Injuries are a very frustrating side to a runner’s life. If you’re a runner or know one, you probably have a long list of aches and pains. It always seems to happen at the worst times. I know of several runners who have had to give up their spot for a half or full marathon, after several months of disciplined training. So, why do these injuries happen in the first place? It’s hard to say, but one of the main factors is that we have overloaded one pattern of movement.
The body moves in three planes of motion: sagittal, frontal and transverse. The sagittal plane passes through the vertical midline of our body. Movements in this plane are characterized in forward and backward. The frontal plane divides our body into front and back halves. Movements in the frontal plane are side to side. Lastly, we have the transverse plane. The transverse plane divides our body into upper and lower halves, and movements in this plane are rotational.
Runners rarely move beyond the sagittal plane. Unfortunately, we’ve overloaded one plane and neglected the other two planes of motion. Runners aren’t alone in this. The majority of weight training programs, especially machine based training, fall into the same trap. The bench press, leg press machines, and countless others will overload this same plane of motion. We become strong in one motion and weak in others, and eventually something has to give, and boom there’s an injury. We must include all three planes of motions to stay healthy and also boosts performance. The good news is there are several very simple exercises that can help out. Below are a couple of videos that will help keep you healthy, and may even make you faster.
Wayne Earney MS, CSCS, PES, CES