Bring More Rotation Into Your Routine: 24 Multiplanar and Transverse Plane Exercises

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Humans move on 3 planes of motion:

  • Sagittal plane- divides the body into left and right halves. Movements in the sagittal plane include flexion and extension.
  • Frontal plane- divides the front and back of the body. Movements in the frontal plane include abduction and adduction.
  • Transverse plane- horizontally divides the body into upper and lower halves. These movements are rotational.

Movements that occur on more than one dominant plane of movement are considered Multiplanar.

The transverse plane is the most neglected plane used in a  gym setting. However, in recent years, there has been a rise in focus on the transverse plane with the popularity of functional training.

The transverse plane is prevalent in sports like baseball, tennis and golf.

It is important to include transverse and multiplanar exercises in your routine because twisting, and changing direction is a part of daily life.

Whether you are conscious of it or not, you are rotating and turning all the time!

When you put groceries away, do the dishes, and when you grab something from the backseat of your car.

Learning how to rotate with stable hips and core support helps you stay mobile, agile, and dynamic!

Here are 24 Multiplanar and transverse plane exercises to incorporate in your fitness routine!

*These exercises range in level of difficulty. Start with beginner exercises and move on to more advanced.*

1. Dumbbell Chop

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Plane of Motion: Transverse
  • Primary muscles targeted: obliques, lower back, quads, glutes

The dumbbell chop conditions the muscles responsible for transferring a load from low to high across the body.

Tip 1. Keep your core engaged.
Tip 2. Keep your knees and toes in alignment.
Tip 3. Move in a controlled manner.

2. Windshield Wipers

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Plane of Motion: Transverse
  • Primary muscles targeted: hands, shoulders, obliques, lower back, quads

Windshield wipers fully engage the obliques while improving grip strength.

Tip 1. Grip the bar as if you are going to break it in half.
Tip 2. Initiate the movement of the legs from the obliques
Tip 3. Draw your navel in and breathe calmly throughout.

3. Low Lunge Twist Reach

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: obliques, mid back, quads, glutes

Low lunge twist reach stretches the hip flexors, abdomen and mid back.

Tip 1. Step back in a controlled manner.
Tip 2. Establish a grounded feeling through the planted foot.
Tip 3. Push through your front heel with a little help from your back toes to stand up.

4. Rotating Side Plank

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Plane of Motion: Transverse
  • Primary muscles targeted: shoulders, obliques, rectus abdominis, glutes

Rotating side plank improves shoulder and core stability.

Tip 1. Stack your elbow directly beneath your shoulder.
Tip 2. Pause and establish balance each plank.
Tip 3. Keep your hips pushed up away from the ground.

5.Resistance Band Push

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: chest, obliques, glutes

Resistance band push, requires the hips to stabilize, while the trunk rotates and one arm pushes.

Tip 1. Get into a staggered stance with your knee directly over your ankle.
Tip 2. Squeeze your glutes as you push the band forward.
Tip 3. Keep your palm facing down.

6. Alternating Jump Turn

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: core, quads, glutes

Alternating jump turn trains plyometrics, and spatial awareness while strengthening your lower body.

Tip 1. Spring off your toes as you jump.
Tip 2. Make a right degree turn.
Tip 3. Land softly.

7. Kettlebell Rotating 180 Swing

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: obliques, glutes

Kettlebell Rotating 180 Swing trains timing and footwork.

Tip 1. Follow the momentum of the kettlebell.
Tip 2. Pivot your feet
Tip 3. Breathe calmly.

8. Single Leg Leap, Turn, Touch The Floor

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: obliques, glutes

Single leg leap, turn, touch the floor, trains dynamic balance while improving ankle, knee , hip and core stability.

Tip 1. Establish balance before leaping and turning.
Tip 2. Keep your back heel near your glutes.
Tip 3. Land softly with your knee stacked over your ankle.

9. TRX Pull and Twist

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: lats, obliques

TRX pull and twist requires you to pull yourself up and to the side.

Tip 1. Pull your body toward the handles, then pivot your feet and rotate your trunk.
Tip 2. Maintain tall posture throughout.
Tip 3. Keep tension on the straps.

10. Karaoke

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: obliques, hip flexors, glutes

Karaokes are an excellent warm up exercise for the hips and groin.

Tip 1. Move laterally as you cross one leg in front of the other
Tip 2. Rotate your trunk as you bring the leg up.
Tip 3. Maintain a rhythm.

11. BOSU 180 Jump Squat

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: core, glutes, quads

The BOSU 180 Jump Squat is a fun balance challenge.

Tip 1. Establish balance with each jump.
Tip 2. Use your arms to help you steer.
Tip 3. Breathe calmly throughout.

12. Single Leg External Hip Rotation

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Plane of Motion: Transverse
  • Primary muscles targeted: core, glutes

Single leg external hip rotation improves balance, while strengthening your external hip rotators.

Tip 1. Establish balance on one foot.
Tip 2. Use your outer glutes to pull your knee to the side.
Tip 3. Keep your posture tall and breathe calmly throughout.

13. Kneeling Medicine Ball Chops

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Plane of Motion: Transverse
  • Primary muscles targeted: shoulders, glutes, obliques

Kneeling medicine ball chops strengthen your shoulders, glutes and obliques.

Tip 1. Establish solid footing with most of your weight in your front foot.
Tip 2. Squeeze your glutes as you rotate.
Tip 3. Keep your arms straight or slightly bent.

14. Resistance Band Upward Chop

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Plane of Motion: Transverse
  • Primary muscles targeted: shoulders, glutes, obliques

Resistance band upward chop is a fun athletic movement.

Tip 1. Pivot and rotate.
Tip 2. Squeeze your glutes as you twist.
Tip 3. Keep the bend in front of you.

15. 180 Jump Turn

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: core, quads, hamstrings, glutes

180 Jump turn trains your proprioception while improving joint integrity.

Tip 1. Draw or imagine a center line and 180 jump over it.
Tip 2. Spring off your toes and land softly.
Tip 3. Try to jump the same distance each direction.

16. Alternating Side Plank Hand To Foot

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: core, shoulders, hip flexors

Alternating side plank hand to foot trains shoulder stability and core strength.

Tip 1. Establish a solid side plank before kicking.
Tip 2. Keep your hips square.
Tip 3. Avoid rushing. Move in a controlled manner.

17. Single Leg Weight Plate Trunk Rotation

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Plane of Motion: Transverse
  • Primary muscles targeted: core, shoulders, hip flexors

Single leg weight plate trunk rotation improves single leg balance while improving hip stability and core strength.

Tip 1. Hold the weight plate close to your body.
Tip 2. Squeeze your glutes and draw your navel in throughout.
Tip 3. Keep your chin level.

18. Pivot Lunge

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: core, quads, glutes, hamstrings

Pivot lunge is a wonderful dynamic exercise. I use this athletic movement to warm up my quads, hamstrings and glutes.

Tip 1. Lunge and pivot.
Tip 2. Squeeze your glutes as you lunge.
Tip 3. Pull your arms toward you as you stand.

19. Forward/Reverse Dumbbell Chop

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: shoulders, obliques, quads, glutes, hamstrings

Forward/reverse dumbbell chop combines the sagittal and transverse plane.

Tip 1. Keep your hips square as you lunge forward and back.
Tip 2. Squeeze your glutes as you lunge.
Tip 3. You can straighten your arms or keep a slight bend.

20. Quadruped Thread The Needle

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Plane of Motion: Transverse
  • Primary muscles targeted: Mid-back, core

Quadruped thread the needle stretches your mid-back and abdomen.

Tip 1. Keep your hips square and your wrists directly beneath your shoulders.
Tip 2. Rotate from the abdomen and reach your arm straight out and up.
Tip 3. Breathe calmly throughout.

21. Marching Twist

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: Core, hip flexors, glutes

Marching twist is a simple and effective exercise to improve balance and oblique strength.

Tip 1. Balance on one foot, then, twist your trunk toward your bent knee
Tip 2. Stand tall and squeeze your glutes throughout.
Tip 3. Breathe calmly throughout.

22. Swiss Ball Plank Rotating Kick

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: shoulders, core, glutes

Swiss ball plank rotating kick, trains core and hip stability.

Tip 1. Steady yourself in a plank position with your feet on the swiss ball.
Tip 2. Squeeze your glutes throughout.
Tip 3. Avoid rushing. Move in a controlled manner.

23. Medicine Ball Russian Twist

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Plane of Motion: Transverse
  • Primary muscles targeted: core, hip flexors, glutes

Medicine ball Russian twists strengthens your core and improves posture.

Tip 1. Balance on your butt with your feet lifted off the ground.
Tip 2. With the medicine ball in hand, rotate your trunk.
Tip 3. Keep your chest tall throughout.

24. Pivot Squat

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Plane of Motion: Multiplanar
  • Primary muscles targeted: core, hip flexors, glutes

Pivot squat is a wonderful athletic exercise that strengthens the lower body.

Tip 1. Squat with your weight shifted toward your heels, then pivot.
Tip 2. Look straight forward.
Tip 3. Keep your knees in line with your toes throughout.

Watch me demonstrate the exercises in the video below!

*In this video, I am using a medicine ball, resistance band, dumbbell, kettlebell, BOSU ball, TRX and weight plate.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these tools, visit the tools page.


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2 Comments

  • Tanks young lady! I can’t tell you how much your recommendations have helped I’m so grateful you put your videod, blogs and varied videos, from time to time. They’ve been a great help to me along with my physical therapy for low back issues!! Please continue gracing us with your presence and work! Thanks again!

    • Thank you for watching my videos and reading my blogs. I am happy the information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any blog or video requests 🙂

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