Muscle Fascia Stretching

September 21st, 2007 by Paul Johnson

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 wrote:Does 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.

  1. Nikesh on May 27th, 2008

    You have very strong points to argue but i see no name to your articles?????

  2. Josh on March 25th, 2009

    Muscle fascia stretching does help to build more muscle. I’ve experienced it personally and so have thousands of others!

  3. mike on May 7th, 2009

    I’m a cell biologist which actually works directly on this field. We have recorded that manual manipulative treatments applied to fascia cells are capable of causing muscle stem cell differentiation into muscle fiber, just web surfing the topic and stumbled across this site, its good to see that friends on the other end are experiencing the same clinical effects

  4. admin on June 30th, 2009

    Thanks mike. I’ve seen good studies where heavy weighted stretches lead to hyperplasia.

  5. bigballer on October 12th, 2009

    ya man, but what about like, if i’m not making gains and i just stretch and yell a lot? if i just get up on those heavy stretches is that how you get big, son? hit the weights son!

  6. […] I do work out), but I ran across this article and thought to myself: How can I apply this to PE? Muscle Fascia Stretching "All fascia stretching is done at the bottom of the negative rep for a good long stretch of 30 […]

  7. […] of negative parts of the rep, may be in the ability to stimulate hyperplasia muscle growth and muscle fascia stretching […]

  8. kris on March 29th, 2010

    jay cutler(current mr olympia) used fst7 to regain his title, fst7 is a technique used to stretch the muscle from the inside out and thereby he is living proof of the fact that stretching the facia can be done!
    he gained a hole lot of muscle in one year using the technique

  9. bimmer on April 15th, 2010

    Is it possible to stretch the fascia around your calf muscles? I suffer from ECS (exertion-induced compartment syndrome) which can be painful and quickly end a run or leg workout. Short of surgery, I am interested in the potential to run, induce the increased pressure with a pumped calf, and then stretch to encourage the fascia to open up or loosen slightly. I imagine it would be a very slow but progressive daily process. How quickly can the fascia membrane return to its original size, or once it is stretched does it stay that way? Thank you

  10. fascia quote on July 15th, 2010

    keep it up .

  11. MD2 on September 14th, 2010

    Increased blood flow to a muscle does not cause the fascia to stretch. Compartment syndromes are a prime example. Since you probably wont believe me anyway, I wont waste my time explaining it, but go look it up for yourself.