I really like my fasciae roll at home and the courses I visited. In a short, not representative survey I saw that not many vaulters are working with their fasciae. Susanne Büchner is a vaulting coach who uses fasciae training methods with vaulters. She offers workshops for vaulters as well as training for horses.
Susanne, what are fasciae and is it possible to train them?
Fasciae are the so-called connective tissue including all tendons and ligaments. They run through the whole body in different layers and enclose all organs. It is the component in the body which was missing until now because it was believed that it is not possible to train it. Schematic figures only showed the skeleton, muscles and organs, the connective tissue was ignored. It was believed that it was only there to give the body structure and form. This attitude changed during the last few years.
If we cut the organs in half, we would get a good idea of the fasciae in our body. The research on this topic is pretty new so that new knowledge is added constantly. This research is led by professor Robert Schleip.
Fascial fitness training is an enrichment for all other training sessions but could not replace traditional training. With this training method, the performance can be optimized or increased as well as helping in everyday life with reducing stiffness and pain.
The fasciae need their own impulses and specific movements to train them. To achieve a change they need a longer time of training compared to other structures of the body, since the tissue renews very slowly. The first noticeable changes occur after four to six months, the whole tissue needs up to two years to renew itself.
So, it takes persistence and regularity. The results are increased resilience of tendons and ligaments, muscles can work more efficiently and are better protected from injuries. The performance increases and regeneration time will be shorter.
Fasciae permeate the whole body in long paths overlapping the joints. They are net-like, they can be elastic and stretchable (elastin), or dense, non-flexible and tear-proof (collagen). This depends on their composition. The biggest component is water for the exchange of molecules on which the training is based. Fasciae in the locomotive system have more sensors than muscles; so they count as a separate sensory organ and an all-comprising information system in the body.
So, pain mainly originates in the fasciae. They like permanent alternating stimuli and vector changes: soft and teetering movements or also stretching. They like to be pulled, wringed and twisted. The four aspects of fasciae fitness training are stretching, bouncing, feeling and enlivening. The basic functions of fasciae are shaping, moving, communication and supply.
Which parts of the human body can be trained with the fasciae fitness training?
All parts can be trained. The long paths of fasciae run along the whole body, they are of differing lengths and sizes. The one on the back begins at the eyebrows and runs over the head, down the back, splits and ends at the soles of the feet. The fasciae underneath the foot is the thickest in the body.
To what should we pay attention while doing fascial fitness training?
The tissue needs pauses. Breaks are important.
Fascial fitness training is not for just one try or useful as an irregular addition to training. It takes lots of patience and steady work to feel a result. It is reasonable to train all four fields and to start with the determination of your individual tissue type – are you a “snake person” with flexible tissue, or a “Viking” who is rather unflexible, or a “dancer”? It is important to train with detailed instructions to avoid injuries. Especially the use of the fasciae rolls and balls should be guided and is not suitable for children under ten years. Unfortunately they are sold everywhere.
What are the advantages of this training for athletes and what is the positive effect for vaulters?
Athletes gain more movement experience and a diverse training with new stimuli for the body. The deep sensibility will be increased and the metabolic products can be discharged faster and better. More suppleness during training is the result and a vital, more elastic and dynamic use of the body with a faster recovery.
For with levels is fascial fitness training suitable?
With good instruction, fascial fitness training is suitable for all levels. Particularly because children have less motion experience and motion feeling these days. Not many climb trees and play outside, and in gym class not so many different motion experiences are offered.
Is it possible to integrated fascial fitness training into regular practice or should it be a separate lessons?
Either is possible . To learn the execution of the exercises more concentration is needed than for known exercises. The fasciae rolls and balls can be used for the warmup and regeneration with different techniques following exact instructions. Currently trainers suggest not to use the devices on the same muscles every day to give the tissue enough time for recovery, but lots depends on the feeling of the person. These feelings have to be learnt which needs time.
The four components can be varied every day. Fasciae can go “sticky” when over- or underworked, the net function can decrease, which reduces elasticity and with that you lose the suppleness and glide function. This doesn’t have to affect the body parts where it originates, pain could occur at other body parts.
Many exercises of the fasciae fitness training can be done by all team members, others adapted to each vaulter or exercises could be done for special compulsory elements.
To sum up, Although the fascinating fasciae are very komplex, they can be trained very well and in diverse ways. It is fun because often linked exercises are used. It is best to explain it in the field and to learn it through self-experience and to teach it.