There is one certainty in sports, which is that circumstances are often predictably unpredictable.
In an instant you may have to stop, start, shuffle, hop, lunge, catch, and pass in any direction.
And in those moments . . . reading and reacting is all you can do. And ideally it’s with the correct body position, precise timing, and accuracy.
It’s through these fundamentals that you’re able to control the level of energy needed and force required for effective and efficient execution. You want to harness internal and external forces to redirect outwards. All without wasted effort.
How well you prepare will either encourage the right response or expose a weakness.
Weaknesses are magnified anytime your reaction is rooted in poor body position, timing, or footwork. And you’ll find yourself in a performance hole.
While in that hole. . .you’re at a competitive disadvantage. And your body is vulnerable to injury. Neither of which is suitable to being an athlete for life.
So the best thing you can do to help anticipate circumstances and avoid the holes is to train right.
In the case of athletics, this involves strengthening the 3 planes of motion. They are otherwise known as functional movement patterns.
Here’s a brief breakdown.
The sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes are what distinguish those 3 dimensions.
The Sagittal Plane divides your body into left and right. When your muscles move your body forward and backward, it’s in this dimension. Examples of movements would be extending or bending your knee and running straight forward.
The Frontal Plane divides your body into front and back. Your muscles move your body parts towards or away from (adduction or abduction) your midline (the imaginary center line that divides your body). In this, our entire body may move laterally in either direction (left or right). Examples would be a side lunge or a lateral shoulder raise.
The Transverse Plane divides your body into top and bottom. Any time a joint rotates, it’s moving in the transverse plane. It’s a movement that’s easy to miss in your everyday activity, but it’s crucial to your function. Unfortunately, transverse plane movement will fade away if it’s not trained on a regular basis. This is because gravity only feeds the sagittal and frontal planes on a constant basis. Examples of this motion are turning your head and reaching over your shoulder to catch a ball.
To a degree, your body is working in all 3 planes no matter which movement pattern is dominant. Even so, it’s important that you learn which patterns and directions of movement are deficient for you. Then incorporate exercises that improve the mobility and strength in those areas. So you can control yourself at any body position and speed.
I create my programming in this same way, and it’s helped my athletes to perform at the highest levels. Most important, they stay healthy.
You can learn some of the same exercises in my online programs like the 30-Day Get Lean Challenge. Get yours here.
Predictably yours in strength,