Perhaps it has passed one or the other, but for a certain time the fitness world was hardly talking about something other than fascia. Suddenly, fascia training was on everyone's lips and gained popularity. Many supporters are even more connected to this form of training than conventional training methods. But what exactly is fascia and how can you train it?
The synonym for fascia is connective tissue. As already mentioned in the article on muscle soreness, fascia surrounds the entire muscle apparatus and each individual muscle fiber like a neoprene suit. You have certainly seen fascias, even if you do not know. This white thin film on a steak or a piece of turkey breast, these are fasces. Without them, our muscles would simply disintegrate. Although fascias are fascinating, they have been of little importance in research for a long time, such as back pain. Primarily, the focus was always on the skeleton and musculature.
Gradually, fascia became the focus. They found that they stick together and can cause movement restrictions and pain. There are innumerable receptors in fascia, which are directly connected with the vegetative nervous system. Thus, fascia plays an important role not only in the feeling of pain, but also in the so-called proprioception. This is the perception of one's own body in space. Even if this topic seems to be quite irrelevant at first glance, it plays an important role when it comes to correct movements and the avoidance of miscarriages.
A simple example should clarify what is meant. The majority of people are standing, running and not sitting "straight" or holding their spine in a neutral position, but in extreme cases, the lack of attention can be seen at first sight. The real problem is how can I stand, run and sit when I do not know how the right position of the spine should be?
Another important property of the fascia is to absorb and release tension, similar to a rubber band. At this point it should be mentioned that tendons and ligaments also consist of fascia. A good example from the animal kingdom is the kangaroo. Only because of the fascia is it possible for him to make a high, wide and enduring jump. Since, for the first jump only, muscle strength must be applied in order to put the Achilles tendon under tension (the tendon lengthens). When the voltage discharges, so the vision suddenly shortens greatly, the stored energy becomes free and the kangaroo catapults itself from the ground. During recovery, the tendon is lengthened again almost without any additional work on the muscles, and the game begins all over again.
Another important feature of fascia is to absorb tension and similar processes allow us to walk very long without straining our muscles. It is therefore clear that it is also very important to train our fascia to stay healthy. But how exactly does it work? Before we answer this question, let us first clarify that fascia training is important, but certainly not more important than the training of our muscles or the function of our skeleton. Our body must be understood as a unity in which, in the case of movement, bones, muscles and fascia are equally involved.
In order to train our fascia as well as our muscles, we should train in a variety of ways and as naturally as possible. What does this mean? Today, the training on machines for many people appears to be a simple and effective option. However, training on equipment is anything but natural. We would like to justify this with our environment and the tasks that our bodies have to perform in it. The training on devices is usually characterized by the fact that physical exertion is restricted to a few muscles. This is called isolation training. In everyday life such movements, however, occur only very rarely or not at all. When was the last time that you had to lift something up with the biceps in everyday life without using your legs or your back?
If we make the basic exercises with the barbell, running, jumping us simply move freely, our muscle skeleton system benefits a lot. There is also the possibility to mobilize hardened or shortened fascies, for example, specifically with a fascia roller or with resistance bands.
When, as with whom, which exercises are recommended is different from case to case, so if you don’t have enough experience, or if you don’t have an extensive practice plan, you should consult a qualified trainer.