Why Move in 6 Directions?
In 2011, I entered the Gray Institute fellowship program. I thought I was going to enhance my understanding of anatomy and biomechanics. And yes I did become more familiar with muscles and movement, but more importantly the Gray Institute connected everything I already knew and inspired me to learn more. As a traditionally trained fitness professional, I now understood that my claim to teaching tri-planar movement fell short.
I was forced out of my black and white comfort zone into a grey area I was totally uncomfortable with. Fortunately, the faculty has a special gift of conveying difficult concepts in a way that are actionable. The secret? Always being able to answer why. Now equipped with a new way of thinking, I realized that if I was going to teach others, I needed to find a simple way of sharing information that was still very complex in my mind. I needed to explain the why. With that the foundation of WECOACH was born.
Simply, if I can teach people only one thing about exercise it would be that each joint needs movement in 6 directions. It helps get to the source of pain and weakness, solving problems, and preventing injury in a huge way!
The Power of Why
If you have been following my blog or perhaps using a WECOACH DVD or audio workout, you’ve heard me talk about moving the body in 6 directions. Here’s why!
Every joint in the body moves in 3 planes.
Let’s take the shoulder as an example. Feel each plane of motion as you swing the arm:
- Front to back (sagittal plane)
- Side to side (frontal plane)
- Rotate right and left (transverse plane)
The 3 planes of movement are not as obvious at other joints in the body. For example, think of the knee. Does this hinge joint move in 3 planes? The front to back motion is clear as the knee flexes and extends with every step. But does the knee actually move from side to side and rotate? The answer is yes! Although motion is much less in the latter 2 planes, the knee must move in all 3 planes for optimal knee function.
Therefore, to help develop the necessary mobility and strength, a 3D training approach is the answer. 3D training refers to exercises that move the body in all 3 planes. Just like an elastic band needs to be stretched to launch across a room, muscles require 3D flexibility and strength to effectively step, reach, bend and swing. WECOACH workouts move the body in 6 natural directions covering all 3 planes of movement.
- Right lateral
- Left lateral
- Rotate right
- Rotate left
Feel Better! Move in 6 Directions
3D movement is to the body what oil is for your car. Much like not changing your oil is certain to lead to catastrophic engine failure, not moving in all 6 directions, on all 3 planes, will lead to pain, stiffness and dysfunction. Get in the pool and try this 3D workout routine that uses movement in 6 directions to unify and strengthen the body as a whole.
Warm Up: Walk across the pool. Don’t forget to travel in all 6 directions!
- Single Leg Balance Reach: For Mobility
- Single Leg Balance Reach: For Stability
- Single Arm Reach at Water Surface: For Mobility
- Single Arm Reach at Water Surface: For Stability
At Wall Foot Reach: For Mobility:
When doing this routine or any exercise program, help keep exercise safe and get better results by following these important exercise guidelines:
- Move the body in ways it does not associate pain
- Exercises should be highly variable – so mix it up!
- Make it fun!
Simple body movements that move the body in ways that are natural target multiple muscle groups and give you the practical mobility and strength to reach your health and fitness goals. Exercises that move the body in 6 directions not only feel incredibly good, but they also deliver better results.
Thanks for reading,