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Our bodies are three-dimensional (3-D) movement machines, yet some gymgoers don’t tap into the potential of our 3-D movement. But what is 3-D movement and what does this have to do with lateral exercises? Let gets nerdy for a hot minute.
The human body has three planes of motion: the sagittal plane, which separates the left and right sides of the body. Exercise examples are the powerlifting big 3. This plane is where most strength and muscle gains happen. The transverse plane: separates the upper and lower halves of your body and involves all things rotation. All the spin moves on the basketball court and football field happens in the transverse plane.
Last and not least, this article’s subject is the frontal plane, which separates the front and back of the body. Think of cutting the body in half (anterior and posterior) from the side on, and you’ll get a picture of the frontal plane. The best-known frontal lateral exercises are side lunges and lateral raises.
This article will go into the benefits of training in the lateral (frontal) plane and four lateral exercises to incorporate to improve your power, movement, and strength so you, too, can be a 3D movement machine.
Although most of your strength and muscle gains happen in the sagittal plane, it pays to train in the frontal plane. Your muscle fibers don’t run up and down but in all directions. And training them from a variety of angles leads to better muscle and strength development.
For example, training the adductors with the landmine Cossack squat will better prevent groin strains. A review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2015 concluded that a lack of hip adductor strength was one of the most common risk factors for groin injury in sports.
There’s more to the frontal plane than endless sets of side lunges and lateral raises. Although they’re both good exercises with plenty of benefits, here are four other lateral exercises to consider.