I have been recently learning about the importance of movement through the three planes of motion. Thankfully, the experts are writing and making videos to help me in my understanding and guiding me towards corrective and strengthening exercises that can help me move and run better. Here is a good overview for runners on the three planes of motion by Lori Thomsen found at the Postural Restoration Institute (I have linked to this before but it needs a bit of study and review). Lori works at the Huskra Clinic and has been putting out some very helpful videos on running using Postural Resoration principles. Here is her newest video. It includes Lori's recommendations for "Dynamic and Functional Warm-up Activities for Runners."
Dynamic, Functional Warm-up Activities for Runners from Hruska Clinic on Vimeo.
If you have imbalances or asymmetries this may be a great place to start correcting your mechanics.
If you are a mechanically-balanced runner (all those smooth striding athletes that are ahead of me in races!) then you might want to maintain that perfect body balance by incorporating the Lunge Matrix into your warm-up routine. Coach Jay Johnson says this is the warm-up he uses before running. Jay also explains how the lunge matrix as devised by Gary Gray exercises you through the three planes of motion.
Lunge Warm-Up from CoachJayJohnson on Vimeo.
The three planes of motion are the frontal plane, the saggital plane, and the transverse plane. Runners are used to activity in the saggital plane and we tend to be weak in movements in the other two planes. Lori has a couple of videos showing how to strengthen the frontal and saggital planes. She promises to do the transverse plane soon.
Frontal Plane Strengthening Activities from Hruska Clinic on Vimeo.
The Sagittal Plane - the Importance of Squatting from Hruska Clinic on Vimeo.
Here is Gary Gray (mentioned above) addressing the issue of Hip Tightness. He completely explains all motions of the Hip Joint and how the different motions interact. He talks about how tightness of the hip capsules can restrict motion in all three planes of motion and begins mentioning how to address restrictions of the femur in the hip capsule which can create body disfunctions and bad motions throughout the body.
Carson Boddicker of Boddicker Performance has also been writing on the importance of multi-directional training. He recent post recommends runners should work all through planes of motion to avoid stress fractures. Here he recommends slideboard training (I think I have one of those somewhere) for runners to work on movements in the the frontal plane..
Jay Johnston did a similar video to the one above for Nike and RunnerSpace a year ago. It provides more information on the lunge matrix.
And thanks to Jay, Lori, Carson, and all the other teachers out there who are helping myself and others to move better.