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Movement on the transverse plane involves rotation at the waist.
Transverse plane movement involves rotation at the waist. Rotational movements are most often associated with core and abdominal work, focusing on the internal and external obliques. However, transverse plane movement isn't isolated to the core and can be used to develop multiple muscle groups.
Wood chops can be performed with cables, dumbbells, kettlebells or medicine balls. To perform a basic wood chop, start by holding the handle or weight up and to the left at about shoulder height. Your right arm should cross your body with your arm extended and your right hand should be positioned above your left hand if grasping a handle or weight. Slowly bring the weight down and across your body from left to right towards your right hip, allowing your torso and hips to rotate. You should finish with your left arm crossing your body. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement 10 times, then switch to the other side.
Advanced Wood Chops
Though the general focus of the rotational movement targets your core and emphasizes your obliques, variations in the wood chop can target muscles of your upper and lower body as well. Muscles of the legs can be emphasized by reversing the direction of the wood chop, starting low down by the knee and finishing up by the shoulder. Start in a squat position with your knees bent over your toes and your right arm across your body. Push through the heel of your left foot and explode upwards, straightening your legs while simultaneously rotating your torso and hips to bring the weight up and across your body to your right shoulder. Reversing the movement and finishing in a squat emphasizes the pectoral muscles of your chest. As you draw your right arm across the body from your shoulder towards your knee, your right pectoral muscle activates to finish the movement. Your left pectoral activates when you work with your left arm.
Single-Arm Seated Row
The traditional seated-row exercise targets your trapezius, rhomboids and latissimus dorsi of your back through elbow flexion and shoulder-blade adduction. The same muscles in your back -- as well as your obliques and core -- can also be worked by shifting the movement to the transverse plane. Attach a handle to the cable connection of the seated-row apparatus. Place your feet in the same position you normally would for seated rows and grasp the handle with your right hand. Your right arm should be extended in front of you at approximately 45 degrees. Rather than simply pulling the handle back towards your waist as you would with a seated row, push through the heel of your right foot and simultaneously rotate your hips and torso as you pull the handle back towards your right hip. Unwind your torso and hips to return the handle to the starting position. Repeat 10 times and then switch to the other side.
Resisted punches can be performed with cables and handle attachments, lightweight dumbbells or resistance bands. Punches can be alternated for 10 repetitions or done one side at a time for 10 repetitions each side. The initial push of the punch activates your pectoral muscles and engages your triceps. The rotation on the transverse plane includes your core, and the controlled return to the starting position uses the latissimus dorsi of your back and the rear deltoids of your shoulder. Start in a staggered stance with your left leg forward. Position your feet far enough apart so the heel of your right foot rises up off the ground slightly. Grasp the handles or weights in each hand starting at shoulder height keeping your elbows aimed towards the ground. Extend your left arm out at shoulder height, allowing your hips and torso to rotate so your arm is extended straight out from your shoulder. Return your left arm to the starting position and continue with your left arm or alternate arms for 10 repetitions.