We do triathlons! That means we typically move forwards and backwards. This is called the sagittal plane and includes movement like knee flexion and extension. We rarely move in the frontal plane - movements like jumping jacks, leg abduction (moving away from the midline of the body), or leg adduction (leg moving towards the midline of the body).
The fact is, we need lateral strength too. Why? Strength in the frontal plane (side-to-side movement) will help us in the sagittal (front-to-back movement) plane. Here are a few exercises to help you develop strength laterally:
Place a band around your ankles and step side to side with a slight knee bend and keeping toes pointed forwards
Lateral lunges (bonus if you can laterally lunge, then push off to balance on one leg)
Start with both feet together. Step out with one leg, bending that leg
You can work these exercises as a circuit, doing 2 sets of 8-10 reps of each exercises and work your way up to 4 sets of 15 reps. Do this a couple of times each week to improve your lateral strength.
Maria Netherland is a Northwest Florida-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Endurance and Youth & Juniors Certified Coach as well as a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Performance Enhancement Specialist. Coach Maria loves working for athletes of all abilities, military athletes, and new triathletes as they pursue their goals. Maria is a veteran of the US Army and a United States Military Academy at West Point graduate. She can be reached at email@example.com.