I hope that when you move, you move in a PERFECTLY STRAIGHT line.
…Because that’s how you’re training yourself, and that’s where you’ll be safe.
Unfortunately, life isn’t linear, or safe.
Neither are sports. In very few sporting activities (minus a few sprinting events) does the athlete compete in a straight line. This is an undebatable fact.
Yet still…Still 99% of power and strength training occurs in a straight line.
This straight line is called the SAGITTAL plane, and it divides the body into right and left halves.
Think about the “go to” strength and power exercises. The squat, the deadlift, the lunge, the bench press, shoulder press, push press, clean, snatch etc etc etc all occur in this ONE plane.
Imagine a drag racer. This machine is designed to go explosively in ONE direction, and if it stays straight, it works well. If it doesn’t, well, we’ve all seen these types of explosive crashes.
I AM NOT saying that there shouldn’t be a fair amount of time developing absolute strength (especially early in a lifting career) training with these exercises in this plane. These core lifts should be part of a yearly program for everyone.
The fact remains, if you train in only one plane of motion, you will dominate that plane and only that plane.
For a lifter looking to become more functional, or an athlete looking to up their performance, try training in multiple planes.
The multi planar lunge (striding to the side, 45 degrees, and straight ahead) is a great example of a traditional strength exercise with a more functional multi planar approach. Integrating rotations into presses, jumps at an angle, and core stability exercises in anti rotation are also great versions of traditional straight ahead exercises.
Be stable, explosive and strong in every available direction, because life is going to demand this of you either way.