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Planes of Movement
We can’t quite turn our heads all the way around to the back, and we can’t twist our spine 360º. However, we still have remarkable mobility...and injuries to any of our joints will lessen our ability to move. When we move our hands in figure 8’s, we are moving within these three planes of movement. Here is an explanation of each plane with a Wikipedia drawing to assist￼ you:
- Sagittal plane: Divides your body into symmetrical right and left halves. Movements in this plane include flexion or extension.
- Frontal or Coronal plane: Divides the body into front (anterior) and back (posterior) parts. Movements in this plane include adduction, abduction or lateral flexion.
- Transverse or Horizontal plane: Divides the body into upper (superior) and lower (inferior) parts. Movements in this plane include lateral and medial rotation, pronation, and supination.
Here are five common joint movements:
- Flexion vs. Extension: When you flex or bend your elbow, you are decreasing the angle between the upper arm bone and the lower arm bone. When you extend or straighten your elbow, you are increasing that angle. Any joint can be flexed or extended.
- Abduction vs. Adduction: When you abduct your leg, it moves away from the body’s midline. When you adduct your leg, it moves toward the midline.
- Inversion vs. Eversion: Inversion occurs when you turn the soles of your feet so that they face each other. Eversion occurs when you turn the soles of your feet so that they face away from each other or away from the body.
- Dorsiflexion vs. Plantarflexion: Bending your foot at the ankle so the toes move up toward the shin is dorsiflexion. Bending the foot at the ankle so the toes point down is plantarflexion.
- Supination vs. Pronation: Palms up or forward or ankles leaning out is supination. Palms down or back or ankles leaning in is pronation. You are supine when you lie on your back; you are prone when you lie on your stomach.
Using these terms when exercising
It's important to understand these concepts, even if you don't know the terms, especially if you have limited range of motion because of a disability or injury. Your goal may be full range of motion but sometimes that it is a slow process.
Thanks to http://www.pottspointexercise.com.au/functional-mvt-training.html for the image.
I am a BCRPA-certified fitness instructor in Vancouver, BC. I teach four classes at the West End Community Centre in Vancouver, BC, mostly designed for the older adult. The Inevitable Disclaimer: Everything published here expresses only my opinion, based on my training and research. What you do with the information is entirely your own responsibility. I am not liable for any injury you suffer that seems to be related to anything you read here. Always consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program. For other articles, return to the table of contents.
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