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

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

What is fascia training? Fascia training has become very popular in recent times and many social media influencers claim it can do everything from improving athleticism, to decreasing the risk of injury, to even improving overall health due to its impact on mitochondria. 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.

  • Circulatory
  • Respiratory
  • Integumentary
  • Digestive
  • Urinary
  • Reproductive
  • lymphatic
  • Nervous
  • Endocrine
  • Immune
  • Skeletal
  • Muscular
  • Fascial

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

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

Most fitness experts think that you cannot train your fascia which is why they focus more on training how strong individual muscles contract, instead of treating the body as a whole through the fascia system. One important misconception to clear up is that anytime you are training you are really training all of your systems, including the muscular and fascia systems.

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, tendon, and ligaments.

However, the type of training you do determines how you build up your connective tissue health, or fascial health, and different forms of training develop different athletic qualities. 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.

Check out this video to see the role of fascia in using elastic and kinetic energy. Fascia is what allows the energy to move smoothly within your body starting with the feet.

Fascia training

Image by Aldrin Rachman Pradana

What is Fascia Training?

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 is a way of training that emphasizes the quality of your connective tissues 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 and will help regain sensation in areas of your body you may not have felt before since fascia is the largest sensory organ.

Fascia training is all about regaining sensation of your entire body and being able to activate, coordinate, and sequence your muscles, which are surrounded by fascia, at the right time. Fascia training also focuses on improving the main characteristics of fascia connective tissue, instead of improving how strong you can contract muscles individually, such as:

  • Viscosity- relating to water and how hydrated or dehydrated the fascia is
  • Elasticity- the ability to store and use elastic energy needed for movements like walking, running, and jumping
  • Biotensegrity- When one part of the body moves, the entire body moves because 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 tribespeople are clearly not relying on muscles for their athleticism and this is the type of strength and athleticism fascia training helps to develop.

Fascia training prioritizes the health and function of your fascia and tendons, which store elastic and kinetic energy.

Fascia training

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How to Begin Fascial Training

To begin training your fascia you have to train the three 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 feet
  • The hands
  • The Tongue

This all begins by first learning how to apply proper fascial tension to the feet, arch, and toes because your feet are your one and only connection to the ground. 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, if you do not feel this connection already.

As you get better at applying facial tension to your feet it is also important to train the fascia of the upper body because your hands, and how you hold and grip things, is your literal grasp on life, which is highly influenced by the fascial system.

The reason we train the tongue is because the tongue highly influences jaw development, breathing development, as well as how you communicate with yourself and with others. The tongue also 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.

Fascial Training Exercises

The 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 while having the anterior tibialis tendon prominent. Just as important as having full foot function is being able to feel your glutes while doing the following exercises.

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

Image by Janosch Diggelmann

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, but will not allow for centralized pressure.

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 muscle fibers, 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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