We live in a multi planar world! We rarely move in just one plane of motion. Yet, when we
go to the gym or train, we tend to get stuck in the same positions time and time again. Just think
about the position you squat in or lunge. Is it always with the same foot position? Always in the
same direction? This is a friendly reminder to break out of single planes and help prevent injury
by doing so.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, when squatting, vary your foot position
every set. Utilize staggered stances, wide and narrow stances, toes in and out. Then, combine
these things in as many ways as you can think of. There are many options. This will help
prepare your legs for any position they might land in during functional tasks, such as walking,
hiking, or housework. When you train your body for all directions of load, you reduce the risk of
injury when you get into those positions in daily life. Below is a picture of some of the stances
mentioned earlier for you to try. Start with body weight or light weight and work up to heavier
weights or maybe start with just the first line and add more as you are able. Safety first!
This same concept can be applied with most exercises, no matter the difficulty level or
intensity. For instance, if you like to walk, try walking sideways or backwards (safely). This will
work different muscle groups and help improve balance in those directions. If you are lifting
upper extremities, try punching in direct directions, not just overhead. Remember, if you want
your body to work in multiple planes, you should train it to do just that!