1.4 Fascia Training for Speed Development

Functionally speaking, fascia is responsible for postural support, dispersing forces, tissue pliability, extensibility, and proprioceptive awareness. The prolific exposure of the fascia system’s role in explosive movement has broadened how Parisi coaches lead their speed and power development sessions. A deep examination of fascia by Bill Parisi over the past 5 years has helped the Parisi network remain cutting edge as sports performance and speed coaches.

The fascia serves as a sealed hydraulic suspension system that is highly trainable. It takes a front seat when it comes to generating elastic force and muscle proprioception. Sprinting at high speeds requires a rapid cycling of the legs with minimal ground contact. This chain of reactive events is highly proprioceptive and elastic. Fascia plays as critical a role as muscle during acceleration, high speed sprinting and jumping; therefore Parisi training sessions address the fascia’s ability to influence movement while simultaneously mitigating injuries.

Fascia training should incorporate constantly varying, multidirectional movement patterns. Movements like plyometrics and exercises that include rotation are some of the simplest ways to create healthy fascia. Regardless of modality of omni-planar movement, it should include variations in direction, load and tempo which also promotes healthy hydrated fascia.

Parisi speed and sports performance training integrates fascia training movements in the entry level classes experienced by jump starters, all the way to our elite athletes. Our signature training methods integrate exercises that promote healthy fascia training. Even classes that focus on linear speed should incorporate multi-direction exercises. Linear speed, a key component of the Parisi program, will integrate rotational dynamics and movement in all planes. Additionally, varied movement sequences that change levels, tempo and direction should be incorporated throughout the first 3 quarters. No matter the focus of class, fascia training should be interwoven into the fabric of every training session. Here are examples of fascia training exercises that easily fit within any Parisi training session.

Fascia Exercises Using Medicine Balls

Med Ball Lateral Rotation Series

This series can be performed with a partner or by using a wall or trampoline bounder. Athlete can perform with the following body positions:

  • Kneeling on both knees.
  • Kneeling on one knee.
  • Standing in a neutral athletic position.
  • Feet staggered (either foot forward).

Athletes will throw and catch the med ball while maintaining one of these body positions. Each time the ball is received the athletes should absorb the catch using rotation. Then in turn, use that rotation to throw and release the ball. Each one of these body positions has different footwork. Variation in footwork can apply to each of these options. For example, when throwing the ball from a standing athletic position, the heel throwing the ball. Additionally, each and jumping after releasing the ball.

Med Ball Lunges/Split Squat Series

This exercise can be performed as a:

  • Split squat
  • Reverse lunge
  • Advancing lunge

of the rear foot should lift allowing the athlete to pivot when of these movements can build into a progression of running variation. Athletes will perform a horizontal press of the med the same direction of the front leg. Then, return back to the sure the athlete’s front knee is stabilized and maintains the ankle. This exercise requires that the athlete is strong

For a better understanding of the ViPR product, click here to see a snippet of the Parisi Podcast with the inventor of the ViPR, Michol Dalcourt.

Loaded Backhand

Athletes begin by standing upright. The ViPR should be held in front of the body, parallel to the ground with both hands. Place the hands in an off-set shovel grip. In the beginning position, the forearms will also be parallel to the ground with a right angle at the elbows. With control rotate the body in one direction. The ViPR will move about 180 degrees, pointing behind the athlete. Begin exercise rotating to the right in which case the left foot will pivot. Keep the ViPR steady and maintain strong posture.

Side Lunge Lift

Athletes begin standing up tall with the feet wider than a squat and their toes facing forward. Hold the VIPR with both hands in front of your thighs. Perform a side lunge (like a stationary skater), shifting the body to one side as you lift the ViPR and rotate it. Athletes will hold the ViPR with a neutral grip when turning. The VIPR’s path travels from parallel to the ground to perpendicular. Once you have achieved a side lunge, rotating the ViPR with a strong back, progress to raising the ViPR 6-12 inches and reverse your movement back to the beginning. The body will repeat this movement, making it fluid so that the athlete is shifting the weight to one side, rotating and lifting all in one motion.