Fascia is a seamless web of connective tissue that covers and connects the bones, muscles, organs, and skeletal, blood and lymph vessels ducts of glands and the supportive soft tissue structures in our body. This makes fascia a physiologically very important structure. The deep fascia of the body is richly endowed with nerves. Its sensory receptors that report the presence of pain change in movement, change in pressure and vibration change in the presence of chemicals and fluctuation in temperature. All of these nerve functions relay messages to the brain. The brain being an active responder becomes activated by these signals and generates signals of its own to go to all appropriate parts of the body as well as back to the fascia itself.

When contraction persists, fascia will respond by bulking up or thickening. This makes it less flexible. Although this increases the tensile strength of the fascia, it can unfortunately restrict the very structures it aims to protect. The dysfunctions resulting from fascial restrictions range from a mild decrease in joint range of motion to severe fascial binding of muscles, nerves and blood vessels. Essentially Ė by working to grow our muscles, we may actually be limiting their growth!

However, if fascial contraction can be interrupted long enough, the fascia will normalize its composition and tone and the extra material that was generated by prolonged contraction will be ingested by macrophages, the body's tissue optimizers. But as hardcore iron addicts, we arenít going to take that kind of lengthy rest.

The role of Fascia
Fascia in its various forms has a role to play in structural integrity and support through the strength and flexibility of ligaments and tendons. Protection is provided to the body as a whole by distributing any impacts a person may be accidentally or traumatically be subjected to. It does this by spreading mechanical loads via the web of soft tissue that is the fascial (not the same as a facial dumbass) system. All parts of the body are connected to all other parts via the connections of fascia. As such it acts as a shock absorber. It serves other functions as well but they are not so relevant to the issue of bodybuilding.

The Post Workout Stretch

If you wait too long the effectiveness will diminish greatly, so do the stretch straight away.

As an example, if you were training your biceps you would do your last set of curls and have a good pump in your arms, immediately go into a deep stretch and hold it for a maximum of 30 seconds. Simple and easy, just the way we like it.

The STRETCHING GUIDELINES

When stretching any muscles, always make sure that you reach the point of tension.
You may feel some minor discomfort but stop if there is any pain.
Hold each stretch for 20 Ė 30 seconds.
Maintain natural breathing throughout the duration of the stretch.
Stretch at the end of your muscle group set when the muscle is pumped for maximal benefits.
Never stretch a cold muscle!
Following is a list of the most effective body parts that react well to extreme stretches, but be aware there are some body parts that donít respond well to extreme stetching like the calves.

Try these:

LATS:
On a chin up bar simply hang loose for twenty seconds. If your grip isnít strong enough hop down and have quick break and then jump up again within ten seconds.

SHOULDERS:
At the end of your last set of overhead presses, set a bar in a power rack or Smith machine at shoulder height and grab it with your arms behind you and your palms up.
Lean forward and allow your body to sink downward toward the floor. This will really stretch your front delts if it causes pain you should stop.

CHEST:
To stretch the pecs on a flat dumbbell presses you would lower the weights on your last rep and simply hold the stretched position for 10-20 seconds at the bottom then dump the weights on the floor.

Just be sure not to completely relax or you will put your shoulders at risk.

The weight doesnít need to be too heavy like your workout weight so if you are pressing with a barbell you immediately change to a pair of lighter dumbbells to stretch with.

Be sure to use extreme caution on this one and donít use any excessively deep stretch positions that put the shoulders at risk.

Start with ten seconds on this one for the first few weeks. If you have no problems with it you can then work your way up to twenty seconds.

TRICEPS:

After your last set of triceps work, grab one end of a rope attachment or a towel and hold it over your head while allowing the other end to dangle behind your back. Grab the other end thatís behind your back with your opposite hand and pull down on it while keeping your other elbow pointing straight up toward the sky.

This will really stretch your triceps from origin to insertion and open up some space for new muscle growth.

BICEPS:

Grab the side of a power rack at shoulder height with your thumb turned down and your arm straight. Now turn as far as you can toward the opposite side so that you feel a stretch in your bicep. This will also stretch your chest and shoulder.

At the beginning just add time slowly and ease your way into it. If you are tight or you you feel discomfort, reduce stretching for a few days and then go back and build up to thirty seconds. With only one or two stretches between each set of exercises, you not only increase your flexibility, you will also ensure that your muscle have the room they need to grow.

Another benefit for intense post training stretching can also greatly enhance recovery by assisting blood flow into the worked muscles and enhance the uptake of post workout nutrients and prevent injuries. It is normal to sometimes feel a quick rush of blood and pain when you release the stretch.

Try incorporating this technique and it just may help you add some good quality mass with relatively little effort!!!!


----PoB----