i heard its not normal stretching but stretching fascia gives you more room to grow, kinda like filling in your shirt you bought when you were skin n bones. how would this work?
Hope this helps.
You may have heard of the idea of muscle fascia stretching to help increase muscle growth. What is the muscle fascia and is there any scientific evidence these help support muscle growth?
What is the muscle fascia?
Muscle fascia is a very tough material that surrounds individual muscles and muscle groups. It hugs the muscles very tightly.
Research on muscle fascia helping muscle growth:
I could not find any studies, where it directly supported that muscle fascia stretching increases muscle growth. Right now it is mostly based on indirect scientific studies, anatomy, and ancedotal evidence. The theory seems to have got started because people who used to have muscle (or were even fat), had a easier time putting back on muscle, called “muscle memory”.
Other supporting evidence, is that bodybuilders who spot inject site enhancement oil. This is where they inject a oil into a muscle in order to bring up a lagging muscle. The most notorious user of this was Greg Valentino, who went overboard and has made his body look ridiculous. Many people assume that the oil is causing temporary muscle gain, but in fact based on user experience it appears to cause actual long term muscle gain as the result of stretching the muscle fascia. Many pro-bodybuilders, such as Olympia winners Jay Cutler and Arnold Schwarzennegar, do forms of weighted fascia stretching as part of their workouts.
It is reasonable to assume from all this, that muscle fascia should help make muscle gains easier. If you are looking for scientific research, surprisingly there is another reason why muscle fascia may help muscle growth. You can read more about it in a previous article I wroteoes hyperplasia cause growth in human skeletal muscle?
With the evidence on hyperplasia and muscle fascia, I have no doubt that muscle fascia stretching will help boost your muscle growth. I recently started incorporating it into my workouts.
How to stretch the muscle fascia tissue:
Muscle fascia stretching should be done after a good muscle pump from your workout. All fascia stretching is done at the bottom of the negative rep for a good long stretch of 30 seconds to one minute. For example if your doing chest, after your chest workout sets, hold a good long weighted fascia stretch with a chest flye at the bottom. Make sure you don’t lower the weight to the point of pain. You should feel a stretch and it should be tough to hold, but it should not be excessive as it will cause injury.
Muscle fascia stretching automatically grow muscle?
No. You will still need to train hard and increase calories and protein. The muscle fascia tissue is stretched which allows the opportunityof muscle growth to happen. If you don’t stimulate it by bulking and weight training, you won’t notice any gains.
Quinon Proficit Deficit
"Science literacy is a vaccine against the charlatans of the world that would exploit your ignorance." - Neil deGrasse Tyson
Wasn't there a study done on birds that stretched their wings to help build muscle/strength? I seem to recall seeing that someone on Intensemuscle regarding DC training...
Foam roller, could be your best friend.
Yea...a hard foam roller and tennis ball work wonders!
The release of the tissue tension, while rolling, feels great. For me it works great, when I do it. stretches out the tissue in my back and hips. Rolling along the it bands (side of the your thighs) is one of the most painful things I have done to myself, but boy does it feel good to release that tissue.
I only read another PT's summary of the article about 3 years ago so the terminology could be way off. That is the concept from what I remember.
I think it is worth thinking about the difference between a loaded stretch and a stretch. People talk about the growth they achieve with stretching, to some people that is holding a chest fly position with dumbbells i.e., weighted isometric contraction rather than doing a passive chest stretch up against a wall.
Obviously there is a huge difference. It is worth qualifying when talking about the results.
Here are the studies I was thinking of, quite significant results. I'm going to have to go back to more extreme stretching...
Progressive stretch overload of skeletal muscle results in hypertrophy before hyperplasia.Antonio J, Gonyea WJ
J Appl Physiol 1993; 75:1263-71.
Intermittent stretch of the anterior latissimus dorsi (ALD) muscle produces fiber hypertrophy without fiber hyperplasia (J. Appl. Physiol. 74: 1893-1898, 1993).
This study was undertaken to determine if a progressive increase in load and duration of stretch would induce extremely large muscle fiber areas or if the fibers would reach a critical size before the onset of fiber hyperplasia. Weights ranging from 10 to 35% of the bird's mass were attached to the right wing of 26 adult quail while the left wing served as the intra-animal control.
The stretch protocol was as follows: day 1 (10% wt), days 2 and 3 (rest), day 4 (15% wt), days 5-7 (rest), day 8 (20% wt), days 9 and 10 (rest), days 11-14 (25% wt), days 15 and 16 (rest), and days 17-38 (35% wt).
Birds were killed after 12, 16, 20, 24, and 28 days of stretch not including rest days.
Muscle mass increased 174% (12 days), 196% (16 days), 225% (20 days), 264% (24 days), and 318% (28 days).
Muscle length increased 60% (12 days), 34% (16 days), 59% (20 days), 50% (24 days), and 51% (28 days). Mean fiber area increased 111% (12 days), 142% (16 days), 75% (20 days), 90% (24 days), and 39% (28 days).
Fiber number, which was measured histologically, increased significantly by 82% only in the 28 days of stretch group. The percentage of slow tonic fibers did not change for any of the time points examined.
Skeletal muscle fiber hyperplasia.
Antonio J, Gonyea WJ
Med Sci Sports Exerc 1993; 25:1333-45.
Skeletal muscle enlargement in adult animals has been ascribed primarily to changes in fiber cross-sectional area (i.e., fiber hypertrophy); however, recent evidence from several laboratories suggests strongly that fiber hyperplasia contributes to muscle mass increases in adult animals and possibly human athletes.
Scientists have used three models to study the cellular mechanisms of muscle enlargement: compensatory hypertrophy, stretch, and exercise. Each of these models has provided direct as well as indirect evidence supporting the occurrence of muscle fiber hyperplasia.
Direct counts of muscle fibers using nitric acid digestion techniques have shown that both exercise and stretch overload result in significant increases (range = 9-52%) in fiber number. Indirect fiber counts using histological cross-sections have suggested fiber hyperplasia (range = 10-82%) in all three models.
Additionally, the expression of embryonic myosin isoforms have provided indirect evidence for new fiber formation in stretch overloaded muscle. Furthermore, satellite cells have been shown to be involved in muscle fiber hyperplasia in stretch and exercise.
Muscle fiber splitting in stretch-enlarged avian muscle.
Antonio J, Gonyea WJ
Med Sci Sports Exerc 1994; 26:973-7.
This study examined the role of longitudinal fiber splitting in enlarged anterior latissimus dorsi (ALD) muscle of adult quail. Muscle hypertrophy was induced using a model of progressive stretch overload (PSO) (5).
After 16 and 28 d of PSO, muscle mass in the stretched ALD muscle increased significantly (P < 0.05) 188% and 294%, respectively, when compared with the intra-animal control muscle. Muscle length increased significantly (P < 0.05) in the stretched ALD muscle vs the intra-animal control by approximately 77% for both groups.
Fiber number, which was assessed using direct counts after nitric acid digestion, did not change in the 16-d group; however, the 28-d stretched ALD muscle exhibited a 30% increase (P < 0.05) in fiber number vs the intra-animal control muscle.
Furthermore, the frequency of splitting (i.e., branching) fibers was less than 0.3% in all muscles examined except the 28-d stretched ALD muscle.
The 28-d stretched ALD muscle had 5.25% of its muscle fibers exhibiting split profiles. These results demonstrate that PSO produces effects unlike chronic stretch overload in that longitudinal fiber splitting may contribute significantly to an increase in fiber number.
I have no studies.
It really works wonders. What got me started on it was an article in Men's Health about Fascia. It explained about what fascia is and how our whole body is encased in it.
A lot of the time those "knots" aren't in our muscles but the fascia tissue. The first time I rolled, it was so painful. I always have a lot of tension in my back, hips, and shoulders.
Advanced Muscle Science/Forerunner Labs Sponsored Athlete
I just started doing this, hopefully it will help me with my lagging biceps. It makes sense, and i rarely stretch, so i hopeing to see some gains from it.
What is occlusion training?