Fitness Tips

3 Things Every Workout Should Have To Prevent Injuries and Boost Longevity

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Photo: Getty/Willie B. Thomas
Whether you realize it or not, you’re technically doing little mini workouts all day long. Just because you’re not lacing up your sneaks to go on a run, doesn’t mean you’re not using your muscles in some form every minute of every day. You’re using your leg muscles to walk from room to room, your core muscles to grab the remote on the other side of the couch, and your back muscles if you’re sitting up in a chair. Ideally, no matter what you like to do for exercise, your workouts should work for you—to make all of the movements you do just a little bit easier. The best way to do this is to make sure you’re working out the same way you actually move day-to-day: in all dimensions.

All of your body’s movements can be categorized into three basic planes of motion: sagittal, frontal, and transverse. Don’t worry—you won’t be tested on any of this, but understanding how your body moves is one of the best ways to prevent injuries. By making sure you move in all three planes during your workouts, you will be reinforcing the movement patterns you do throughout the day, making sure your body is always prepared for anything. If you’ve ever tried to climb up five flights of stairs to visit a friend who lives on the fifth floor of an apartment building, you’ll know how important it is to make sure your body is up to any challenge that comes your way.

Luckily, you already live most of your life in the sagittal plane—the plane that splits your body into left and right halves. Walking, running, or doing lunges are all examples of moving along the sagittal plane. Most likely, you won’t have to work too hard to incorporate sagittal plane movements into your workouts, since they’re likely already in the mix. (You get that one for free). The frontal plane—the plane that splits your body into front and back halves—involves side-to-side motions. (Think: side shuffles, side lunges, or a triangle pose in yoga).

The last plane, the transverse plane, splits your body into top and bottom halves—and it means twisting is in your future. Making sure to throw in movements along the transverse plane into your workouts will help to improve spinal mobility, core strength, and even joint health. Long story short, by making sure your workouts include a healthy amount of rotation, you will be setting yourself up for success in everything that you do. Don’t know where to start? We got you. Here are three twisting workouts to add to your queue.

1. Oblique Core Workout

2. Standing Glutes Series

3. Twisting Yoga Flow

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