A healthy fascia is crucial for proper movement, as it acts as a connective tissue that supports and stabilizes muscles, joints, and organs in the body. In an earlier blog, I described the important role that fascia plays in our bodies.
When the fascia becomes tight or restricted, it can cause discomfort, pain, and limited range of motion. Individuals with chronic joint pain such as those with arthritis and other chronic pain conditions often suffer from restricted fascia. Incorporating exercises to release fascia into your fitness routine can help improve overall mobility and prevent injuries. Specific stretches and exercises can help keep the fascia healthy as well as release tension from fascial restriction to promote mobility.
Here are 10 types of exercise to release fascia for better movement:
- Foam Rolling: Using a foam roller, apply pressure on specific areas of your body to release tension in the fascia. This self-myofascial release technique can help improve blood circulation and reduce muscle soreness.
- Dynamic Stretching: Instead of holding stretches for long periods, try incorporating dynamic stretching into your warm-up routine. This involves controlled movements that gently stretch the fascia and prepare your body for activity.
- Ball Rolling: Similar to foam rolling, using a tennis or lacrosse ball allows you to target smaller areas of tightness in the fascia. Roll the ball on different parts of your body, such as calves, hamstrings, and glutes.
- Yoga: Practicing yoga can help release fascial restrictions and improve flexibility. Poses like downward dog, pigeon pose, and child’s pose specifically target the fascia in different areas of the body.
- Pilates: This low-impact exercise focuses on strengthening and stretching the core muscles, which in turn can release tension in the fascia around the spine and hips.
- Myofascial Release Massage: This technique uses manual pressure on specific points of the body to release tension in the fascia. It is best performed by a trained therapist but can also be done with a foam roller or tennis ball at home.
- Resistance Band Stretches: Using resistance bands, perform dynamic stretches that target different muscle groups and promote better movement and flexibility in the fascia.
- Planks: This core-strengthening exercise also engages the fascia, helping to release tension and improve stability and posture.
- Tai Chi/QiGong: This martial art involves slow, controlled movements that stretch and strengthen muscles while also promoting relaxation and releasing tension in the fascia.
- Swimming: The resistance of the water against your body can help stretch and release tension in the fascia, making swimming a great low-impact exercise for promoting better movement.
Incorporating these exercises into your regular fitness routine can help improve your overall mobility and prevent injuries caused by tight or restricted fascia. Remember to listen to your body and start slowly, gradually increasing intensity as you become more comfortable with the exercises. Consult a medical professional if you experience any pain or discomfort while performing these exercises.
Stay consistent and keep moving for a healthier, more flexible fascia. Whether you’re an athlete, fitness enthusiast, looking to improve your overall movement and flexibility, or recovering from fascia restrictions associated with chronic pain conditions, incorporating these exercises into your routine can help release fascial restrictions and promote better mobility in your body.
I am a Master’s prepared RN, National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Board-Certified Functional Wellness Coach, and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. I help people fix their chronic inflammation & pain with in-home lab testing, client assessments, personalized natural healing protocols, and online coaching to help them move from pain to peace so that they feel better, move better, and live better.