I very recently started reading a book called Anatomy Trains. It’s the textbook for the system of the same name. It requires a solid anatomy foundation, but it’s an incredibly interesting read. It illustrates how completely integrated the body is. It’s far more integrated that just muscles moving joints.Muscles are a lot like a multi-strand piece of rope. Coils wrapped around coils wrapped around coils. And around each of these coils is a membrane. Once you get all the way out to the full muscle layer there is another membrane that encases the muscle. The membrane at each level is known as fascia.
Fascia is connective tissue similar to ligaments that hold joints together and tendons that hold muscle to bone. I have known for a long time that muscles were encased in fascia. What I didn’t know is that muscles are connected to each other through unbroken chains of fascia.
For example, the bottom of my foot is directly connected to my skull. While this may seem like a duh concept, it really is crazy. This means that tight muscles in your foot really could lead to neck problems. It’s impossible to move joints in isolation. I can hear bodybuilders starting to get mad already!
While I’m not very far into the book yet, it has really made me realize the importance of getting out the gym and an exercise mentality and getting more into a movement mentality. In order for the human body to function properly, it has to function as an integrated unit, not bits and pieces.