Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'fascia'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • START HERE—an introduction to the Stretch Therapy system
    • Read these threads please before posting, please!
  • Stretch Therapy Starter Course (former ABSS)
    • All questions about the ST Starter Course here, please.
  • Overcome neck pain course
    • Overcome neck pain course discussions and questions
  • Overcome back pain course
    • Overcome back pain course discussions and questions
  • The Mastery Series
    • Master the Squat, Pancake, Pike, Back Bend, and Shoulder Flexibility
    • Workout Logs
    • Form check
  • Programs, Classes, and Promoting your work
    • New Programs, as released
    • Promoting your work
    • Classes you want
  • Stretch Therapist/Stretch Practitioner
    • All topics relating to 'Stretch Therapy'
  • Stretch Teacher
    • All topics relating to 'Stretch Teacher'
  • Monkey Gym
    • All topics relating to 'the Monkey Gym'
  • Relaxation, Rejuvenation, Regeneration, Recommended Reading, and Right livlihood!
    • All topics relating to the three "R"s; now the "six 'R's"
    • Recommended Reading
  • Sensible Eating
    • All topics relating to 'Sensible Eating'—but, first, what is that?

Find results in...

Find results that contain...

Date Created

  • Start


Last Updated

  • Start


Filter by number of...


  • Start





Website URL







Found 6 results

  1. Thoughts on forward splits. We often see people trying to stretch for forward splits like this (Fig. 1): Obviously they are making things difficult for themselves because there is very little bend in the hip flexor of the back leg, and the stretch is almost entirely being directed to the hamstring of the forward leg. We all know that there are a lot of stretches to extend the hip flexors of the back leg so the torso can be held reasonably upright (Fig. 2): One hip flexor stretch is shown below, where the rectus femoris is pre-tensioned from its insertion by putting the lower leg up against the wall, and then the hips are allowed to sink forward (Fig. 3). Many people find this excruciating around the front of the hip, to the extent that they do not allow themselves to get a proper stretch from it. However I’ve been experimenting with rectus femoris stretches where the muscle is pretensioned from the origin, at the hip. In a forward split (which gives a maximal extension around the hip joint) I then lift the back foot off the floor. I’ve been resisting doing this for many years because if the hamstrings have previously been getting a strong stretch, there is a danger that they may cramp. However, as I have become more flexible and splits have become nearer to my normal range, this doesn’t happen so much. Then when the foot is within range of the hand, you can pull it closer with the arm (Fig. 5). If you are doing a partner stretch, then you can ask the stretchee to resist the stretch slightly (by pushing the foot gently into your hand) which reduces that chance that the antagonistic muscles, the hamstrings, will cramp. What I have found interesting, is that after this, the flat split (Fig. 2) becomes much easier, even though the rectus femoris in this position was clearly not at its full extension, and therefore should not been limiting the stretch. This is shown because it is possible to voluntarily lift the foot off the floor (Fig. 4). Also the previously-painful hip flexor stretch against the wall (Fig. 3) becomes painless when the hips are dropped forward. I suggest (in me at least) that there are a lot of fascial adhesions at the front of the hip which affect more than the rectus femoris. These adhesions can be freed by pre-tensioning the rectus femoris at its origin, and then stretching it from its insertion (Fig. 5). I also think there are a lot of individual variations: the leg against wall stretch (Fig. 3) is not at all painful for one of my students, and I have the impression from this and other stretches that she is less limited by fascia and connective tissue, and more by muscle, than I and many of my other students are. Finally, I have found a better way of doing oversplits. Oversplits help bring flat splits into your normal range of movement and let you use less warm up. Usually it is done with the forward heel on a support. I find that because my knees tend to hyperextend, this is not good for my knees, and propping the back of the knee or leg with a support is painful. I have found that if the whole forward leg is supported on a board, it becomes a good stretch (Fig. 6). The challenge here is to make sure the front of the thigh of the back leg is in contact with the mat, and that the hips are level and also fully pressed into the mat: I may use weights to do this in future. I often see people doing oversplits with the forward leg raised much higher, but with the hips very tilted – I do not think this is useful as a stretch. As for whether particular stretches are more limited by muscle or by fascia, this is a fascinating question that I am investigating. It is clearly difficult to decide, and a lot is guesswork and going by impression. I also have the impression that (for me at least) partner stretches are not useful where the primary limitation is muscle, but are very useful where the primary limitation is fascia. Seeing we don’t clearly know which is which, there is obviously a lot of guesswork, but it is part of adjusting the stretching strategy to the individual. I’d be glad if anyone has any views on this. Cheers, Jim. And for some reason the figure below keeps appearing here, even though I delete it. Maybe our esteemed Webmaster can do it?????
  2. I'm just wondering if the stretches that work best as partner stretches are stretches that primarily work on the fascia. In some cases it seems to me that muscle (and its reflexes) are the limitation, in other cases more the fascia. Working out which of course is difficult, and it may well vary from individual to individual. However where the critical tightness crosses multiple muscles, or does not correspond to the lines of muscles, and/or where long held stretches seem most effective, I wonder whether fascia is the primary limitation (group 1). Where the tightness corresponds to the line of a muscle, and where the CR method works well, I wonder if muscle is the primary limitation (group 2). There is of course no proof that these conjectures are true. In my experience, stretches in the first group can be more effectively helped by partner stretches. I find that partner stretches do not particularly help those in the second group. Does anyone else have views on this? I could post some examples of stretches in the two groups, and will later if requested, but have to go and stretch now!
  3. I wonder if anyone else has information this - I'm trying to work out the main restrictions on backbending at my hip. E.g. in a total backbend, such as a bridge (gymnastic) I have very little backbend at the hip, and if I could improve this, my total backbend would improve a lot. 1. If my knee is bent strongly, then I have very little backbend at the hip joint. This suggests a rectus femoris limitation. This is shown for instance if I do a lunge (one foot in front, the back knee on the ground, with the back lower leg upright against a wall), and then try to drop the hips forward - I have very little movement (and the front of the hip joint hurts like hell - sorry, I mean there is a strong sensation). 2. In a forward split (where there is a backbend at the hip joint of the leg going back) I can lift my back foot using the hamstring, and then pull it closer to my torso with my hand. The fact that I can use the hamstring to lift the back foot (and can then pull it quite a bit further), suggests the rectus femoris is not the limitation when my foot is on the floor. However, after lifting the back foor to its limit and then putting it down, the hip joint definitely feels looser. So stretching the rectus femoris (which is not limiting the movement) frees up the hip joint. The only thing I can think, is that either (1) there is a connective tissue tightness across the front of the hip joint, or (2) if muscles are involved, there is a fascial adhesion somehow from the rectus femoris onto the iliopsoas (maybe the same sheet of fascia crosses both muscles). If it is the first possibility, then I just have to stretch the front of the hip joint with a fascial-directed regime (long held stretches), if the latter, working on iliopsoas and rectus femoris with muscle-directed stretches would help too. I wonder, has anyone else faced this issue, do you find the same thing (limitiations not fitting with the anatomy of the muscles), and what exercises have you tried? Thanks a lot, Jim.
  4. Hello all, I'm new to the forum and have spent the past week foraging through the topics, trying to familiarize myself with the techniques and school of thought. You all are very deep thinkers! I have four young children so it takes me a while to get back into adult speak. I'm a 36 year old female who has always loved to dance, but I have spent the past 5 years or so in chronic pain and fatigue. Finally a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia has helped me understand what is going on in my body, and studying inner healing has helped me figure out how it got there. Anywho, I landed on these forums after searching across the interwebs for stretching and flexibility help having to do specifically with fascia - it seems very few people/teachers understand the importance of the fascia. I feel pretty blessed to even know about it. I'm coming out of fibro, and it's an exciting time. I'm so ready to dance freely - but of course, flexibility and strength are issues. Also, more pointedly, the age old dancer questions: how can I increase my foot arch for ballet? How can I increase my turnout? What's the best method for achieving front splits? I've searched the forums but wanted to ask more specifically about these topics. Thank you to anyone who has some tips to offer, and thank you Kit for your helpful introductory email. Danielle
  5. Here is a video (brought to my attention through Brad Walker's newsletter), of an anatomist talking about fascia. It has some interesting video of human cadaver fascia being separated by his fingers, and shows the texture and strength of actual fascia (I presume it is fresh). As well as the general talk (which in overall does not give any new information, but which will be of interest if you dont know it) he makes the interesting point that, if we keep a limited body posture, the fascia ends up by holding us in that position. An anatomical expression of the "personality armour" described by Wilhelm Reich.
  6. An issue you will all be familar with - tightness of fascia and/or sciatic nerve limiting forward bending. I tried on me, and made a photo to show my students, to inform them of the issues. Then I thought I'd share it here (either in case anyone wanted to use it, or make any - I hope helpful - comments). The lowest part of the lumbar region has very little forward flexibility, so can be used as a reasonably accurate indicator of the forward tilt of the pelvis (I think). Holding the feet flexed up takes 11 degrees off the forward bend (for those who do not know the issue, there are no muscles running between the pelvis and the feet - so the effect must occur through other structures - probably, in my case, due to the chain of fascia that runs from the forehead, down the back of the head, back of spine, legs, to the soles of the feet). Jim.
  • Create New...