What is the first thing that come up in your mind when you hear about stretching ? The concept of stretching is one of the most misunderstood and there is a lot of confusion about it. At the beginning, I will explain you what the fascia is and it’s importance. Then, I will tell you more precised details about the principle of this unique technique. Here is the most effective technique of myofascial stretching.
The fascia is the tissue that surrounds and connects every cell together in the human body. Injuries, poor posture, traumas and inflammation create tensions in these tissues. Tensions of the fascia often results into nerves or blood compression and muscular tensions. Since every human body cells are held together by a myriad of fascias, it is obvious that a dysfonction will trigger a chain reaction on the remaining systems. Myofascial stretching can help many chronic conditions such as heart,respiratory, digestive and menstrual problems as well as posture. For example, the intestinal membrane connects with the iliopsoas (fascia iliaca). Thus when the iliopsoas is tight, there are chances of disturbing the gut functions.
Myofascial stretching are excellent for prevention and essential following an injury or a trauma. Why not just stretch a muscle in a more traditional way? Because when we do a traditional stretch, we are not concerned about what surrounds the muscle, while the fascia is often dry and retracted. Think about a pound of ground beef in a very tight saran-wrap. It is nearly impossible to stretch the ground beef, even if you try hard, if the wrapping is too tight. To stretch the fascia of a specific muscle, we must see it as a link in a chain that starts from the toes to the top of the skull. The myofascial stretching chosen will trigger precisely tension over the whole fascial chain, thereby correcting the targeted fascia. Contrary to popular belief, the main goal of stretching is to increase muscle quality rather than flexibility. For example, if you perform a conventional chest stretch, it will have no effect at all on the overall postural chains. On the opposite side, a myofascial stretching will stretch the tissues surrounding the muscles from below the hips to the top of the shoulders. Obviously, this will have an effect on postural chains.
Some benefits of myofascial stretching
– Improves posture
– Helps to eliminate joint pain
– Helps keep a good range of motion of the joints
– Helps to prevent injuries
– Helps to increase strength
– Helps to develop a good joint and muscle control
– Helps to the proper functioning of the visceral organs (liver, kidneys, intestines, urinary bladder, etc..)
I recommend you to do the myofascial stretches after your training session (at most 10 minutes). You may also want to do them before going to bed since they will relax you and speed up muscle recovery.
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