Sweat Often

A Beginner’s Guide to Releasing Stuck Fascia

By Nutritious Life Editors

You know that painful, tight feeling you get in your shoulder blades after a tough workout or a long day on your computer? (In fact, you may be feeling it right now.) 

That’s your fascia. 

Fascia is the connective tissue that wraps around your entire body underneath your skin. It connects and covers all of your muscles, bones, and organs. Think of it like a plastic wrap for your body! 

Lots of things, such as sports injuries, bad posture, or inflammation, can stiffen your fascia. When it becomes tight or “stuck,” it can lead to a host of physical and emotional issues. Inspired by the insights of Lauren Roxburgh on the Living a Nutritious Life podcast, here are five exercises to help you release tight fascia and reclaim your body’s natural pliability.

5 Exercises to Release Tight Fascia

Foam Rolling

We can’t stop talking about foam rolling, and here’s yet another reminder to add it to your routine. Whether it’s five minutes before your workout or a moment to yourself in the morning, rolling can hydrate your tissues, improve circulation, and facilitate the release of stored emotions.

Twisting & Breathing Exercises

Twisting movements, coupled with deep breathing, work magic by wringing out tension like a towel. (Anyone whose taken a yoga class before know that twisted chair pose is no joke!) Studies have shown these exercises pump the diaphragm, massage internal organs, and stimulate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which nourishes the brain and regulates the nervous system. 

Hydration With Movement

Hydration isn’t just about drinking water. It’s about how that water moves throughout your body. Pair your water intake with movement for holistic hydration. Movements such as yoga or a simple morning “fascia flow” can enhance your water absorption at a cellular level, particularly after a good night’s sleep. This can include some dynamic stretching, a few chatarungas, or twisting core movements.  

Rebounding

If you’re looking to add a fun, new exercise to your routine, while also promoting fascia release, try rebounding. Rebounding involves lightly jumping up and down or moving in different patterns across the surface of a small trampoline (called a rebounder). It can break down fascia knots (promoting better blood flow), stimulate the lymphatic system, and enhance muscle tone by flushing toxins from the fascia. This low-impact exercise is a great addition to your regimen.

Breathwork & Emotional Release

Finally, studies have shown that breathwork can lead to profound releases in the fascia by moving your body out of fight or flight mode. Techniques like sighing—something we’re all familiar with—allow for the discharge of stress and open the door for fascial release. Pair acupuncture and energy work (like meditation) to enhance breathwork’s benefits. Moving blocked energy will help untick your fascial tissue.

The body works holistically, with each part supporting each other. Not only is tight fascia an indication that you need to loosen up (literally and figuratively), but if left untreated, it may lead to injury. By integrating these exercises into your daily life, your body and mind will thank you.

(Image: Unsplash)


Watch this episode of Living a Nutritious Life podcast to learn more about fascia and it’s pivotal in our health.

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