For some years now, they have been an integral part of everyday sports life. Fascia courses are top-rated in fitness studios, and athletes can regularly be seen sliding over the hard rubber roller during sports broadcasts. The latest findings show that fascia is not just hype.
Fasciae provide the necessary body tension
Let's take a closer look at fasciae. They are tight skins of connective tissue surrounding bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and organs. There is only one fascia, a three-dimensional network that determines the basic structure of our body. This fascia provides the necessary body tension to stand, sit, walk, run and perform at our best in sports. It is essential to know this:
- Incorrect postures and movement patterns, too much stress, and one-sided strain can massively impair the fascia network structure.
- It can lead to painful tension, muscle pain, and premature fatigue. And not only that: fascia is even associated with osteoarthritis.
The latest findings
- Our muscles transmit power through the tendons and through the fasciae via so-called lateral networks.
- This applies in particular to the muscles that are involved in a movement as auxiliary muscles.
- Therefore, versatile forms of movement (keyword: functional fitness) in many planes of motion and in all directions are also crucial for the fitness program and athletic training.
- If you neglect these training variations, you run the risk of the fasciae sticking together. This has adverse effects on elasticity and mobility.
- Thanks to molecular medicine, we know that fasciae contain many receptors. If the fascia is not as supple as it should be, it speaks out with pain.
Fasciae and its importance for sport and fitness
The importance for sports training is therefore obvious: regardless of whether you are a hobby athlete, a fitness freak, or a competitive athlete: the more varied the training, the better it is for the body and the greater the sense of achievement; joggers should not just jog, weightlifters should not only lift weights. Fasciae also have a special significance for the so-called proprioception:
- Proprioceptors are receptors in muscles and joints that provide us with information around the clock about how our movement, posture, and position in space is right now.
- The proprioceptors react to pressure and deformation. The signals sent to the brain then decide on possible or even necessary changes in the body's position.
- The brain then sends corresponding commands to the muscles. The whole thing is called a feedback loop.
- If even the most complicated sporting movements seem to be effortless and comfortable, this has to do with the proprioceptors and the fasciae. That is why proprioceptive training is so necessary.
The importance of the foam roller
When it comes to fasciae, the now-famous plastic roller comes up at some point. In fact, this unique form of self-massage promotes body awareness. When working with the fascia roller, the worked tissue is compressed like a sponge and can replenish itself. It has also been proven to alleviate or even eliminate adhesions. Athletes in particular benefit from this, such as a study has confirmed. The whole thing works with these special rollers and with massage sticks, tennis balls, and golf balls.
- Foam roller beginners should start with a softer material.
- Rolling back and forth can cause a lot of pain. Especially if there are actually adhesions.