Well, sit down or better yet, stand up and it’s time to learn about the Transverse Plane!
What? Yes, the Transverse Plane. Power comes from owning the transverse plane. If you are wondering what the transverse plane is...It is really a simple concept: Thoracic Rotation, another way of looking at it is the ability of your chest to twist from side to side. It is important to know this doesn’t count your arms, but they need to move too!
If you move your arms without your chest (Thoracic spine and ribs) then it might be an impressive strategy, but it can and will create back, neck, shoulder and especially lower back pain, even breathing pattern disorders. It’s not unheard of to follow the yellow brick road all the way to digestive problems. The athlete will also not be able to generate as much power or force across their body to throw, swing, shoot or kick. In the United States and other developed countries, there is an epidemic going on. Chronic transversosis... Yes I just made that word up! But the problem is real—we are losing our ability to rotate.
Good question. Let me start with how we sit at computers all day long, even kids, especially kids! We sit for long periods of time, hands out in front typing at seemingly 1,001 words a minute. Watch young and even old people walk at the mall holding a cell phone head down with absolutely no transverse plane movement at all. This doesn’t even take into account our often stressful environments. I’m a parent of four and I know what go, go, go feels like and that can take your breath and your transverse plane away.
How do I check my own transverse plane?
You guys are full of great questions! Dr. Greg Rose, mechanical engineer, chiropractor, golf channel host and one of the developers of the Selective Functional Movement Assessment, tells us how to do it. While it is not rocket science it can get difficult to explain or follow in precise text. Watch the video below.
Even if you have no pain, you may be able to generate more or maximum power in your swing throw or kick by getting proper command of the transverse plane. Whatever you do, you can do it better...playing with your grandchildren, gardening, and going on walks or playing sports.
If you don't have the range of motion displayed in the video then this needs to be checked by an expert in movement—we suggest a doctor certified in SFMA—even better one who also has been trained in Neurokinetic Therapy: a corrective movement system that addresses the cause of pain.
To quote Gray Cook, a key developer of the SFMA, “move well, then move often.” It doesn’t work the other way around, you just cement into the brain wrong ways to move. This results in loss of power, dysfunction and potential pain! Remember…move well, then move often!
-Dr. Gradwohl- P.S. See link below to YouTube to see how to test yourself.
Stephen C. Gradwohl, D.C has been in practice for 30 years. In addition to his Doctor of Chiropractic degree Dr. Gradwohl is a certified chiropractic sports physician, is certified in acupuncture and active release technique. He is also a Level lll Neurokinetic Therapy specialist and a Loomis Digestive Health specialist. In addition, he is a Diplomat of the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics.