SFH #42: Abduction and Adduction

Important movements to consider for our long term health πŸ’«


  1. the movement of a limb or other part away from the midline of the body, or from another part.


  1. the movement of a limb or other part toward the midline of the body or toward another part.

I was at least a year into my triathlon training and racing experience when I heard the mention of our limited movement patterns involved in running and cycling. πŸƒπŸ½β€β™‚οΈπŸš΄ It was a clinical setting where we discussed the different planes of the body: sagittal, frontal, and transverse. The sagittal movement primarily includes flexion and extension (pretty much any forward movement hinging at the knees and hips). Our legs in the triathlon are doing the bulk of this as the fundamental pattern. My takeaway from the clinic and reinforced by being around many athletes told me that frontal plane (or lateral) movements and sagittal would be vital in maintaining balance and health. βš–οΈ

So why should we pay attention to our adduction and abduction?

As fitness enthusiasts or athletes, the added benefits can be immense in performance. Watch an NFL running back like Barry Sanders or an NBA guard like Steph Curry make abrupt, decisive, and powerful lateral movements. It's pay-dirt and payday! 🏈 It matters to me, and you may want to consider your lateral stabilizers for the sustained functional movement and the access it provides. 

Here are my top highlights for having more power and mobility in my multi-plane movements backed by science. πŸ§ͺ

  1. I can take long walks!1

  2. I can be an active and happy dad.2

  3. I can practice resilience and mindfulness.3

  4. I can access and unpack new levels of health.4

How can you work on your frontal and transverse movements and get more access in your life?

I like variety and bodyweight exercises we can do anywhere, so check this video for a diverse set of options to try πŸ“Ί - I've also linked additional resources into each version I’ve favorited below.

  1. Side Plank with Reach Through - variation of #4

  2. Lunge and Twist (aka World’s Greatest Stretch) - #3

  3. Karaoke (for real, I still do this on the track πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ) - #10

  4. Kneeling or Lunging Chop/Twist - #13

  5. Fire Hydrant (and kneeling kick out variations) - πŸ‘ˆ Just the link

  6. External Shoulder Rotation (lying on side) - πŸ‘ˆ Just the link

Happy Sunday! β˜€οΈ