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  • Writer's pictureClaire Harrison

Exercising in 3D

The Sagittal Plane

Think about the way you exercise. So often we only move or stretch in a one-dimensional plane. For example, if you do a lot of running or cycling you tend to move along the sagittal plan which divides the body into left and right. This type of movement uses the strength of our muscles to move parts of the body backwards or forwards. Extension and flexion occur along the sagittal plane. Take a squat for example. Both hips move from extension to flexion and back to extension. But we often forget to extend the back. Every time we move or fold over forwards, we flex the spine, but hardly ever extend it.

The Coronal Plane

This plane divides the body into front and back. Movements along this plane are called adduction, the movement of a limb towards the midline of the body, and abduction, movement away from the midline. Most of our everyday movements involve very little abduction, so we tend to sit very tightly towards the middle. Pulling your limbs away from the midline helps to both functionally strengthen and open the abductor muscle groups of the hips and shoulders.

The Transverse Plane

This plane divides the body into top and bottom. In our daily lives, this is the plane that we use the least often. Each time we rotate a joint we move along the transverse plane but how often do you rotate the biggest joints in the body - the hips, shoulders and spine? Rotating the spine is exceptionally beneficial. It relieves muscular pain in the back by lengthening the long muscles, restores movement along the spine and compresses the organs, helping to send fluids and toxins to the glands for detoxification.

Gyrotonic exercise provides movement across all planes

The Gyrotonic®Method is an original and unique movement method that addresses the entire person, opening energy pathways, stimulating the nervous system, increasing range of motion, and improving strength and movement efficiency. It works on a three dimensional level across all the sagittal, coronal and transverse planes, giving you more flexibility across every part of your body.

For a consultation or to book your one to one session with trained Gyrotonic instructor, Hayley Oxley, drop her an email on


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