Fascia training can loosen adhesions in the connective tissue. These “glued fascia” are discussed as the main responsible for back pain. Accordingly, fascia training with the fascia roller and other methods is booming.
The fascia roll has become a much sought-after tool for training fascia and loosening connective tissue. All methods & practices in this article.
Fascia training is easy and varied because there are many different methods. Fascia training is not only possible with the fascia roller but even without any equipment. In this article, we will briefly introduce you to the various methods of fascia training and show you selected exercises so that you can start the fascia workout immediately.
What are fascia
Fascia are a construct of connective tissue fibers that are found throughout the body and envelop muscles, tendons and ligaments. Fascia stabilize and support the transfer of muscle strength to the skeleton. Especially the superficial fasciae can be trained to increase the elasticity and flexibility of the muscles and body movements. In addition, targeted fascia training can alleviate acute pain in certain muscle areas (e.g. back).
Why fascia training?
Fascia training means a deliberate improvement in fascia elasticity through targeted exercises to
generally to increase the performance of the body
specifically to increase the movement amplitude (range) (especially as a warm-up before competitions)
specifically train the spring effect (or catapult mechanism) of the fascia (explanation in the video below)
To loosen adhesions of the connective tissue and the fascia and thus relieve pain caused by fascia and restricted movement in certain areas of the body
to shorten the regeneration time after demanding competitions (fascia training as a cool-down measure).
In the following video you can see Dr. Let Robert Schleip explain fascia and the meaning of fascia training. Schleip explains that fasciae are connective tissue-like shells that stick together from time to time and have been trained by detours a while ago (there was no in-depth knowledge of fasciae).
Elements of fascia training
Dr. Robert Schleip and Stephan Müller have already published several publications on the subject of fascia. These state that the following four training elements should be taken into account in fascia training (see here):
- Feathers / rebound elasticity – the catapult mechanism The
spring capacity of the connective tissue is increased by springy and swinging exercises. In this way, the bounce can be increased in a targeted manner.
- Stretching / Fascial Stretch – the stretching of long chains
The stimulation of the fascia is guaranteed by long and extensive stretching. In the long run, this means an increase in muscle range.
- Invigorate / Fascial Release – self-treatment with the fascia roller
The fascia training with the fascia roller invigorates the muscles. It ensures increased blood flow and increased movement amplitude, especially before competitions and games.
- Feel / improve body perception (= proprioception).
Refine the body’s self-awareness and senses.
Fascia training methods & exercises
Fascia training does not only consist of elements with the fascia roller. The fascia can be trained in a variety of ways.
If you want to benefit from all the advantages of fascia training, you cannot avoid using the fascia exercises on a permanent basis. Regular inclusion in the training plan (e.g. at the beginning of a unit) ensures that the fascia construct becomes much more supple. Realistically occurring or even chronic pain is only realistically reduced after repeated use of the fascia exercises.
However, as mentioned before, the effect of fascia exercises is limited. Accordingly, an exercise should not last longer than 5 minutes per body region. Conversely, this means that the fascia can be trained in a short amount of time.
In the following you will learn more about methods, the different methods of fascia training. In each section we also present exercises with the respective method.
- Fascia training with the fascia roller
Fascia training with the fascia roller.
Probably the best known method is fascia training with the role, the so-called fascia role or blackroll. The fasciae are trained with a self-massage by lying on the roll with a certain muscle area and choosing the strength of the massage yourself through the forward and backward rolling and the pressure. Above all, there is an increase in blood circulation and thus a breakdown of pollutants in the muscle.
The fascia roll should be used 2-3 times a week and max. 5 minutes. Every part of the body (legs, arms, shoulders, back) should be taken into account in order to train all fasciae if possible.
Which fascia roll is the right one?
There are many different manufacturers of fascia rolls, different degrees of hardness and various shapes. Every fascia roll has its justification. It depends on the purpose for which you want to use your fascia roll and on which training level you are. It’s best to have a look at our guide . In this you will find out everything you need to know to buy a fascia roll :
1.1 Fascia roll exercises
In principle, you can train every muscle region of your body with the fascia roller. Such a fascia workout can be carried out very easily with a fascia roller or blackroll. In the following section we will show you Blackroll exercises for every region of the body that you can easily incorporate into your fascia training with the Blackroll. You should repeat each exercise about 8-12 times per fascia workout.
Fascia training in the back area
Many people suffer from back problems. That is why fascia training for the entire back is one of the most popular exercises. To do this, simply lay your back on the fascia roll that you previously placed on the floor. Now roll over your entire back while only using the verses to support yourself on the floor. You can clasp your hands in front of your body or support yourself slightly on the floor.
Work the upper back and neck area with the fascia roller
A small fascia roll (such as the Blackroll Mini ) or a Blackroll Duoball is advantageous for the upper back or neck area . With a normal-sized fascia roll, however, this area can also be trained (if not as intensively). To do this, lie down on the fascia roller with your upper back and start the movement from here. Roll slowly towards your neck. When moving from back to neck, make sure that you move slowly so as not to slip off the roll.
If you have neck problems, you can also train your neck in isolation. For higher intensity, you should move your head once to the left and right while lying rigidly on the fascia roller, after which you then roll back and forth again. This intensifies the exercise and relieves tension or hardening in the neck area.
Work the lower back with the Blackroll
The lower back can also be trained in isolation. Most of the nerve pathways of the human body run especially in the lower back, which is why a good fascia construct is essential in this area.
Roll your fascia back over the fascia roller to train your lower back. As a beginner, you can keep your upper body a little more upright to get to know the exercise first. By supporting yourself with your hands, you take some pressure off the roll, so that the exercise should be easier for you.
As an advanced user, you can move your upper body further towards the roll so that you form a straight line at the maximum point. You should gradually release your hands from the floor and increase the pressure on your lower back.
You can find another good guide to releasing blockages in the back here:
Roll off the neck with the fascia roller
As already mentioned, the double ball or Blackroll Duoball is much more intense than a normal fascia roll. You can extremely increase the pressure on your neck.
To train your neck ideally, you should lie down on a free pole or on a door frame with a duo ball. You lie on the floor, your head is on the side next to the bar or the door frame. Now clamp the ball upright between the bar or door frame and your shoulder. Apply pressure by repeatedly pushing your neck a little harder against the ball.
To put even more pressure on your neck, just lay your neck on the duo ball while the rest of your body is on the floor. Now lift your body off the floor and lower it again, so that pressure and relaxation alternate.
Treat fascia pain in the thigh area
The so-called “iliotibial band” runs in the thigh . This is a very large and thick fascia strip that runs through the entire side of the thigh to the shin. Runners often experience complaints related to the iliotibial band. An overload, the so-called runner’s knee, can lead to extremely stinging pain, which in the worst case can make running impossible.
The pain of a running knee can be treated by targeted fascia training of the thigh muscles. In the long term, the iliotibial ligament is strengthened by fascia training so that a runner’s knee can be prevented.
Exercise the front thigh with the fascia roller
To train the fasciae of the anterior thighs, place your anterior thighs on the fascia roller so that your face is facing the floor. Now roll alternately about 8-12 times with the right and left thighs on the floor while you support yourself with your hands (either with your forearms or only your hands in a push-up position). You can increase or decrease the pressure yourself by lifting your legs completely off the floor during the exercise or by placing the other leg on the floor for support. Maintain body tension throughout the exercise.
This is how you can edit the fasciae of the front thigh.
Fascia training for the lateral thigh / iliotibial band
Lie on the side with one leg (outside) on the fascia roller, while you put your other leg in front of it at about knee height. Support your upper body with your hands. You should rest your lower arm on the floor up to your elbow in order to have more stability in your posture. Now roll slowly over the fascia roll.
If you want to put even more pressure on your side thigh, you can also put your legs on top of each other so that you line up with your body. Now roll over the floor again and only support yourself with your hands. Your legs are completely straight and don’t touch the floor.
This is how you work the iliotibial band on the outside of the thigh.
Fascia training of the rear thigh / back of the thigh
You can train the rear thigh muscles by sitting on your fascia roller at a 90 ° angle. Both legs are on the roll. Support yourself with your hands behind your back and roll back and forth evenly. To increase the level of difficulty, you can cross both legs or lift one leg during the exercise.
Exercise the fascia of the sole of the foot / treat pain of the plantar fascia
The plantar fascia runs from the heel to the lower part of the metatarsal. If you walk a lot, you have probably had pain under your foot. The plantar fascia is often responsible for this. This can also be worked on through targeted fascia training.
The best way to train the sole of the foot is with a mini roller or a ball. To do this, stand upright and place one foot on the ball or roller. Now apply pressure and roll your foot slowly over the ball or mini roller.
Fascia training shoulder
Those who do a lot of martial arts should not neglect fascia training of the shoulders. This is also best done with a ball. It is best to stand on a wall and fix the ball between the shoulder and the wall. Now roll over your shoulder again and hold the end position for a certain time (30-40 seconds). Since the shoulder consists of 3 heads (front, side and rear shoulder), you should ideally perform the fascia training for all 3 shoulder heads.
- Fascia training with fascia yoga
Fascia Yoga – fascia training alternative to the fascia roller
Fascia Yoga is a training method specially designed for fascia. Compared to conventional yoga, fascia yoga is more dynamic and has different movements. In addition, the exercises are deliberately held for a long time.
The exercises of fascia yoga activate not only the superficial but also the deep-seated fascia and thus ensure the desired elasticity and freedom of movement of your body. By repeating the exercises regularly, you become much more flexible and can relieve deep-seated pain. If you want to know more about fascia yoga or would like to start the exercises right away, just have a look at our article on fascia yoga: Supple fascia with fascia yoga
2.1 Fascia yoga exercises
From the area of fascia yoga there are a variety of exercises that can be performed without equipment and great material. For example, a great exercise is explained in this video:
Here there is fascia training of the back and rear leg muscles. To perform the exercise, stand upright on the mat or the floor, have your legs stretched all the time and now slowly bend your upper body forward. The aim is to put your hands completely on the floor. Hold the position for a moment and slowly move upwards again so that your body is parallel to the floor and your legs form a 90 ° angle. Repeat the exercise at will and get closer to the goal step by step.
For more exercise material on the subject of fascia yoga, you should definitely read our article on this:
fascia yoga keeps fascia supple and loosens bonds
- Fascia training through dynamic stretching exercises
In contrast to static stretching exercises , dynamic stretching exercises are deliberately active and carried out with appropriate “rocking movements” (also known as rebounding). Fascia are particularly well addressed and trained through these swinging movements. It is important to do the stretching exercises dynamically and with a short stay in the end position. You can find the relevant exercises below in the article.
3.1 Dynamic stretching exercises for the fascia
As already mentioned, dynamic stretching exercises are carried out with slight resilience or rocking so that they do not remain in an end position over a longer period of time as with static stretching. Dynamic stretching exercises loosen glued fascia and increase the range of movement when used regularly.
1 – Hand Walk
You are in the push-up position. Now you try to move your legs towards the arms step by step, while your hands remain in the position on the floor all the time. Your legs always stay stretched during the exercise! Try to get as close as possible to your straight arms with your legs straight.
Once you have reached this position, move your hands and arms forward so that you move back to the push-up position. Always keep your legs straight. Repeat this exercise 4-6 times for 2-3 sets.
2 – floor scale
You are standing on one leg. In the next step you move the other leg stretched back and at the same time extend both arms forward so that you form a balance with your extremities. Bring your arms and legs back to the starting position, but do not put your swinging leg back on the floor, but repeat the exercise immediately. Do this exercise 4-6 times per side with 2-3 sets.
3 – Lateral lunges
Stand as wide-legged as possible so that your feet are parallel to each other. Now move your body to one side by bending the leg of that side. Your feet always remain fully parallel on the floor. Your other leg also always remains stretched so that you notice a muscle strain in the adductors (inside of the thighs). Move your upper body as far as possible to one side. You can either place your hands on your thighs or bring them together in front of your chest.
Do this exercise alternately with 4-6 repetitions. Stay here in the rhythm of 2-3 sentences.
4 – Lunge forward
This exercise is very complex. It’s best to watch the video that’s linked below.
From a normal position, take a big step forward with your right foot and lower your upper body in an upright position. Your outstretched leg forward (right) is at a maximum 90 ° to the floor. Make sure that your knee does not protrude over the tip of your foot. Your rear foot (left) is only on the tips of your feet.
Now move your upper body forward towards your right leg while you support yourself with both hands on the left of your right leg. Now place the forearm of your right arm briefly on the floor, while you then slowly rotate your arm up behind your back. Your torso turns and your eyes follow your hand. However, fixate your core muscles so that you really only use your torso to rotate. Repeat this exercise in the rhythm already mentioned.
You can find these and other dynamic stretching exercises in the following video:
- Fascia treatment with fascia massage and trigger point massage
If you prefer to trust the hands of a specialist, you can train the fascia with fascia or trigger point massages and have any pain dealt with. Through the targeted use of the hands, certain areas of the body can be worked on much more deeply than with a flat fascia roller and thus trigger points can be treated even more effectively. The fascia massage is particularly recommended for people with acute pain.
You can find more information on fascia and trigger point massage on the following page: Detach glued fascia with the fascia massage
FAQ fascia training
Does fascia training help against cellulite?
Yes! Cellulite is a weakening of the connective tissue that can be combated by targeted fascia training.
Does nutrition affect fascia health?
Yes! Nutrition is largely responsible for the nature of the connective tissue (and thus the fascia). Nutrition tips: A lot of vitamin C, silica (among others in bananas, oatmeal, brown rice) and amino acids (cheese, milk, oats).
How fast does fascia training work?
Very different, but often increased dynamics are possible after just a few applications.
Fascia training – how often should it be built into the training plan?
The fascia training should be considered in every training plan (2-3 times a week)!
Fascia training – how long should the fascia roller be used for training?
According to Dr. Schleip no longer than 5 minutes per body region:
Dr. Interview with Schleip at netzathleten.de
Does fascia training work without a role?
Yes! Conceivable are dynamic stretching exercises, fascia yoga or Faszienmassage .
Fascia training book recommendation
If you want to learn more about the subject of fascia, you should think about buying specialist literature.
Fascia Fitness – Dr. Robert Schleip
+ 223 pages
+ very good specialist knowledge
+ good theoretical part
+ lots of exercises with good descriptions
BUY NOW AT AMAZON
Exercises at home Test verdict: very good book that perfectly combines theory and practice.
In this book, one of the leading fascia researchers, Dr. Robert Schleip, an insight into the science of fascia and presents a variety of exercises in the field of fascia training. The exercises are clearly illustrated with photos and explanations on a total of 223 pages.
Fascia training: More flexibility, health and dynamism – Tempelhof
+ 128 pages
+ compact theoretical part
+ well-explained exercises
– significantly more compact than the book “Faszien Fitness”
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Exercises at home Test verdict: compact knowledge from a team of authors to whom you can see the practical relevance.
In this guide from orthopedic surgeon Dr. med. Siegbert Tempelhof you can do a test at the beginning, which informs you about the current state of your fascia. Depending on the condition, you can train your fascia elasticity with the help of the listed exercises. On the 128 pages there is also a theoretical part that provides information about the fascia construct from a scientific point of view.
Functional fascia training with the Blackroll
+ 144 pages
+ exercises with the fascia roller
+ general exercises for mobility
+ training plans for running, swimming, cycling
BUY NOW AT AMAZON
Save 10% in the Blackroll Shop: “BR_UZH_10”
Exercises at home Test verdict: good book with a holistic approach and specific training plans.
Anyone who is particularly interested in fascia training with the Blackroll can find the book by Marcel Andrä, Dr. Lutz Graumann and Dr. rer. nat. Torsten Pfitzer 42 exercises to improve strength, balance, mobility and stability, which is known as the 4-pillar concept. The book has a total of 144 pages. At the end you will find special training plans for the areas of running, cycling, swimming, team and ball sports.
Conclusion fascia training
Fasciae run through the entire body, give it its shape and support the transfer of muscle strength to the skeleton.
Fascia training can help eliminate acute pain, prevent it and increase performance (increase movement amplitudes, catapult mechanism).
Fascia training can be done with the fascia roller, with the help of fascia yoga, through dynamic stretching exercises and through special fascia massages.
The fascia roller offers a wide range of options for effectively performing fascia training yourself.
Fascia Yoga and dynamic stretching exercises are also effective methods to optimize the function of the fascia.
All information and the best exercises for fascia training in this article!