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Gumby - ain't no Fascia gonna hold him down!

Gumby - ain't no Fascia gonna hold him down!

How do you move?  Is it smoothly, or tightly?  Is it gracefully, or as if one of your wheels needs to be rotated?

Just as with your car, you may not know that you are due for a ‘full-body-wheel-alignment’.

The truth is, your body is not held back by muscles, tendons, bones or joints.  It is something much more simple.

It has something to do with optimal results coming when our muscles are lengthened in the way we are naturally designed to move.

There is a factor that is often overlooked that overcomes any muscular ability.   An excellent example of this factor can be clearly seen in the full body motion that is the golf swing.  This factor simply must work in sync to allow a full swing to operate smoothly and without flaw. If this factor is not working smoothly and through a full range of motion, the swing becomes an erratic and unpredictable outcome.

The factor that determines the predictability of a golf swing (and any other movement) is your fascia.

Fascia envelops every muscle to connect the entire body together

If you have not heard about the concept of fascia before, imagine it to be a covering that wraps your muscles much like sausage casing. The important thing to note is that this fascia covering wraps the entire body, connecting every muscle… to every muscle. Fascia can vary in toughness and thickness through the body, but the important point to note is that there are certain chains that work together to help achieve daily movements and (yes, you saw it coming) the golf swing.

if we fail to address the Fascia as part of our training for golf, we fail to address the true function of the body.

In some places the fascia is thinner than nylon pantyhose, but in other places, such as the Iliotibial band on the outside of the leg, it can be much thicker. Fascia is extremely strong.

Let me explain briefly but without fancy words so I don’t lose myself here. Remember the old song ‘the hip bones connected to the knee bone… The knee bones connected to the, thigh bone’. Well, it seems the 60’s crooners must have been part time cadaver specialists because they were right on. The fascia wraps around the muscles in our thighs and stretch, shorten and react according to their neighbors and other muscles connected to their path.

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How does your fascia work?  There are a few different ways to find out:

1.  Become a kinesiologist (about 7 years of schooling, if you have the time)

2.  Go see an experienced Rolfer or bodyworker (this can be a religious experience for some depending on how tight your fascia already is)

3.  Do some research online (maybe that’s how you found this article – smart cookie!)

Have you ever had someone work on your fascia before?  Was it painful?  Did it leave you bruised and battered but flexible like Gumby?

Yours in health,

Jamie Atlas

Top three all time blog posts:

how to get the perfect butt

the key component missed by 90% of flexibility classes

which is best:  treadmill, bike or elliptical?

Do you dare to keep up to date with other articles I post?  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here!

  • Carole LaRochelle Mar 6, 2009 Reply

    Hi Jamie,

    Thanks for this nice article educating people about fascia and suggesting people go see an experienced Certified Rolfer. I don’t leave people bruised and battered, but I do help them become more flexible, have better posture, and feel more comfortable in their bodies.

  • jamieatlas Mar 31, 2009 Reply

    Hi Carole – thanks for your comments – I agree, not all Rolfers are human meat mallets, I was taking a bit of poetic license there. If there are any other people out there that have found a method of stretching or flexibility that they found were useful please let us know – your experiences may help others from making the same mistakes you have!
    As I always say, sharing is caring! 🙂

  • […] the key component missed by 90% of flexibility classes […]

  • […] the key component missed by 90% of flexibility classes […]

  • M. Kozma Jun 17, 2009 Reply

    I would like to share that Yin Yoga strengthens fascia and joints. This is a wonderful way to address these deep connective layers that comes with many more benefits beyond the physical level. I highly recommend it, and it’s accessible to any body at any level.

    • jamieatlas Jun 19, 2009 Reply

      Thanks Kozma! I like where you are coming from! Anyone else have any experience with yin yoga?

      • Mike K Oct 28, 2011 Reply

        I’m new to Yin Yoga, have recently taken two classes. I think it’s awesome and agree with Kozma’s insights. Our instructor was stressing that it’s very effective in loosening the fascia, which is so important. I plan to incorporate Yin Yoga into my practice atleast once every week or so……..Mike K

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