What is Fascia Training and How to Do It: Explained for Footballers

 What is fascia training? Fascia training has become very popular in recent times and many trainers believe it can do everything from improving athleticism, to decreasing the risk of injury, to even improving overall health due to its impact on mitochondrial function. This holistic training method targets the connective tissue inside the human body which makes up the fascial system.

In this blog I will explain what fascia training is, how to start training your fascia, as well as answer many questions you may have about this new training technique.

 

Fascia Training

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Can you Train the Fascial System?

The human body is made up of various systems and each system can be trained in their own unique way.

Think of the fascial system, or the fascial network, as a spider web that holds everything together inside your body. Fascia is the same exact thing as connective tissue and each of the main organs of all your body systems are also surrounded and held together by fascia.

Most people think that the biggest organ of the human body is the skin, but it is really the fascia because it is under your skin and there are various layers to it. As a sensory organ, fascia has 6-10 times more nerve endings than muscles do and it plays a huge role in proprioception, awareness of where your body is in space, and interoception, or internal body awareness.

A lot of fitness trainers don’t believe you can train fascia, since you cannot see it, which is why most trainers nowadays also believe that training how strong individual muscles contract is the best type of training for athletic development and injury prevention. One important misconception to clear up right now is that anytime you are training you are really training all of your systems, including the muscular and fascia systems, and nothing is ever working in isolation.

We cannot isolate fascia and we cannot isolate muscles. When we do “fascia-based” training we are still training the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and even when we do “muscle-based” training we are also training the fascia, tendons, and ligaments.

However, the truth is that you adapt to the type of training you do and there are certain ways to prioritize the fascia system, such as through plyometrics and exercises that focus on how and where you can apply tension, while there are other ways to prioritize muscular hypertrophy, which is all of the gym work you are used to seeing.

As an aspiring soccer player you want healthy, smooth fascia without any adhesions that allows all of the layers to slide along each other properly, which leads to effortless and fluid movement due to better transfer of energy within the body.

Check out this video to see the role of fascia in kinetic linking and energy movement throughout the body. Fascia is what allows the energy to move smoothly within your body starting with the feet and even though this is a boxing video, all of the same concepts apply on the field when you are running and kicking the soccer ball.

So, in more simple terms yes you can train the fascia system.

Fascia Training

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What is Fascia Training?

Fascia training is a type of training that focuses on strengthening, stabilizing, and restoring balance within the fascia web by training areas of the body with the most fascia inserts, the tounge, the feet, the hands, and the spine. The best way to describe “fascia training” is that it helps you get more subconscious access to the deeper layers of your body so that you can actually access and utilize those deeper tissues with less effort.

Fascia training emphasizes the quality of your connective tissues, how well you can transfer energy within the body, and treats the body as one whole unit, not as separate muscles that contract individually. Fascia training will help you awaken dormant receptors in your body, will help regain sensation in those areas, as well as help you be better able to activate, coordinate, and sequence your muscles, which are surrounded by fascia, at the right time during athletic movements.

The main properties of fascia that are worked during “fascia training” and myofascial release, a fancy word for saying self-massage include:

  • Viscosity- relating to water and how hydrated or dehydrated the fascia is
    • We want healthy, hydrated fascia that allows for information and energy to flow properly
    • Dehydrated fascia leads to fascia knots/adhesions that limit range of motion and sensory sensation
  • Elasticity- the ability to store and use elastic energy
  • Biotensegrity- When one part of the body moves, the entire body moves
    • Nothing is ever working in isolation

This is the best video to visualize what the effects of training your fascia looks like. Look at how springy and effortless these guys jump and look at their physiques. These guys have elite fascial connections through their bodies and know how to absorb and release energy properly, which is what allows them to do this.

Fascia Training

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How to Begin Fascial Training

To begin training your fascia you have to train the four main catalysts of the fascia system, which are places with the most nerve endings and that take up the most space in the homunculus of your brain.

  • The tongue
  • The feet
  • The hands
  • The spine

Fascia training starts with having the proper tongue posture which is referred to as mewing. Mewing refers to the proper tongue posture, pressure, and suction on the roof of the mouth and it is required to create and sustain proper cranial pressure as well as help you better engage the fascia system. 

Along with improving mewing, and making it a more reflexive effort so that you don’t have to overthink it over time, fascia training also involves learning how to apply proper fascial tension to the feet, arch, and toes. It is also important to know that the tongue has a myofascial line, the deep frontal line, that connects it directly to your big toes and this line makes your tongue and feet act like a pulley system.

Your feet are your roots, like the roots of a tree, and they are your one and only connection to the ground which is why it is important to have full functioning feet with toes that can retract, a strong arch, and an ankle that knows how to act as a spring. As you begin to train your plantar fascia, the bottom of your foot, you will begin to develop a stronger neurological connection from the feet to the glutes, since the glutes have a ton of fascial inserts. 

Your hands are your second root and how you grab on to things, which means they have a huge impact, literally, on how you grasp on to life and other objects. The spinal engine theory states how the spine is the main driver of motion and there is a natural sway of the spine that has to happen as we move through space. By improving the rotational abilities of your spine not only do you improve your fascia system, but you will also improve athleticism and energy transference within the body.

Fascial Training Exercises

The best way to start a form of fascia training is to get better at mewing and to start becoming more aware of your tongue posture. From there, the next most important fascia exercises to start with are the foot exercises because as mentioned earlier you have to regain full foot function, which means being able to retract the toes, engage the arch, and lock the ankle so that it acts like a spring while having the anterior tibialis tendon prominent.

Although the following exercises look like they are “foot” exercises they are really supposed to be glute exercises, which means if you do not feel your glutes working at all while trying the following exercises you have a lot of fascial fitness to build up and this means you do not have easy subconscious access to the deeper layers of your fascia.

Overtime, the more you do these exercises, which have to be done correctly, the more you will start to feel your glutes, which means you are waking up the deeper layers of your body. The more you start to feel the glutes during these exercises, the more your fascia is working because the glutes are mostly fascia inserts, not muscle.

Fascia Training

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best exercise program to improve fascial fitness?

The best way to train your fascia is with the best online training program and soccer app offered by Football Entangled. Football Entangled has one of the best fascia training systems guaranteed to make you a better athlete and more resistant to injuries.

How do you perform Myo-fascial release to get rid of fascia adhesions?

Fascia adhesions, or knots, develop when your fascia gets dehydrated and sticky. To perform myo-fascial release, which is a form of self massage used to relieve stiffness and tension, use a spiky ball or a tennis ball on any tight areas of your body. Use a smaller tool like these so that you can apply centralized pressure to specific areas instead of using a tool like a foam roller, which has a larger surface area.

How does fascia affect poor posture and athletic performance?

The fascial network plays a huge role in proper posture and athletic performance because fascia surrounds and encases everything in your body from muscles, to tendons, ligaments, nerves, and basically everything else. Having smooth fascia without any adhesions allows the layers of fascia to slide properly and leads to more fluid, effortless movements.

Conclusion

In conclusion, fascia training is a new form of training that many people do not really understand yet, but it works and there is plenty of research and case studies, on even Premier League and Champions league level players who have tried this way of training and seen tremendous benefits and results.

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