Frontal and Transverse Plane Exercises For Runners

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Jun 02

Peak Sports

Frontal and Transverse Plane Exercises For Runners

Posted by Peak Sports

With gyms and workout facilities closed running and walking have become a new form of exercise for a lot of people. Or if you’re like me you’ve been taking the opportunity to put in more miles. I recently finished a virtual half marathon, “The Social Distance Run” and it was motivating to have something to train for even if it was a solo race. 

With any activity, it is important to train specifically to avoid overuse injuries and other injuries that come on due to disproportionate training. Today I want to touch on exercises for runners to train muscles that are often neglected. These exercises apply to walkers, hikers, and cyclists too! 

Let's break it down. There are three planes of motion, sagittal, frontal, and transverse. 

  • Movements in the sagittal plane include backward and forwards movements such as bicep curls, forward lunges, stairs. 

  • The frontal plane includes side to side movements such as jumping jacks and side shuffle running. 

  • Transverse plane movements include rotation such as with a Russian twist. 

Most of our day-to-day movements and activities are tri-planar; meaning that there is some element of forward/back motion, side to side movement, and rotational movement. Running is a tri-planar activity!

The sagittal plane gets a lot of work with walking, running, cycling, squats, stairs, lunges. Many people neglect the frontal and transverse planes. If these are neglected long enough, muscle imbalances can develop. These imbalances can lead to the development of many common orthopedic injuries, including hip bursitis, IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, and patellofemoral pain. 

Keep in mind that many factors go into physical therapy for running-related injuries. These exercises are a great compliment to other interventions including alterations to running gait, strengthening for muscle endurance and power, and shoe modifications. 


Frontal Plane Exercises 

Transverse Plane Exercises 

Side lunges 


Band walks

Standing clamshell

Side plank with hip dips

Twisting lunges 

Side plank with diagonal leg lift 

Side plank twists 

Standing diagonal leg lifts 

Forward plank knee to opposite elbow 

Take a look at the videos for examples of the exercises:


Get moving!

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