Planes of Movement

All body movements occur in different planes and around different axes.

A plane is an imaginary flat surface running through the body.

An axis is an imaginary line at right angles to the plane, about which the body rotates or spins.


There are three planes of movement:

  1. Sagittal plane - a vertical plane that divides the body into left and right sides. Flexion and extension types of movement occur in this plane, eg kicking a football, chest pass in netball, walking, jumping, squatting.
  2. Frontal plane - passes from side to side and divides the body into the front and back. Abduction and adduction movements occur in this plane, eg jumping jack exercises, raising and lowering arms and legs sideways, cartwheel.
  3. Transverse plane - passes through the middle of the body and divides the body horizontally in an upper and lower half. Rotation types of movement occur in this plane, eg hip rotation in a golf swing, twisting in a discus throw, pivoting in netball, spinning in skating.