Athletics Versus Aesthetics

We all go to the gym for different reasons. We all have our goals in mind and to each their own. If you play a sport, your training should be geared towards increasing your performance. Your fitness routine should enhance the goals you are working towards. The common mistakes I see in exercise training are that some exercises may be detrimental to what the individual is attempting to accomplish. In sports, most of the moves aren't in one plane of motion, they are in all three. We are running in different directions, twisting, pushing, pulling and bending. The world is three dimensional, which is why it is crucial to train all three dimensions of our bodies.

The three planes of motion are frontal, which is any lateral movement including a side step. Sagittal is any back and forth movement such as a push up. and transverse is rotational movement such as swinging a baseball bat. Take a baseball player for example and think of all the motions they execute on a daily basis. An exercise program that prepares them for what they do on the field is optimal for them. Isolation based weight training would not be beneficial to them. They are mainly focused on the sagittal and frontal planes and can decrease range of motion and flexibility. Isolation based, strength building exercises work well for bodybuilders. They don't have to be mobile and field ground balls, they have to pose. They are judged by how they look, not how they perform. To improve performance, it is productive to perform rotational exercises. Most injuries occur in the transverse plane of motion. One of the reasons for this is because it is the least trained. I rarely see anyone doing any sort of rotational exercises at the gym.

If your goals are mainly aesthetic, then focus on isolated exercises and break up your training by body parts. If you want to improve your dynamic movements, perform better or improve flexibility, then train your body in all three planes of motion. It really depends on your reasons for exercising. You don't have to be an athlete to train like one. For the most part, we all have physical limitations on which we wish to improve. It could be something simple like reducing the pain when bending down to pick up your car keys. Our time at the gym is to improve on our areas that are the weakest. Our bodies break down naturally and at an accelerated pace if we're playing a sport. The exercising we do shouldn't contribute to the decay of our bodies. On the contrary, it should revitalize us.

We all go to the gym for different reasons. We all have our goals in mind and to each their own. If you play a sport, your training should be geared towards increasing your performance. Your fitness routine should enhance the goals you are working towards. The common mistakes I see in exercise training are that some exercises may be detrimental to what the individual is attempting to accomplish. In sports, most of the moves aren't in one plane of motion, they are in all three. We are running in different directions, twisting, pushing, pulling and bending. The world is three dimensional, which is why it is crucial to train all three dimensions of our bodies.

The three planes of motion are frontal, which is any lateral movement including a side step. Sagittal is any back and forth movement such as a push up. and transverse is rotational movement such as swinging a baseball bat. Take a baseball player for example and think of all the motions they execute on a daily basis. An exercise program that prepares them for what they do on the field is optimal for them. Isolation based weight training would not be beneficial to them. They are mainly focused on the sagittal and frontal planes and can decrease range of motion and flexibility. Isolation based, strength building exercises work well for bodybuilders. They don't have to be mobile and field ground balls, they have to pose. They are judged by how they look, not how they perform. To improve performance, it is productive to perform rotational exercises. Most injuries occur in the transverse plane of motion. One of the reasons for this is because it is the least trained. I rarely see anyone doing any sort of rotational exercises at the gym.

If your goals are mainly aesthetic, then focus on isolated exercises and break up your training by body parts. If you want to improve your dynamic movements, perform better or improve flexibility, then train your body in all three planes of motion. It really depends on your reasons for exercising. You don't have to be an athlete to train like one. For the most part, we all have physical limitations on which we wish to improve. It could be something simple like reducing the pain when bending down to pick up your car keys. Our time at the gym is to improve on our areas that are the weakest. Our bodies break down naturally and at an accelerated pace if we're playing a sport. The exercising we do shouldn't contribute to the decay of our bodies. On the contrary, it should revitalize us.


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