What's Your Movement Practice?

Runner moving in the sagittal plane
Running is primarily a sagittal plane activity

Basketball defender moving in the frontal plane
An example of frontal plane activity is the side-to-side movement of basketball 

Baseball batter moving in the transverse plane
An example of transverse plane activity is the rotational movement of trying to bat a baseball

Your movement practice helps make you unique. I’m defining movement practice as a schedule for movement intended to bring about a state of well-being. In this definition, three factors need to be expanded upon: schedule, movement analysis, and the connection between well-being and movement.

By schedule, I’m talking about the ease of fitting movement into your day on a consistent, routine basis. As an Experiment of One and with my job as an office worker, I try to fit movement into all seven days a week and often have three movement sessions a day. Some of these sessions are related to my sport, running, and follow a conventional run training program. Additionally, other sessions are intended to assist with recovery and regeneration from a day of sitting in the office and/or a harder training run. Sometimes a movement session, let’s say stretching, will last for just 15 minutes and be done while watching TV.

For athletic movement, sports scientists use three major planes of motion to describe the demands of sport: frontal, sagittal, and transverse. Like the pictures at the top illustrate, the sagittal plane is covered in a lot of endurance activities, like running and biking, where the athlete is moving straight forward. The frontal plane covers side-to-side movement. Sports with a lot of side-to-side movement include tennis and basketball (especially basketball defense pictured). The transverse plane covers rotational movement, especially rotating the core and spine. Sports with a lot of rotational movement include golf and baseball (especially batting a baseball pictured). As an Experiment of One, I try to move in all three planes of movement everyday. So if I have a run (lots of frontal plane activity) that day, I might incorporate the side-to-side and rotational movement in my cool down running drills.

A state of well-being is the why of your movement practice. The connection between movement and well-being needs to be front and centre in the athlete’s mind. If feelings of well-being diminish, it’s time to re-evaluate your movement practice. As an Experiment of One, I continue to work at giving myself permission to change my movement practice and explore creative alternatives when feeling stale.

In future blogs, we'll talk about moving the body in different planes of movement that will support you in your chosen sport(s). Movement that leads to recovery and regeneration will also be covered. The mind-movement connection will be further explored too. If you have a question, I'll try to answer it promptly. I may turn your question into a topic on this blog. Since this is social media, if you find this blog to be share-worthy, appreciate you sending it to a wider audience.

Thanks for reading! For more, check out the Healthy Living Section in the EOOC TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Experiment of One Coaching covers topics ranging from running, strength training, health & wellness, sports nutrition to travel at https://www.experiment1coaching.com .


Mama Mac said…
Would you call swimming a frontal type of movement?
Mama Mac said…
I am enjoying your blog Jordan. Is swimming considered to be frontal athletic movement?
Glad you're enjoying the blog, Mama Mac! In answer to your question, a couple of thoughts come to mind. Depends on the type of swimming stroke we're considering. If we're talking breaststroke and backstroke that would be primarily front plane movement. If we're considering the front crawl (most popular with recreational swimmers) a gentle swim in the lake would be primarily front plane movement. However, if the swimmer is training for competition (triathlon or open water swim) then the idea of refining technique comes into play. Usually the technique often needed is to rotate the body to its side while maintaining straight forward movement, so there is less body surface in the water to slow the swimmer down. It may be that rotating the body (transverse plane) while moving in a straight forward direction (frontal plane) helps to explain what makes swimming a challenging athletic skill to master.