Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Fitness Game Changer: Fascial Stretch Therapy

Lift weights? Run marathons? CrossFit? Play sports? Stand/Sit a lot at work? Have joint/muscle pain - such as bursitis or tendonitis? Want to be more flexible? Then you should try out Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST). Read to learn more about what it is and who I trust to stretch me as I prepare for my 2015 NPC Bikini Bodybuilding season! 

Hey Fit Fam,

I train hard and I eat pretty darn perfect, but one thing I don't do enough of is stretching. I pull out my foam roller from time to time and I stretch a few minutes here and there, but I know that I don't stretch nearly enough.

Once a gymnast that was probably the MOST flexible in my "class" .. I can now barely do a backbend and the forget the splits!! Heck, most days I can hardly touch my toes, lol! I tried Yoga and I was SO bored. Not only was I bored, after 6 weeks I didn't notice enough difference in my flexibility to justify the extra hour of "training" each week.

After TONS of research I found out about something called Fascial Stretch Therapy. Lucky for me there is a certified FST therapist close to me in Nashville. I also did my research on WHAT therapist to use. Randy Hite works out of a gym in Middle Tn ... but will also come set up at your house (or your gym if you have one) ... or you can even go to his house. I love the fact that his schedule is so "flexible"... no pun intended there, haha :) He has not only become a crucial part of my prep team for my upcoming competition season ... but a friend! I often get to vent to him while he is stretching me, lol! However I know I should be focusing on breathing .. or just napping. It is that relaxing ;)

I did a little Q&A with Randy -- that way you can find out all you need to know about FST here in one spot! If you want to book with Randy you can email him at or message him on Facebook. Please tell him I sent you or that you saw this on my blog! Ya never know .. he may give you a little extra stretching time or a discount!! While I do lift weights and am an athlete, FST is NOT only for Athletes (as you will see below) ... his stretching helps SO many people (of all ages) with all types of joint/tendon issues!!

As for my personal experience....I talked about it some on my social media pages already. But I've completed 3 sessions ... my 4th is tomorrow. So obviously I am seeing results or I wouldn't be going back for a minimum of an hour every week! I noticed a difference after ONE STRETCHING session!! Each week I notice not only more flexibility, but I've noticed that my lifts are smoother and I'm definitely stronger!! I also have some kind of pain/injury that I've not been able to pinpoint (somewhere in my neck/shoulder/pec.) Massage only gave me minimal relief and my chiropractor wasn't able to do much for it either. But I have yet to have ANY pain when lifting since being stretched! I'm a believer ... that is for sure! I am going once a week during my entire prep. In my off season, I will probably go bi-weekly or even just monthly! This certainly doesn't replace a good ole deep tissue massage or going to get "adjusted" at your chiropractor ... because it's totally different. They can't do what Randy will be able to do for you. But I will say .. if I had to choose between the three....hands down the answer is FST!! I'm so pleased with my results!!

Anywho .. I hope you give FST a try! If you live in the Nashville area, please give Randy a chance to be the one to stretch you! I promise you won't be disappointed!

Eat Clean. Train Dirty. ((and get your stretch on too))


1) What is Fascia?

Fascia is a three-dimensional web of tissues that surrounds muscles, bones, joints, blood vessels, and nerves providing support and protection and giving structure to the body.  The fascia is actually one big net with no separation from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.  So anytime you are moving your body, fascia is being moved.  Fascia will shorten, thicken, and tighten when any of your tissues are under stress from aging, poor posture, dehydration, improper body mechanics, lack of exercise, repetitive motion, injury, emotional stress, disease or overtraining.

2) What is Fascial Stretch Therapy(FST)?

Fascial Stretch Therapy is a unique, complete and complementary system of table-based assisted stretching focusing on the fascia and joint capsule as the key elements in achieving optimal flexibility, strength, performance, and pain relief.

3) How is it different from traditional stretching?

Unlike traditional stretching that attempts to isolate and stretch specific muscles, FST creates lasting change and dramatically improves your flexibility by decompressing your joints and unwinding the connective tissue "fabric" of your body.

4) How is FST different than other forms of bodywork such as Active Release Techniques, Mulligan, and Massage?

FST differs by using a global approach to the body in terms of Anatomy Trains linking upper and lower body together instead of localizing one body part.  FST also differs because it incorporates tractioning joints and stretching in multiple directions and planes of motion.  When stretching all fascial lines, it gets into as much of the different tissue as possible.

5) What are some benefits of FST?

Improved Flexibility
Improved Overall Range of Motion
Improved Athletic Performance
Releases Endorphins, which are Natural Pain Suppressants
Relieves Stress and Tension
Decreased Risk of Injury

More Features of FST....

Better Movement Pattern
Decompresses Joint Space
Releases Joint Lubricating Synovial Fluid
Reduces or Eliminates Pain
Improved Strength
Enhances Sex
Not only stretches Fascia but Muscles too

6) Who can benefit from FST?

Athletes(Little League, High-School, College & Professional)
Occupation repitive motions - People who stand or sit all day
Chronic Joint/Muscle Pain(Bursitis, Tendonitis, Shin Splints..etc)
Premier Athletes(Bodybuilders, Marathon Runners, Cross Fitters)
Aging Male and Females looking to maintain flexibility
Anyone who feels tight

7) How do Bodybuilders or those that enjoy weight lighting and physical activity, specifically benefit from FST? 

Most people that have an active lifestyle in the weight room don't pay attention to the quality of their tissues and the way they move.  FST will lengthen tight tissue, open joint space, and helps tissue move more freely.  Bodybuilders can benefit from FST not only in the weight room by becoming more mobile, flexible, and stronger but will also(for example) be able to better externally rotate shoulders back into a good position showing off their peak in the back double bicep pose.  And being able to move into a better position on the side chest pose from better flexibility.

8)  What types of injuries can benefit from FST?

If you are injured, check with a Doctor and cleared by a medical professional first before stretching.

9)  How long does a session last?

To get the most benefits of FST, a FST session last 1 hour.

10)  What kind of results should I expect to see?

You should expect to see change immediately.  Tractioning joints is a huge part of making this therapy work.  50% of your mobility is sitting in your joint.  Because FST tractions the joint in the beginning of every stretch, you are able to get 50% more mobility than you would on your own.

11) How long do the results last and how often do I need FST?

Longer than massage alone.  Fascia is an extremely adaptable organism, so we can tailor your first fascial stretch to meet your goals.  If you're aiming to become more optimal at your sport or lifestyle, you'll come frequently at first, and taper down as needed once your fascia has adapted to the new state of flexibility.  If your stiff from recent workouts or unusual activity, it may just take one session to get you back to feeling normal.

12)  Is FST painful?

No, it is not painful.  FST is gentle and very relaxing.  In fact, many clients "zone-out" while being stretched and wake up with what feels like an entirely new body!

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