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Why Healthy Joints Matter

When talking about health and fitness, it is usually directed to weight-loss or muscle-building. These days Zumba is getting in there somehow.

Sorry Zumba fans, there is always room for you all😉.

Anyway, the conversation of one’s knee joint being able to move effectively or the importance of the mobility and stability of the ankle joint just for us to move properly is almost never heard of in the gyms or outdoor activities.

In this post my aim is to create more awareness and understating that healthy joints do matter. Humans have 360 joints and these joints are connected by 600 skeletal muscles 😲…a lot of muscle and a lot of joints right! These movements are done in different ways or different ‘Planes of Motion’.

Planes of Motion

‘Planes of motion’ is the term used for us to understand how we are designed to move.
There are 3 Planes of Motion:

  • The Sagittal Plane: This cuts the body into right and left halves. The movement that occurs here is flexion and extension. A good example of this joint action in this plane of motion is a bicep curl. Other examples are air squats, walking, running, and lunges. I think this plane is motion is really the only one most people move to
  • The Frontal Plane: This dissects the body into front and back halves. In this plane of motion the movements here is called Adduction and Abduction. I good example of movement when exercising is shuffling side to side, Lateral shoulder raises. This is second on the amount of exercises persons do or movement in this plane.
  • The Transverse Plane: This dissects the body into upper and lower halves. The primary movement here is rotation. Exercises such as Cable rotations, swinging a bat, bowling a ball in cricket. This plane of motion is almost never used I think in daily activities.

A Look At Birds

We can observe these planes of motion in birds.

Some birds fly..


Some are grounded..they walk and don’t fly (when last did you see an ostrich fly overhead)…

And, some are adapted to spend a lot of time in water, so their feet are webbed…

Notice that each bird is designed for its movement and they stick to what they know best to do. The movement of humans have however evolved and continue to evolve from ancestors who hunted, who walked for miles, ran, climbed, crawled. What do we see today in the western world? What are our dominant movements? 

Kinetic Chain

In 1875 the term ‘Kinetic Chain’ was developed to understand human movement.

Mechanical Engineer, Franz Reuleaux created the term ‘Kinetic Chain’. He proposed that rigid, overlapping segments were connected via joints and this created a system whereby movement at one joint produced or affected movement at another joint in the kinetic link. This simply means that the system of movement in the body will be affected if the joint above or below it does not function to its full capacity.

In our next post we’ll further delve into the ‘Kinetic Chain’ and take a deeper look at ‘joint mobility’ and ‘joint stability’ in humans and we’ll reveal 5 important ‘check points’ that everyone should know.

Stay tuned!

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