Balance about the frontal plane

The Frontal plane essentially is the plane of movement that whilst facing a wall you bend side to side so that one hand ends up closer to the knee whilst the other ends higher up.

Balance about the frontal plane is crucial given the kind of movements involved in Crossfit’s Constantly varied, functional fitness, at high intensity. whilst most of the movements in Crossfit occur in the sagittal plane, most athletes have a dominant side, this then can create imbalances with the dominant side compensating for the weaker side, over time, this can directly affect Midline stabilisation which can result is sever spinal injuries. What it boils down to is that non-deliberate loss of Balance about the frontal plane ultimately means a loss of movement efficiency and an increase risk of injury.

Focusing on how to improve Balance about the frontal plane, one can refer back to the concept of increasing Work Capacity across broad time and modal domains though ensuring that movements are refined via threshold training thought the process of Mechanics, consistency, Intensity. So you focus on unilateral movements such as lunges and in particular single kettlebell and dumbbell which essentially force the athlete to counter balance the movements and develop that Balance about the frontal plane. As the athlete adopts at the lower weight, intensity and technique, the coach can begin to increase the challenge by dialing up the weight, shortening the time, increasing the volume or even adding in tempo training to continually make a movement more and more challenging.

Almost all movements have some unilateral equivalent that can benefit improving Balance about the frontal plane, such as dumbbell thrusters or single hand kettlebell swings.


General Physical Skills – Balance

Often when we think of balance we think of standing on one foot. balance simply being the ability to stabilise ourselves in a static position. What gets neglected however is The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base, in motion, such as on a skateboard or surfing.

Balance isn’t static, its dynamic and changes based on countless external factors as well as internal ones. And it’s essential for Crossfitters too, especially when you consider the intensity with which the movements are conducted.

planes of motion in crossfit

Typically, we think of balance in terms of right and left leg, or, as the diagram shows, in terms of the sagittal plane. But the reality is that balance also occurs on the frontal plane (balance doing a squat or on a skate board) and on the transverse plane balance during a golf swing or wood chop, as well. So, it’s important that balance and muscles are trained to cope with full range of motion in all three planes of motion. One of the limitations in Crossfit however is that the vast majority of movements occur over the sagittal plane, and whilst this is important, arguably, more movements should be done for the transversal and frontal plane as well, movements like cossack squats and pistols as well as single handed kettlebell work help, but this is certainly an area that Crossfit can do more with.