FRONTAL PLANE MOVEMENT PATTERNS
Three Planes of Movement Side Lunge
~ By Jackie Wright
While it is critical that we move in all three planes of movement (i.e. sagittal/frontal/transverse), many exercise programs spend the vast majority of time in sagittal (think forward/linear) movement patterns. Not only do most sports require movement in all three planes, many sports skills are performed in the frontal plane (think lateral). Frontal plane movement patterns are fundamental to sports such as football, soccer, hockey and basketball where the player is shuffling, laterally moving across the field, rink or court.
Additionally, as we age, less time is spent in the frontal plane. Due to majority of the time spent in the sagittal plane, the muscles that stabilize and mobilize the body through the frontal plane may become weak, deconditioned and uncoordinated which may lead to tripping, falling and ultimately injury. Consequently, regardless what your health/fitness goals, it is crucial to include frontal movement patterns in your exercise program design and performance. This week, three frontal plane movement patterns will be highlighted that you may be able to integrate into your program today! As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
*Perform two-three sets of 8-12 repetitions each of these exercises* two-three times/week on non-consecutive days. Begin with the head/neck a natural extension of the spine, shoulders rotated back down, shoulders/hips/knees and toes facing the same direction, navel imprinted on the spine and the pelvic floor pulled up/inward. *Perform pattern #1 for 30 seconds, 15 second recovery and repeat.
Frontal Plane Movement Pattern #1 Shuffling laterally! Think of integrating a shuffling movement pattern laterally such as a shuffle four steps to the right and then to the left. Quickly picking up the feet to move smoothly side to side. You may add a medicine ball toss to the floor as you complete each four shuffles right, allow the ball to bounce up to you, catch it and then shuffle to the left and repeat. Not only will this function as a power drill elevating the heart rate, it will actively engage the hip abductors/adductors which cause the movement in the frontal plane.
Frontal Plane Movement Pattern #2 Side lunges! This exercise is often poorly understood and therefore, poorly performed. However, it does not need to be complicated. Think of stepping to the side and hinging from the hips so that the body weight moves into the heel of the leg that stepped out to the side and the opposite leg remains straight with the hips/knees/toes facing forward. Then, pushing off the heel of the leg that stepped out to the side, return to the center and then lunge to the opposite side. This exercise trains the hip abductors/adductors/quadriceps/hamstrings and gluteus maximus.
Frontal Plane Movement Pattern #3 Hip Abduction Squats! Standing with one foot on an 8-inch step platform and the opposite foot on the floor. Drive the body weight into the foot on top of the step engaging the gluteus maximus and lift the outside leg out to the side approximately 45 degrees engaging the hip abductors. Then, lower the body back into a squat position with both legs hinging from the hips and sitting back into the heels approximately 90 degrees of knee flexion. Complete on one side and then repeat on the opposite.
MAKE A PLAN FOR YOUR SNACK ATTACK
~ By Carin Aichele
While snacks have a bad rap for derailing us from our healthy eating habits, snacks that are pre-made and well-thought out may actually support our nutrition and training goals.
"A pre-workout snack should include a good balance of carbohydrates for quick energy coupled with small amounts of protein to help build and repair muscle tissue and regulate the release of glucose in the blood. And by keeping these meals low in fat and fiber, you can help avoid common digestive problems such as cramping and nausea (Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition, 2009)." ~ Gina Crome, ACE Health and Fitness Expert
Effective Post-workout Nutrition
The American Heart Association recommends the following snacks for your particular craving:
"When considering a post-workout meal or snack, the timing and content can vary depending on personal preferences, tolerance and individual constraints (SCAN, 2010). It’s best to experiment and make adjustments that take into account the intensity of the workout, goal of training (e.g., to build muscle, lose weight) and feasibility of eating an appropriate meal. As a general rule, you want to aim to balance proteins and carbohydrates, while avoiding excessive amounts of fat and high-calorie processed foods." ~ Gina Crome, ACE Health and Fitness Expert
Munchies that crunch ~
- Apples and pears
- Carrot and celery sticks
- Bell pepper slices
- Zucchini or cucumber circles (Sounds fancy, huh?)
- Roasted chickpeas
- Broccoli and cauliflower florets
- Popcorn (It’s a whole grain! Who knew?)
- Rice cakes and whole-grain crackers
- Nuts and seeds (Hit those good fats!)
Rethink your drink ~ Ditch your high-sugar go-to and try:
- Plain or sparkling water (Not glam enough? Add some fruit and herbs to it!)
- Fat-free milk or plain soymilk
- Unsweetened tea or coffee
- 100% fruit juice (Stick to a small glass)
- Low-sodium tomato or mixed vegetable juice
Snacks that satisfy ~ Guaranteed to fill you right up:
- Whole-grain toast with peanut or almond butter
- Cherry tomatoes with hummus
- Low-fat or fat-free cheese
- Plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt (An awesome pairing with fruit!)
- Fruit and veggie smoothie
- Whole-grain crackers with canned tuna or salmon
Snacks to curb your sweet tooth ~ Give these a try:
Whatever your snack style (getting through a rough day at the office, fuel your workout, satisfy a craving or fuel up after a workout), planning ahead and keeping healthy snacks at hand will go the distance in supporting you to reach your wellness goals.
- Canned fruit (in natural juice or light syrup)
- Thin slice of angel food cake or homemade banana-nut bread
- Baked apple
- Raisins, dates, figs and other unsweetened dried fruits
- Frozen banana
- Frozen grapes
- Fresh fruit salad (Use your imagination and get creative when choosing fruits)