It’s amazing how the body works! I’ve touched on fascia and Myofascial release in early posts but here is a demonstration of how tightness in different “trains” of the body are affected. These fascial trains or lines are connected throughout the body. By releasing any blocked part along the line, you can have an affect on the whole line. I have quiet a bit of tightness through my SBL – Superficial Back Line. By releasing my plantar fascia (feet) you can see how it has released up the line into my hamstrings.
Video of my straight leg raise before & after spikey ball plantar fascia release: Straight leg raise video
There are 5 major fascia trains:
1⃣Superficial Back Line (SBL): creates trunk hyperextension, knee flexion, plantar flexion. It runs from your toes, under your feet, up the back of you legs, back, neck, over your head to frontal brow ridge (eyebrows) The sit to reach test is a good way to see how tight you are through SBL. By releasing any of the fascia and muscles along this line can improve function, flexibility and decrease injury. If this area is weak and your SFL is tight, strength exercises for these muscles will be beneficial to you.
2⃣Superficial Front Line (SFL): this fascia line connect to the body anteriorly from the top of the feet to the skull in 2 pieces and is responsible to balance out the SBL. It creates flexion of the trunk, flexion of the hips, extension of the knee & Dorsi flexion of the foot. There needs to be balance of the SBL & SFL for the body to be in equilibrium. As for SBL, stretching and releasing the front line will create balance. If it is weak, using exercises using the muscles involved in SFL can strength it. Laying in prone (on stomach) and pushing your chest of the ground into upward facing dog is s good way to test how tight your SFL is.
3⃣ The Lateral Line: the lateral line traverses each side of the body from the outside of the foot, up the lateral side of the leg and thigh, passing along the trunk to the skull. It laterally bends the body (sideways), truck lateral flexion, abduction of the hip, eversion of the foot & braking sideways & rotational movements of the trunk. Since the muscles of the LL cause lateral flexion, any restrictions in the Myofascia or muscle tension will cause postural abnormalities involving lateral flexion. A side reach in standing is a good way to test your LL flexibility. LL is used often in things like golf.
4⃣The Spiral Line (SL): the spiral line loops around the body in s helix. It joins one side of the skull to the opposite shoulder then to the front of that hip, knee and foot arch and running up the back of the body to rejoin the fascia on the skull. Rhomboid, serratus anterior, hips are in the SL, base ball & cricket bowling have common movements of the SL. Opposition knee to elbow extensions from tabletop are a good way to see if you are weak through your SL, side reaching and rotation are a good way to test tightness with opposite leg to arm stretching away from each other.
5⃣The Deep Front Line (DFL): this involves all of the internal structures anterior to the spine. Organs and body structures that it surrounds include: anterior longitudinal ligament diaphragm, pericardium, scale bed (neck) this all connects the lumbar spine vertebral bodies to the cervical spine.
This line is way too deep to release with a foam roller. To affect this line, optimal head posture & spinal posture is essential. Breathing techniques are also essential component to this train. The scalenes in the neck that pull the head forward when tight, can be released by a qualified massage therapist. If your posture is poor, this is a good indicator your front line is also affected.