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Divo Muller talks about Fascial Fitness

Divo Muller talks about Fascial Fitness

What is fascia and how important is it for our bodies?

Fascia is tissue that runs through the body in all direction as a large and widespread network. In fascial fitness, we put the focus on the connective tissues, knowing that each organ – such as heart or lung – is surrounded by a connective tissue sheath which interacts with the muscular tissues. Fascia is made of fibres mainly of protein collagen and plenty of water (68 percent). The exciting news is that collagen tissue varies depending on their requirements and the local context. It can be flexible, but it can also condense into tendons and membranes. An impressive feature of fascia is the ability to transmit force. Another exciting discovery in the modern Fascia science is that it is now proven to be innervated by countless sensory nerves, so it acts as sensors and makes our body sense – the so-called proprioception or our sixth sense. This largely determines our ability to perceive, feel and move.

What should I do if I want to train the fascia?
First, it is important to understand that fascia needs specific and adequate movement stimuli to make it strong and healthy. As we know the principle of “use it or lose it”. In fascial fitness, we pay particular importance to train a unique property of fascia: the so-called elastic recoil. This has been documented to play an important role, particularly in the human Achilles tendon. Therefore, we include “elastic suspension” training for the legs, the shoulder girdle and the back in our basic exercise program. This catapult-like, dynamic movement strengthens the collagen tissue. This increases the load capacity, the efficiency of movement and also formed, for example, firm and well-shaped thighs.
And how can I get a supple and agile tissue?
The motto here is: “What does not move, get stuck”.  However, there are genetically different types of tissues. In my classes, I distinguish between the strong, but mostly immobile “Viking type” and the (hyper) mobile, but tend to be unstable “Temple Dancer Type”. The classic Viking type is mostly made up of rugged and strong connective tissues. However, the fibre network is prone to tangles and bonds. This then goes at the expense of mobility and flexibility which gets worse with aging.

And what about the temple dancers?
Their body are very flexible; they can bend their legs effortlessly. We can find them in most ballet or yoga classes. However, the high flexibility is at the expense of stability. This can lead to lower back pain or wear of the hip joints since the capsular and ligamentous structures virtually “wear out”. Here, a targeted strengthening of the fascia is needed.

Is Fascial Fitness suitable for everyone?
Because of these two very different types of connective tissues, we recommend a tailored exercise according to their needs. Long chain stretching, as traditionally practiced in yoga, is recommended for the rigid and immovable Vikings. In addition, the stretch should be fascially charged, for example, via mini suspension.

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