Fascia Stretching Exercises for the Stiffest Areas

Understanding fascia and what it does.

If you are stiff, tight, weak, lacking energy, suffering from pain and injury or looking to increase your performance levels, you need to stretch your fascia using the resistance stretching technique. 

Fascia is the connective tissue in your body that extends head to toe, surrounding and penetrating all of your organs, muscles, and even bones. This all pervasive tissue determines the strength and flexibility of muscles, the alignment of the skeleton and the functioning of organs. 

Healthy fascia is pliable, hydrated, flexible and supple. Unhealthy fascia is hard, dry, dense, stiff, inflexible and matted. We don't feel fascia no matter what health state it is in. Instead we feel the impacts of fascia on muscles, joints, bones and organs. When you feel that a muscle is tight, you are correct, that muscle is tight, but not in isolation. It is tight because the fascia surrounding and penetrating it - which you don't feel - has become unhealthy, dry, matted and thick. It is warping, limiting, and weakening your muscles. 

If you want to get all of the results that modern exercise promises without damaging your body in the process, start using the Bendable Body method to resistance stretch your muscle-fascia. This is an an exercise method that does it all. It frees up and activates your muscles making them more flexible and stronger. It takes the pressure off of your joints and removes injury by getting your muscles to work better and by putting your skeleton back into alignment. It increases the flow of energy to the organ systems improving your physiological functioning. 

You're only as strong as your weakest link.  

No matter what your symptom is, the stiffest fascia in your body needs addressing. It is your weakest link and wrecking havoc throughout your body.

To quote Ida P. Rolf Ph.D.: “Some individuals may perceive their losing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in their back, others as the unflattering contour of their body, others as constant fatigue, yet
others as an unrelentingly threatening environment. Those over forty may call it old age. And yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem so prominent in their own structure, as well as others, that it has been ignored: they are off balance, they are at war with gravity.”

The single problem Dr. Rolf is referring to here is unhealthy fascia. It is at the root of premature aging, physical atrophy and organ failure. If you want to address the weakest link in your body, no matter what your symptom is, you need to address the stiffest fascia. 

Stiff, unhealthy fascia can show up in any area of the body, but generally speaking it predictably shows up in what we refer to at Bendable Body as the yang muscle groups. These are the posterior and lateral muscles groups residing on the outside and back of the body. 

The back and outside of the shoulders and arms:

These 4 muscle groups or zones cover the back and outside of the arms and shoulders and the upper back. This area is pone to an accumulation of dense fascia. It causes tension in the neck and shoulders, it makes opening up the chest difficult and holding the shoulders back difficult. It also makes lifting your arms above your head and behind your back difficult. When you stretch these muscle-fascia zones, you increase the flexibility and strength in the entire upper and lower body. 

The back and outside of the hips and legs:

These 4 muscle groups or zones cover the back and outside of the legs and hips and the lower back. This area is pone to an accumulation of dense fascia. It causes tension in the hips, low back, knees and ankles, it makes opening the front of the hips difficult, lifting the legs difficult, getting up and down from the ground difficult and it causes low back pain. Depending on how this unhealthy fascia affects you, it can also make sitting, standing and walking painful or uncomfortable. When you stretch these muscle-fascia zones, you increase the flexibility and strength in the entire lower and upper body. 

8 Stretching Exercises for the Stiffest Fascia

We've broken down the 8 'yang' muscles groups into 4 pairings of 2. In each video you will find a leg stretch and an arm stretch - each for the stiffest fascia in the body. Create a stretching routine using these 8 stretches in a number of ways. Stretching can be done daily, weekly or whenever you feel you need it. As long as you are resisting and not stretching into ranges where you lack resistance, your body is protected from over stretching and injury and any injuries you currently have are also safe from getting worse. Here are some suggestions for how to create stretching routines with the 8 stretches we provide in this post: 

  1. Do a stretch flow for all 8 muscle groups, 6 to 20 repetitions depending on your time and capacity, for each stretch. 
  2. Do 3 sets, 6 to 20 repetitions depending on your time and capacity, of each stretch in a video.
  3. Do 1-3 sets, 6 to 20 repetitions depending on your time and capacity, of each of 4 arm stretches. 
  4. Do 1-3 sets, 6 to 20 repetitions depending on your time and capacity, of each of 4 leg stretches. 

Bladder & Skin Stretches (lateral hamstring & teres major / minor)

Brain & Small Intestine Stretches (central hamstring & infra / supraspinatus)

Stomach & Large Intestine Stretches (quadriceps & deltoids)

Gall Bladder & Thymus Stretches (IT band & upper back / shoulders)

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2 thoughts on “Fascia Stretching Exercises for the Stiffest Areas”

  1. This is a wonderful sequence. Part way through I realized I was underhydrated, adding to my awareness of how stiff everything was! After getting some water, and completing one set of 8 reps for both sides, I am now quite tired. Maybe as a result of releasing the tension. I remember this wrung out feeling out from my first class, everything felt rubbery!

    1. It’s so important to stay hydrated! That’s great that you are enjoying the stretches and getting results. The more you do, the more your capacity to do more will increase.

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