What is Anatomical Plane?

An anatomical plane is a hypothetical plane used to transect the body, in order to describe the location of structures or the direction of movements.

Anatomical Planes

There are three principal planes used to transect the human body.

  • Sagittal Plane
  • Coronal Plane
  • Transverse Plane

Sagittal plane — a vertical line which divides the body into left and right.

Sagittal Plane divides the body into left and right part
Sagittal Plane divides the body into left and right part
Left and Right Part of Body

Coronal plane — a vertical line which divides the body into a front (anterior) section and back (posterior) section. Belly and back section.The other name of Coronal plane is Frontal Plane.

Belly and Back Portion

Transverse plane — a horizontal line which divides the body into an upper (superior) section and a lower (inferior) section.

Upper Part and Lower Part of the Body

Movements occurring in Planes

Extension and flexion happen along the sagittal plane.

This means most running, biking, rowing, and lifting movements make use of this plane. For example, in a squat, both hips move from extension into flexion, and back into extension.

Sagittal Plane Movement

Adduction and Abduction happen along the frontal plane.

The frontal plane motion would include leaning from left to right as side bend and lateral raises. For example, hip adduction and abduction and elevation and depression of shoulder girdle.

Frontal Plane Movement

Rotation happens along the transverse plane.

An example of a transverse plane exercise would be floor to overhead diagonals with a medicine ball, and a transverse activity might be swinging a golf club.

Transverse Plane Movement

Anatomical position:

The standard position in which the body is standing with feet together, arms to the side, and head, eyes, and palms facing forward.

Physical Therapist | Content Writer

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