Fascia is a fibrous framework that envelopes and connects all the organs, muscles and bones in the body, helping us maintain overall health and optimal physical function.
The Merrithew™ Fascial Movement course emphasizes four key variables for developing movement patterns that activate the fascia: Bounce, Sense, Expand and Hydrate.
For December’s Exercise of the Month video, Master Instructor Trainer Laureen DuBeau has focused on the Hydrate variable with two developmental exercises that emphasize swinging and gliding motions to increase joint mobility and tissue hydration.
These two exercises, the Quadruped Forward/Back Step and the Side-Lying Gait Patterns, use the Mini Stability Ball™ for extra support and stability, and are suitable for clients of any level.
For the Quadruped exercise:
- Maintain a neutral position through the torso
- The active arm and leg should work in opposition
- Shift the weight forward and backward as you move
- Keep the ball under the active shin to maintain proper tracking under the torso
For the Gait Patterns exercise:
- Use the ball to support the lateral part of the body
- The foot should be off the mat so it can easily glide along the floor in a fluid swinging pattern
- Allow the hip to go into flexion and extension and the knee to bend as it tracks along the floor
- Emphasize free movement through the hip joint; the rest of the torso should be stabilized on the ball and the head supported in the bottom hand
- Repeat the same swing pattern with the arm, allowing it to be loose with gentle torso rotation
- Add more challenge by lifting the elbow and head off the mat, and then swinging the arm and leg in opposition, allowing the torso to rotate naturally