Dynamic Stretching for Fascia Release

Wednesday, August 03 2022

Evolving research is paying much more attention to fascia and the role it plays in keeping your body healthy, active and injury-free. Fascial Movement for Active Aging with U.K. Aquatic Specialist, Haylley Pittam, provides ideas for releasing restricted fascia, which will help you add more purpose to your stretching routines. An optional 10-page handout and 20-question quiz worth 2.0 AEA CECs is available with this video. 

Blog Summary

  • What is fascia and what role does the fascial system play in your body?
  • Restricted fascia often causes tightness and pain during movement.
  • There are several reasons why fascia can become restricted.
  • Keep your fascia healthy with movement and this video.
  • Consider an online course with Fitmotivation or AREA for more information. 

What is fascia?
Fascia is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, muscle and bundles of muscle fibers in place. Recent research is starting to view fascia as a sensory organ, along with eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. The fascial system has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin. Healthy fascia is slippery, smooth and slides, glides and stretches with you as you move.  Fascia surrounds every fiber, bundle and muscle into the tendon and bone, which means the connectivity of fascia essentially holds everything in place. Without fascia, all movement would cease including the ability to stand. The Fascial Movement for Active Aging online course includes a 10-page CEC handout that features an article written by Haylley’s mom, Lynda Keane, a U.K Aqua Specialist with an extensive background in aquatic rehab and fascial trauma.  

What happens when fascia is restricted?
Fascia tightens up when it becomes stressed and gets thicker, stickier and drier. The collagen fibers in the fascia dry up and tighten around muscles, which can limit mobility and cause painful knots and adhesions. Restricted fascia can cause a great deal of pain. If you have ever experienced Plantar Fasciitis or knee pain from Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBS), you know all too well how painful fascial trauma can be. 

What causes Fascial trauma?
Restricted or traumatized fascia can often occur after an injury or surgery.  A lack of movement and a sedentary lifestyle can also cause the collagen fibers in the fascia to dry up, hence the old adage, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”  Additionally, repetitive movement can also cause damage to fascia, as can dehydration, poor diet and stress. 

How can you keep your fascia healthy?
If you want to keep your fascia healthy, start moving more.  An active lifestyle and exercise are your best defense for keeping your fascial system in optimal “slide & glide” condition.  Likewise, stay hydrated and maintain a balanced and healthy diet. It is important to know that you have the power to help your students maintain healthy fascia by adding more stretching into your classes. Good news!  Haylley has provided you with a library of movement to do just that. 

Fascial Movement for Active Aging Video – How can it be used?
After a brief movement prep, this video includes five movement segments that target different fascial lines, providing a total body approach to releasing restricted fascia. However, the practitioner is encouraged to perform a body scan to become more aware of areas that may need extra attention. This program can be used in its entirety by fitness professionals, or consider using portions in stretching routines, arthritis classes, aquatic personal training and aquatic rehab. Instructors can also use it for self-care to relieve tight fascia and pain in their own bodies. 

Fitmotivation Online Course 
An optional Fitmotivation online course that includes a 10-page extended educational handout and a 20-question quiz worth 2.0 AEA CECs is available with this video.  Next month another video and online course with Haylley will post.  Blossoming Bumps - Fitmotivation’s first Aqua Natal video is posting in September 2022.

Additional Educational Resources
Fitmotivation extends a big thank you to Haylley and her mom Lynda for providing this valuable information on the fascial system and how to treat restricted fascia with a movement elixir.  If this has piqued your interest and you want to explore additional education, please visit Haylley and Lynda’s business website, Aquatic Rehabilitation Exercise Academy (AREA). Good news!  Two new AREA online courses pertaining to fascia & exercise are coming soon – Elastic Recoil and Fascial Trauma.  Watch Haylley talk more about the Fascial Movement for Active Aging and her mom’s expertise in the field of fascial study. 


Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.