Move in 6 Directions for Better Exercise Results

by | Jul 7, 2016 | Exercise Tips

Why do we do what we do in exercise? Why do we need to do this move, that move, and this transition in this particular way? If I can teach people only one thing about exercise it would be that each joint needs movement in 6 directions. This type of movement gets to the source of pain and weakness, solves the problems that cause injuries and chronic pain, and gets results in a huge way.



In 2011, after teaching water exercise for nearly 15 years, I started the Gray Institute fellowship program. I thought I was going to enhance my understanding of anatomy and biomechanics and, while I did become more familiar with muscles and movement, I more importantly began to connect everything I already knew. I was learning that the tri-planar movement theory (front to back, side to side, and rotational left and right) that I was taught as a traditional exercise professional fell short.

Now equipped with this 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 Wavemakers was born, and this article will help you understand the why.


The Power of Why


If you have been following my blog or perhaps using a Wavemakers routine, you’ve heard me talk about moving the body in six 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 three 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 three 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 two planes, the knee must move in all three 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 three 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. Wavemakers workouts move the body in 6 natural directions covering all three planes of movement.

  1. Forward
  2. Backward
  3. Right lateral
  4. Left lateral
  5. Rotate right
  6. Rotate left


Why Moving In 6 Directions Will Help You Feel Better


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 six directions, on all three planes, will lead to pain, stiffness and dysfunction. Get in the pool and try this 3D workout routine that uses movement in six directions to unify and strengthen the body as a whole:

Warm Up: Walk across the pool. Don’t forget to travel in all six directions!


Final Stretch:

At Wall Foot Reach: For Mobility:

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. 

Enhancing your functional mobility, strength, and capabilities through yoga and water workouts that use the 6 directions can significantly improve your quality of life, helping you stay active, pain-free, and independent.

Ready to see your best results? Join us inside Wavemakers for Functional Mobility, a 28-day guided program designed to help you achieve a healthier, stronger body. These sessions, all of which use the 6 directions, focus on diverse movements such as pushing, pulling, lifting, reaching, and turning—mirroring everyday activities to ensure you’re always prepared for whatever life throws your way.

Laurie Denomme

Laurie Denomme

an exercise coach dedicated to helping you move better and be your best everyday.

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