If you are interested in the role of fascia in fitness training, the following questions lead to new take-aways:
- Most injuries are connective-tissue (fascial) injuries, not muscular injuries—so how do we best train to prevent and repair damage and build elasticity and resilience into the system?
- There are 10 times more sensory nerve endings in your fascia than in your muscles; therefore, how do we aim proprioceptive stimulation at the fascia as well as the muscles?
- Traditional anatomy texts of the muscles and fascia are inaccurate, based on a fundamental misunderstanding of our movement function—so how can we work with fascia as a whole, as the “organ system of stability”?
Consciously or unconsciously, you have been working with fascia for your whole movement career—it is unavoidable. Now, however, new research is reinforcing the importance of fascia and other connective tissue in functional training (Fascia Congress 2009). Fascia is much more than “plastic wrap around the muscles.” Fascia is the organ system of stability and mechano-regulation (Varela & Frenk 1987).
Understanding this may revolutionize our ideas of “fitness.” Research into the fascial net upsets both our traditional beliefs and some of our new favorites as well. The evidence all points to a new consideration within overall fitness for life—hence the term fascial fitness.
This article lays out the emerging picture of the fascial net as a whole and explores three of the many aspects of recent research that give us a better understanding of how best to train the fascial net.