“Life lives in the transverse plane” has been a saying I’ve been seeing a lot lately. It is actually a good shift from only thinking that we live, move, and train up and down. The transverse plane can be simply thought of as rotation. If you think about any time we produce power…punching, kicking, swinging, and hitting, we have huge amounts of rotation that occurs. Things we can do REALLY well in the world of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training.
However, even if you aren’t thinking about kicking any butt, punching, or kicking, the transverse plane is important in even more fundamental activities like walking and running. Yet, what we look for in these types of settings are slightly different than our power examples.
As you can guess, I both love and hate the saying above because it doesn’t tell people a lot about how we use the transverse plane or really explain how we introduce it properly into functional training programs. Our goal with DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is to help people gain a better understanding of human movement.
There are actually two ways to train the transverse plane. You can resist rotation, or produce rotation. They are VERY different concepts, but are important for real world strength, resiliency, and building great movement. Guess what? You can use DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training for both!
So, where do we start?
I tend to agree with top coaches like, Mike Boyle, that getting people to learn how to RESIST rotation is the starting point. This is for a few reasons….
1. It teaches you how to start connecting with important chains of the body! We all think of the obliques when it comes to rotation (like old school Russian twists), but we often think of the obliques incorrectly here.
The obliques ARE super important, but maybe more so to resist motion. Physical therapist Shirley Sahrmann, in her book Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes, states “during most daily activities, the primary role of the abdominal muscles is to provide isometric support and limit the degree of rotation of the trunk…A large percentage of low back problems occur because the abdominal muscles are not maintaining tight control over the rotation between the pelvis and the spine at the L5- S1 level. “ (2002 p.71)
This concept works with the important idea of the Anterior Oblique System (you can see diagram below). We’ve talked a lot about the Posterior Oblique System having the lats, core, and glutes work together. Well, the front side is important and almost most notable is the role of the obliques in working to help prevent a lot of excessive motion. Concepts we talk A LOT about in our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training certifications.
This is why we spend so much time on teaching fundamental skills in learning how to RESIST rotation. That may be like what Jessica shows below.
Once we build some foundational skills on the ground we want to get to standing positions like these DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Pallof Presses and learn how to use the ground AND resist rotation!
To eventually more complex patterns that will allow us to progress to more powerful forms of rotation!
2. Internal Hip Rotation!! One of the other important reasons to learn to resist rotation FIRST is that by getting the obliques and entire core to work correctly this can go a long ways in helping people’s mobility. A lot of people lack the ability to rotate their hips inwards which is ESSENTIAL in proper power in rotation.
Sure, stretching may help, but time after time we are surprised how getting the core to work right will go such a long ways in solving this problem. How can you use it? Check out Jessica’s breakdown below!
3. Now we can look at creating power! HOWEVER, to create rotation correctly you have to know what NOT to do! That is twist through you back! Remember, the core is really a transfer center for power from the legs to the upper body. If you watch people in golf, fighting, baseball, and so on, you will notice a really strong pivot of the foot. That is why building internal hip rotation is so important in this series!
So, really power comes UP from the ground, the HIPS rotate (they are a ball and socket not your low back!) and goes up through your chain. Great, but how can you start to learn this concept? Check out below how we progress to starting to learn rotation to really dominating!
Once we understand how to create rotation we can continue to build layers!
Understanding WHY and HOW to create rotation opens up so much in our functional fitness. It helps us to learn to move more efficiently, it helps us reduce issues of our low back, we develop great real world power, and it is one of the best forms of conditioning. So, opening up to understanding how our body moves does way more than just give you a better workout, it teaches you what bringing strength to life REALLY means!