What is fascia? Fascia is a fibrous connective tissue that lines your body.
Why is it important? Fascia becomes less supple with inactivity and injury, leading to restricted range-of-motion and dysfunctional movement patterns, which sets you up for chronic pain and injury.
My Weekly/Monthly Fascia Self-care Routine:
You’ll be in plank, side plank, and reverse plank to roll your body, which will warm-up your upper body and core, along with bringing circulation to your lower body. Start rolling your shins followed by quadriceps, inner and outer thighs, calves, hamstrings, glutes, and then your upper back. Think about checking in with your body here! Literally, have a conversation with your body. How do you feel today? Tender? Tight? Restricted? Relaxed? Warm? Cold? Take mental notes. Utilize these notes during your workout, so you can make adjustments as needed.
Lying on your back, knee bent, use a trigger point ball to roll any overly tight areas: the usual suspects are your upper back, chest, abs, and glutes. If it’s too painful, i.e. you can’t take a relaxed breath, place your trigger point ball in a sock and use it on the wall. Now, you can adjust your pressure. Listen to your breath!
3.Yin Yoga (60-75 minute sessions) 1-2 per week
Complete one stretch per major muscle group, i.e. hamstrings/glutes, quadriceps, outer thigh, inner thigh, chest/anterior deltoid, upper back/latissimus dorsi/posterior deltoid. Each pose should be held for 2-5 minutes, with a 1-2 minute transition between sides and poses. Make sure you start with a gentle stretch and progress to a deeper stretch as your body relaxes into the pose: do NOT force it! Remember; take long, slow breaths while you focus on relaxing completely into the pose. Search the web to find the best Yin poses for your body. If you’re not comfortable creating your own practice, hire a Yin Yoga instructor for a private lesson or take a Yin Yoga class.
If you have a Power Plate machine available, you can use the massage setting. This vibrational device will help improve circulation and lymphatic drainage.
I use my Fascia Blaster to improve circulation and speed up my recovery time.
Treat yourself to an Ashiatsu massage at least once a month. Ashiatsu is a deep tissue massage where the therapist uses her feet. This technique is incredibly relaxing and therapeutic for the body and mind.
Occasionally, you might find you cannot improve your limited range-of-motion/pain/movement dysfunction; and in that case, you’ll need the help of a chiropractor. My chiropractor uses active release techniques to improve blood flow to sore, tight muscles, which allows me to gain proper range-of-motion. You should be given physical therapy exercises to improve dysfunctional movement due to muscular imbalances. Each injury teaches you something about your body. Learn how to prevent chronic injuries and take care of your body!
Do this fascia self-care routine in conjunction with an exercise program that includes: 2-3 total body strength and conditioning days, as well as, 150 minutes of steady-state cardio or 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio intervals per week. Make sure your total body strength and conditioning day’s focus on improving muscular endurance, strength, power, flexibility, balance, and coordination. If you’re not sure how to do this, hire an educated, experienced personal trainer.
Veronica is a personal trainer, yoga teacher and fitness and wellness director. She has been doing this for over a decade. You can follow her at @instagram.com/vethridge
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