How to Jump in Different Planes

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I think one of the funny things about college is that information learned in class is completely determined by the professor.

I can’t even remember the name of certain classes that I took because they all felt like the same content taught by the same guy. I can also remember the most useless of information because of the way that the teacher taught it.

It took me forever to get a baseline grasp of Anatomy. Anatomy. Arguably the most important classes that you will need in this field. Honestly, what good is learning about exercises and training if I can’t even point out muscle groups.

I just flat out struggled in that class by trying to look at a textbook and figure out what is going on in the body. Some topics I need to literally be slapped in the head with info.

One of these topics was planes of movement. We have 3 planes of movement that we can move in.

  • Saggital: forward and backward
  • Frontal: side to side
  • Transverse: Rotational/Diagonal

Those 10 words would’ve been helpful 7 years ago. Instead I sat there lost about why the guy at the front of the room was waving his arms. I also had no clue how this was going to relate to training.

Sports are played in all 3 planes. It is important that athletes are proficient at moving in all 3 to perform at a high level and reduce the risk of injury.

Most exercises are performed in a forward and backward direction. If an athlete is never ready to create or control movement in the other 2 planes we can run into potential injury or poor movement.


I always find it funny when I ask a running back to do a med ball shotput. Without any kind of rotational sport background, athletes will struggle with this movement. They will probably throw the ball really hard but it won’t be with any turn.

Athletes have to be able to generate force in multiple movement planes. For a running back they could potentially need to explode into the transverse plane after making contact with a defender. For rotational athletes, all force production starts from the lower body and moves into the upper body.

Different jump variations are very helpful for force production in multiple movement planes.

Saggital Plane: Broad jump, vertical jump, single leg hops/bounds

Frontal Plane: Lateral Broad jumps, lateral bounds

Transverse: 1/4 broad jumps and single leg jumps, heidens

Use these jumps to get moving in different planes. Keep the volume low and work on quality. Good takeoff, landing, and minimal time on the ground for continuous jumps.