To be able to perform the abilities of a gymnast you need to know which muscles and fascia have to be stretched to be able to perform such incredible acts. I am going to use a gymnasts ability to touch their head to their toes as an example.
A book by Thomas W Myers called ‘Anatomy Trains’ describes how muscles are all connected throughout the body in what he describes as ‘lines’. There are a number of lines of muscles and fascia throughout the body, however the key one for touching your head to your toes is ‘The Superficial Back Line’.
This line involves multiple muscles which, when stretched and loosened at one point can help stretch and loosen muscles and fascia at another region of the body. To touch your head to your toes you must stretch your calves, hamstrings, the ‘erector spinae’ muscle group of your back, the suboccipital muscles, the soles of your feet and each of the muscle’s surrounding fascia. In some cases fascial restrictions and joint restrictions may prevent movement ability, however these and muscle tightness can all be worked out by a manual therapist such as a well trained chiropractor.
There are multiple lines that need loosening to be able to achieve the incredible feats of a gymnast, though with the right knowledge of anatomy, anything is possible.
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