Fascia oriented training for bodywork and movement therapies Divo G. Müller, Robert Schleip
When a football player is not able to take the field because of a recurrent calf spasm, a tennis star gives up early on a match due to knee problems or a sprinter limps across the finish line with a torn Achilles tendon, the problem is most often neither in the musculature or the skeleton. Instead, it is the structure of the connective tissue – ligaments, tendons, joint capsules, etc. – which have been loaded beyond their present capacity (Renström & Johnson 1985, Counsel & Breidahl 2010). A focused training of the fascial network could be of great importance for athletes, dancers and other movement advocates. If one‘s fascial body is well trained, that is to say optimally elastic and resilient, then it can be relied on to perform effectively and at the same time to offer a high degree of injury prevention. Until now, most of the emphasis in sports training has been focused on the classical triad of muscular strength, cardiovascular conditioning, and neuromuscular coordination. Some alternative physical training activities - such as Pilates, yoga, Continuum Movement, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and martial arts – are already taking the connective tissue network into account. The importance of fasciae is often specifically discussed; however the modern insights of fascia research have often not been specifically included in our work. In this article, we suggest that in order to build up an injury resistant and elastic fascial body network, it is essential to translate current insights of fascia research into a practical training program. Our intention is to encourage massage, bodywork, and movement therapists, as well as sports trainers to incorporate the basic principles presented in this article, and to apply them to their specific context.
A unique characteristic of connective tissue is its impressive adaptability: when...