Our myofascial system – The ‘protective suit’ of our muscles. If the protective fascia suit does not fit well over our muscles, we may feel like a human being, but we will move like a robot.
Our myofascial system is a continuous network – it wraps around our muscles like a blanket. It holds the muscle fibres and tendons and the muscle tissue together. It also supports correct posture, prevents muscle tears and improves the stretching ability of our muscle tissue.
Experiencing our myofascial system
Do the following to experience your fascial system: Sit on a chair, with 2 fingers take the skin of your thigh and move your skin in all directions. The substance that makes your skin move is your fascia.
Or you could do it like this: Next time you prepare chicken, look closely because the white thin substance under the skin of the chicken that makes the skin move is the myofascial system.
Sticky fasciae impede the transmission of messages
Our muscles and nerves are compressed when our fascia is tight. The nerves now have a hard time transmitting information to our muscles. The muscles’ ability to contract and stretch is impaired. Our freedom of movement is restricted.
Even the smallest of these myofascial malfunctions cause small solid knots the size of a grain of rice in our body, so-called trigger points. These trigger points are tiny muscle cramps that prevent our muscles from relaxing. They keep our muscles short and tight and cause our muscles to tire more quickly. They also disturb the blood flow to our muscles and arteries, resulting in oxygen depletion, toxins and waste matter, a feeling of coldness, and eventually pain. These trigger points can create all sorts of problems such as: Nausea, dizziness, postural distortion, diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, urinary incontinence, … just to name a few. Knowing all this, I am sure you can imagine that our fascia also has an impact on our training.
The connection to the Pilates training …
6 Reasons for the Pilates-Fascia Training Combo
Why myofascial relaxation training is a valuable support for your Pilates training? The myofascial training
- facilitates the Pilates principle of ‘flowing movement’.
- facilitates the ‘Power without Force’ concept.
- reduces unnecessary resistance from the antagonistic muscle group.
- enables a more efficient movement of the diaphragm.
- enables a deeper activation of the powerhouse – our core – and the shoulder girdle stabilisers.
- supports the ability to contract and stretch – the elasticity of the muscle fibres – throughout the entire range of movement.
Every Pilates exercise consists of one or a combination of these 4 types of movement: Flexion, extension, rotation and twisting. How do stuck fasciae affect these 4 types of movement?
The issue with tight fascia in flexion
Imagine you are doing the Pilates Hundreds with a T-shirt on, and as you roll upwards, lifting your torso, someone pulls you down by the collar of your T-shirt – that’s what tight fascia feels like in flexion. Your neck and head will carry the weight of your upper body instead of your pelvis. The driving force will come from the neck and shoulders instead of your deep muscle corset system – your powerhouse.
The issue with tight fascia in extension
Imagine you are doing the Pilates Swan and as you move up and down the skin of your abdomen sticks to the mat – that’s what tight fascia feels like in extension. The back of your neck and the top of your shoulders will carry the weight of your torso instead of the axial extension. The driving power will come from a collapse in your neck and lower back instead of your deep muscle corset system – your powerhouse.
The issue with tight fascia in rotation
Imagine that when you do the Pilates Leg Circles exercise, your leg is tied to your ribcage while you try to draw a perfect circle in the sky – that’s what tight fascia feels like in the rotation. Your chest and thigh will carry the weight of your torso instead of your pelvis in combination with the axial extension. The driving power will come from your chest and thighs instead of your deep muscle corset system – your powerhouse.
The issue with tight fascia in torsion
Imagine that when you are doing the Pilates Twist, someone is holding your waist very tightly while you are trying to twist – this is what stuck fascia feels like in torsion. Your neck and shoulders will carry the weight of your upper body instead of the axial extension. The driving force will come from your head, neck and shoulders instead of your deep muscle corset system – your powerhouse.
Released fascia, more effective training!
As you can see to release our tight fascia is highly beneficial for our Pilates Training. Just by releasing our stuck fascia we can take our Pilates training to a higher level. Would you like to get serious and release your tight fascia? Sign up for our Myofascial Massage or Myofascial Group Training.
Try it & fly with it!
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