Myofascial Exercises 1-4

Dynamic – Instead of Long, Static Holds

“Myo” is Greek for muscle. “Fascia” is the tough outer lining of a
muscle that holds it in place. Myofascial exercises are those which simultaneously target your muscles and your fascia tissue.

Myofascial Release – Trigger Points

Many of you might be familiar with the increasingly popular myofascial release technique, including trigger point release by foam rolling. Poor posture, overuse of muscles and joints and injuries of muscles and nearby joints can all cause tightness and leading to pain. While massaging the painful area, you might feel a knob. This knob is also called a “trigger point”. Foam rolling around the affected area can bring release.

A Popular Technique – Foam Rolling

Exercising

One way of reducing the tightness around the trigger point is exercise. Your goal is to stretch the painful muscle, improve posture, and restore healthy muscle use. Ideally you combine foam rolling and dynamic stretching exercises as shown below.

Moving Through Various Positions

Stretching Exercises

Fascial exercises are slightly different compared to more traditional versions. Instead of staying in one plane of a movement, you try to address your muscles and joints in a 3D approach. While getting into a certain position, you add a gentle twist.

Here are 4 examples for you to try:

Exercise #1: Chest Figure 8

Place Both Hand On your Rib Cage

Start in an upright stand, place both of your hands on the outside of your rib cage. Now begin moving your body above your hands in small circles, one to your right, followed by one to your left.

Lean To Side – Rotate

Lean to your back, to your side, to your front, cross-over and continue on your other side. Switch directions after 3-4 Rounds.

Lean Forward and Backward

Exercise #2: Ball & Band Spiral

Sit on a stability ball, with a resistance band wrapped around your thighs, ending on the outside of your right thigh. Grab the end of the band and wrap it around your left hand. Start by leaning forward (bend your hips), and your extended L arm.

Reach Diagonally

Position 1: Reach diagonally with your left hand to your right side,above your right thigh. Your face is looking towards your left hand.

Reach Above Your Knee

Position 2: Roll your upper body up. Bring your extended arm above your left thigh, while you are still looking up to your hand.

Reach Behind You

Position 3: Bring your arm behind your back, twist and look back behind you, towards your extended arm.

Keep each position for 2-3s, before flowing to the next one. Practice this flow for 3-5x, then switch sides.

Exercise #3: Cross-over Bird Dog

Start In A Bench Position

Start on an exercise mat on the floor, in a bench position. Lift your L leg off the floor, extend it, and reach with your left foot over your right calf.

Twist Your Left Side To The Right

Now lift your left hand off the floor, extend your arm and reach with your left hand over your right hand.

Hold this position for 5-10s, try to reach further, and hold it for another 5-10s. Repeat for 3-5x, then switch sides.

Exercise #4: Diagonal Arch

Start in a wide split stand, with your left leg up front, and your right in the rear. Bend your rear leg and lower your hips towards the floor.

Stretch Your Hips, Back, Shoulders

Keep your left knee behind your toes, avoid pushing the knee forward. Lift your right arm and bring it overhead. Lift head and look towards your hand. Your left arm stays on the side.

Alternate Arms

Pull yourself gently back into an arch, hold position for 2-3s, and alternate arms. Repeat 3-5x, then get back up and repeat to other side.

Stay Relaxed

All movements should be done in a gentle way. Your key is to keep your movements flowing, without any jerking or harsh pulling. Each time you get into a position, relax, exhale deeply and try to get into the position a little bit deeper.

Twist Gently, Stay Relaxed

Should I Avoid Pain During Stretching?

Yes! A discomfort is ok, pain is not. On a pain scale from 1-10, judge your level of pain up to 3 on the scale. Which equals a gentle pull, not a strong one! Avoid strong pain, only a discomfort is what you are suppose to feel.

Build it into your post-workout routine!

Remember, ‘No Pain, No Gain’ Is Old-School…

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