strength, flexibility, and the ability to perform everyday tasks more efficiently.

  • Russian Twists: Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet lifted slightly off the ground, and lean back at a slight angle. Hold a weight with both hands in front of you, and twist your torso to the right, then to the left, to complete one rep. This exercise engages the entire core, with a focus on the obliques, improving rotational strength and stability. (DO NOT DO THIS EXERCISE IF YOU ARE NOT EXPERIENCED OR ADVANCED WITH MOVEMENT)

  • Standing Trunk Rotations: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a weight or medicine ball in front of you at chest height. Keep your hips facing forward while rotating your torso to the right, then to the left, engaging your core throughout the movement.

  • Standing Cable Rotations (Cable Torso Twists): Performed by holding a cable with both hands and rotating the torso away from the machine, this exercise strengthens the core muscles, with a focus on the obliques, and also engages the shoulders and hips.

  • Rotational Lunges (Twisting Lunges): Adding a twist to a traditional lunge, by rotating the upper body towards the leading leg, engages the core in addition to the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

  • Medicine Ball or Cable Wood Chops: These involve rotating the torso while holding a medicine ball or cable, moving diagonally across the body from high to low or low to high. This exercise targets the core muscles, including the obliques, as well as the shoulders and hips.

  • T-Pushups: A variation of the traditional pushup, where you rotate your body and extend one arm towards the ceiling, turning the body into a "T" shape at the top of the movement. This works the chest, shoulders, and triceps, along with the core, particularly the obliques.

Incorporating transverse plane exercises into your routine is key to a well-rounded fitness regimen, promoting core stability, enhancing rotational power, and improving overall movement efficiency.

Balancing your workout across the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes is essential for building a stronger, more resilient body capable of handling the demands of daily life and busy schedules. By incorporating a variety of exercises that target these different planes of movement, you can achieve a comprehensive workout that not only builds strength and flexibility but also enhances your overall health and well-being.

Remember, the key to success is consistency and dedication. Start integrating these exercises into your weekly routine, and you'll soon notice improvements in your strength, mobility, and fitness levels. Here's to empowering movement and a stronger you!


Here are some examples of what your workouts could look like:


(3 sets, 6-15 reps : weight depending)


Single arm bent over row

Pull ups

Cable woodchoppers

Standing trunk rotations


(3 sets, 6-15 reps : weight depending)


Forward Lunge

Hip thrusts

Rotational lunges

Standing cable rotations


(3 sets, 6-15 reps : weight depending)

Bench Press

Tricep dips

Push ups

Lateral arm raises

Medicine ball wood chops


(3 sets, 6-15 reps : weight depending)

Side Lunges

Lateral plyo jumps

Weighted step ups

Pull Ups

Push Ups

3 MINUTES on the assault bike

Adjust the movements to suit your current ability and fitness level.

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