I used to do lateral band walks and think I was training people in the frontal plane.
Then I took my first PRI course and realized “Shit….the body is way more complicated than I thought”
Over the last 4 years my training has really transformed thanks to all the courses I’ve taken and all the people I started following. I’ve left so many exercises I used to do behind. Not because I necessarily think they’re bad exercises, but because they were not doing what I thought they were doing, and because I’ve found better ways to achieve what I’m trying to get for my clients.
For this week’s Social Media Post of The Week I picked Justin Moore, a coach that really understands how to train people in all three planes. He’s so good at describing what you’re looking for that you might feel all those muscles working just by reading through his description.
I hope Justin’s post helps you expand your mind and make you aware that frontal plane work is more than just moving side to side.
I received a number of questions regarding this activity so I figured I’d turn it into a post.
This is a combination of constraints and external cues I’ve seen Ryan Hornuse with my favorite sensorimotor competency activity that I took away from Pat Davidson’s Rethinking The Big Patterns course.
This is a 1/2 kneeling bottoms up split squat with a focus on frontal plane centering and early stance sensorimotor competency. It’s a fantastic way to integrate PRI principles into a dynamic movement prep activity, and it has had my hips feeling incredible since I started implementing it into my own practice.
Begin by finding the heel and the big toe of the front side foot, then imagine you are pulling your heel back toward your body without it actually moving. This should give you hamstrings on the front side leg, and when done properly, you should feel your pelvis scoop underneath you.
Maintaining that sensation, exhale and feel how your abs bring your ribcage down, in, and back to shift the thorax back in space. With the thorax back, and the hamstrings rotating the pelvis posteriorly, bring your cranium back so that it aligns directly over your thorax and pelvis if you’re viewed from the side and look up.
Got that? Thats sagittal plane competency.
Maintaining that, try to center your nose, sternum, belt buckle, and knee over your big toe while reaching your contralateral elbow forward and across your body while flexing your biceps and reaching your ipsilateral arm back while flexing your triceps. Keep your eyes looking straight ahead throughout.
This is where the wall and the foam roller come in brilliantly. To do this, you must shift your center of mass in the frontal plane towards the front side leg and away from the wall. If you are touching the wall or nearly touching the wall, you know you haven’t shifted your center of mass, or you’re thorax is listing back towards the other side. If you lose the foam roller while doing this, you know that your femur came along for the ride and abducted and externally rotated as the pelvis adducted over it. We’re looking to disassociate a pelvis from a femur, not move them as one inseparable unit.
This is frontal plane competency. Straight ???
Maintaining all of that, coil into your front side hip by turning your belt buckle more to face your front side leg. This is acetabulum on femur internal rotation, and the result should be that your back pocket on the front side leg should shift behind the back pocket of the back leg (seen in video 3). Continue to apply pressure to the foam roller, as this is your external cue to maintain active adduction and internal rotation of the front side femur in the acetabulum.
The contralateral elbow reaching forward with flexed biceps and the ipsilateral arm reaching back with flexed triceps will, along with proper airflow management, drive transverse plane thorax rotation.
While the thorax rotates, the cranium remains in place with the eyes looking straight ahead, which means that the cervical spine has rotated in the opposite direction of the thorax.
This is sensing the transverse plane.
When executed properly, you should feel hamstrings, adductors, abs, posterior hip, and triceps on the side of the body with the leg forward, as well as serratus and biceps on the side of the body with the leg back.
Hold this position and take 5-6 breaths. To make it make it more advanced, maintain all of these sensorimotor competencies and apply more and more and more pressure into the ground through the front foot until the back leg unweights and lifts off the ground into a split stance position. WARNING: this is much more challenging than it seems, don’t rush to the split squat version.
If you want to learn more about this activity as well as the unbelievable model of integration that Pat is dropping on people find a way to see him give his Rethinking The Big Patterns Seminar. If you are a PT or a fitness professional you’d be a fool to miss out a learning opportunity from the guy who is bringing together various complex models better than anyone in the business.
I hope you found that helpful!
Until next time 🙂