One of the most effective ways to demonstrate an intervention is a before and after, a test and retest. A great party trick, and way to demonstrate the connectedness nature of fascia is to try and touch your toes. Then spend a couple minutes rolling out your arches and bottom of your feet with a golf ball. Again, try and touch your toes and see how much further you can reach.
TIME = posterior muscles
The increased range of motion occurs because you have released and lengthened the plantar fascia. This fascia is first part of the superficial back line (SBL) outlined by Thomas Myers in his book, Anatomy Trains. As discussed last week, anatomy trains are the lines of bone and connective tissue running throughout the body (see Sparta Point 7/27/11). These structures, particularly muscle and fascia, organize the structural forces required for motion and link all parts of the body.
The SBL extends all the way up the scalp, including the
- Plantar Fascia
- Gastrocnemius (see Sparta Point 6/20/12)
- Thoracolumbar fascia (see Sparta Point 11/22/11)
- Erector Spinae
High TIME is a tight backside
As discussed last week, there are only 3 GRF variables, RATE, FORCE, and TIME. One of them is likely to be much higher, or much lower than the other two. In this week's example, if TIME is high, relative to FORCE and RATE, your superficial back line and posterior chain musculature are overactive.
Unfortunately not all of these muscles to the right can be released on your own. Moreover, no one has time for each anterior muscle, so we must focus on the few that are easist to access and tend to contain the most trigger points. So spend about 1 minute on each side of these areas
1. Soles of the feet, the plantar fascia
2. Calves, the gastrocnemius and soleus
3. Erector Spinae
What about Low TIME?
As mentioned last week, one of the variables in your movement signatureTM can be low, so what do you do if your TIME is low rather than high?
We know that athletes low on TIME must load down deeper, prolonging the amount of time on your load and finishing the extension portion of the unloading. This extension is accomplished primarily by the contraction of the muscles in the back (posterior chain) such as the gastrocnemius and hamstrings. So the opposing muscles (antagonists) would be the flexors, or the anterior chain.
So if your TIME is low, the antagonists are likely to be preventing this ability (see Sparta Point 11/28/12).. Therefore, since antagonists tend to be on the opposing side, low TIME athletes would need the anterior muscles released and quieted to improve functioning. So focus on the shin and quadriceps to improve ankle and hip extension.
Thankfully, knowing your movement signatureTM can give insight into where to focus myofascial efforts, i.e. which muscles you need to roll out.
It's also good for party tricks...