Fascia is one amongst the many important parts of the human body. It helps to separate, stabilize and enclose body parts like muscles, organs, blood vessels etc. These are basically connective tissue which, when in their best health, happens to be supple, flexible, and glide stress-free. A problem-free fascia can lead to an overall healthy and happy lifestyle since they are spread all across your body that are active in some way or the other. In the current discussion, we will take a look at some of the exercises and stretches which can keep your fascia healthy up and in the best possible condition.(1, 2)
Exercises for Healthy Fascia
Exercises and stretches can be easily effective in relieving the tension and tightness in the fascia. Ideally, you must stretch to the point which creates a stretched sensation without straining or forcing any part of your body into that particular position.(3) Let us take a look at some of the stretches which will help to strengthen your fascia over a gradual period.
Heel Stretch Exercise for Healthy Fascia:
The fascia that runs between your big toe and your heels is plantar fasciitis. The stretch in this fascia can be felt all along the length of your foot. You can practice the following step to do this exercise: (2,3)
- At first form a kneeling posture where your knees will be bent and your shin will be parallel to the floor.
- Next, you must curl up your toes under and then sit on your heels.
- After this, you need to align your ankle bone along with your big toe that will protect your knees.
- Keep your back in a straight position and then lean backward and forward to make the stretch as intense as possible.
- The position must be held for 3 minutes.
- Repeat the exercise about three times a day.
Downward Facing Dog Exercise for Healthy Fascia:
This is a stretch that can be excellent in boosting your energy and unwinding your tired muscles after a long day. This is a yoga position to be precise which works on your entire body and helps to release tightness, tension and remove pain in the gradual process.(1)
- Kneel on all your fours with your shin parallel to the floor and placing your hands on the floor a little above the shoulder position.
- You need to spread your fingers as much as possible for a firm grip.
- In the next step, you need to press your hands while you lift your hips. At this time, you need to bend your elbows and knees just a little.
- Simultaneously, you must raise your heels a little, bending your knees slightly and elongating your spine as much as possible.
- To get the best advantage of your position you need to tuck your chin right into your chest.
- Now stretch your legs making your body in a triangle shape along with the floor.
- The position must be held for a minute.
Standing Hip Flexor Stretch for a Healthy Fascia:
This stretch can help to release tension after sitting in a single position for a very long stretch of time. It can help to relax your hip flexors and also healthily lengthen them. This helps to include the sitting posture and also give relief in long-term pain.(4,5)
- Stand on a flat surface with your right leg a little forward than the left leg. The distance between the two legs would be hip-width apart.
- Now tuck in your hip under your pelvis so that there is no arch in the lower back.
- At this position, Slowly bend your right leg from the knee and move your body forward.
- This will give a slight stretch deep inside the groin area where the hip flexor muscles are located.
- Repeat the exercise with the other leg as well. Do it a few times on both the sides.
Extended Side Angle Pose:
This stretching exercise works in the area around your underarm. It will improve the mobility of the upper part of your body:
- Lie on your right side.
- Push a foam roller under your shoulder
- Your right leg should be on the floor
- Slightly bend the right leg but ensure it touches the floor
- Now, press your left foot strongly to lift the torso while you maintain the right-side posture.
- Keep the left arm resting on the left leg and stretch out the right arm straight up.
- Keep your face directed at the right arm’s direction.
- The foam roller will now touch your right armpit.
- Swing the foam roller from arm pit to mid back while your right arm is stretched out and face in the same direction.
- Do this 10 times.
- Perform the same stretching exercise for the left side as well.
Foam Rolling for the Upper Back:
A foam roller is needed to carry out this exercise. It helps to remove stress and tension in your upper back and also helps to improve your overall alignment and posture.(3)
- Lie down on your back on a foam roller parallel to your spine.
- The foam roller should support your head to tail bone
- Bent your knees but keep your feet firmly pressed against the floor.
- Now, extend the arms on both sides of the body like the wings of a flying bird.
- Take a deep breath and bring your arms close to each other above your face.
- Exhale and take the arms back on the floor.
- Do this ten times and get up.
Low Back Foam Rolling:
In this exercise will help to remove tightness and tension along with muscle knots and improve your motion range.(4)
- At first, lie down on your back
- Then, place a foam roller under your lower back
- Bend your knees and place it on the floor
- Now, slowly bend your knees towards your chest
- While you bend your knees, place your hands on the two knees
- Now, try rolling over to your right side as gently as possible
- Keeping the posture same roll over to your left in the similar manner
- Do this ten times in both directions
- Continue doing it two to three times a day.
The exercises that have been mentioned above are a few basic ones that can help you to improve the overall condition of your fascia and keep it healthy. These are some of the simplest stretches that keep your body flexible and healthy.(2, 3) However, to notice some positive changes and effects, you must continue the exercises for a while. Do not expect overnight changes and results. Start off with a realistic goal and be regular in performing the exercises.
- Myers, T. (2011). Fascial fitness: Training in the neuro-myofascial web. IDEA Fitness Journal, 38–45.