Run faster by understanding the role of fascia and gravity.

 

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Improve your 5k time by working with gravity and the elasticity of your fascia.

Human movement is fascinating. As a PT I was trained to think of movement being the result of muscles and tendons pulling on bones.

However this totally fails to take account of gravity which is actually the main player since we became upright. If we are just piles of muscles and bones surely we would be unable to resist gravity and just crash to the ground with any slight movement? This clearly is only a small part of the overall picture.

What gives us the ability to resist gravity is fascia. Fascia is connective tissue which runs in long lines in different directions throughout our body and gives us structural integrity and the ability to counter gravity. It is not just connecting body parts but runs through muscles and exerts pull on them. The health and elasticity of fascia is what controls movement, as well as stability.

Once you understand this you can take a much more global view of movement rather than looking at individual parts and see all the patterns and compensations easily, especially if you have a vision of how the body should move. Given that muscles are actually not easily differentiated one from another when the body is dissected, you can see that the old fashioned ‘this particular muscle specifically controls the motion of this joint’ in isolation is a massive over simplification and not really helpful.

Understanding fascia and gravity being the main influencers, not individual muscles, you then realise the massive importance of the feet. If your feet don’t engage with the ground properly, you will not be able to utilise the fascial lines to provide both stability and power. The result, I have discovered, is a gigantic loss of performance and a big increase in injury risk, particularly when you add in the forces involved in walking and running.

Healthy fascia is elastic, well nourished, hydrated etc. So keeping mobile (not achieved by just static stretching), eating properly, hydrating well and recovering properly become crucial parts of stability and power. And, given the importance of the feet because of gravity, plantar fascia health and ankle mobility are the best place to start. Choice of footwear and avoiding sitting for long periods also become vital factors.

All of this is of massive importance to runners. Understanding and implementing foot to core stability and power and your relationship with gravity will improve performance significantly and prevent a lot of the injuries that runners typically experience.

Contact David on 07504439555 to discover how this affects you individually or email info@roadstofreedom.net.

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