Do you want to see what muscle stiffness looks like?
It’s an actual fuzz in the muscles!
Fascia a.k.a. “The Fuzz” is a tough connective tissue that spreads throughout the body in a three-dimensional web. The fascia surrounds every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel and organ in the body, all the way down to the cellular level.
Malfunction of the fascial system due to trauma, poor posture, repetitive activities, sitting for prolonged periods of time or inflammation can create a “binding” of the fascia. This binding of the fascia makes movements difficult and painful. The fuzz grows thicker and stiffer, hampering our movement. Many call this ‘aging.’
The top trainers always emphasize “mobility first.” Suddenly, it makes even more sense.
We should not let things in our bodies get fuzzy, and when they do we need to “melt” the fuzz.
Isn’t it interesting that animals stretch out every time they get up from a nap? Is this why?
Remove Muscle Stiffness
Currently, I am using more of the ideas and movements from Intu-Flow and Ageless Mobility by Scott Sonnon.
No matter your age, you can reduce the effects of fuzz on your muscles.
Some techniques that help reduce the fuzz are
- stretching before you go to sleep,
- self-myofascial release with the foam roller,
- dynamic mobility and massage,
- full-body functional exercise movements such as the Kettlebell Swing.
When you stretch, you should focus on the foot and ankle, your hips, and your thoracic spine or rib cage area of your back.
Here are a few simple stretches/massage techniques to get you started:
- Foot and ankle: Sit on a chair with one foot resting on your other knee, gently work one finger between each of your toes spreading them apart. Next grasp the top of the foot with one hand and the heel of the foot with your other hand and gently twist them in opposite directions as if you were wringing out a towel.
- Hips: Stand facing a sturdy chair, place one foot up on the chair. Turn your back foot in slightly and keep your knee straight. Bend your front knee until you feel a gently stretch through your back leg hip and groin. Now reach both arms up at overhead as you stretch forward to enhance the stretch. Complete 10-20 per side.
- Thoracic spine: Stand with your back to the wall. With feet parallel, rotate your torso around to the right placing your hands on the wall hold for a count of 5 then rotate to the other side. Complete 5-10 per side.
These are just a few simple stretches to get you started defuzzing your body. You should strive for some sort of consistent movement daily, avoid sitting in one position for long periods of time, and add some mobility to your daily routine. Regular massage can help your body maintain range of motion which allows you to minimize compensations and prevent pain.