When muscles work (contract) the forces that they create can move the bones that they are attached to. When the muscles and bones move, this movement will stretch and load the fascia. When stretched, the fascia, like a rubber band, builds up elastic NRG which can be used to hit harder, save NRG and reduce injury potential in the process.
How to Train Smarter
Ideally, savvy scientifically minded coaches and athletes should be looking for effective ways to generate arm speed and hitting power using more fascia and less muscles.
Fascial Involvement with “Arm Only” Swings
Previously in this article, we discussed how many young athletes swing and hit using predominantly the arm. We mentioned that the main muscles being used (depending on technique) were the triceps and lats.
This is relevant because the amount of fascia an athlete can use (under the triceps) compared to the amount surrounding the entire body is dramatically less. This means that the athlete probably won’t be able to hit as hard and will fatigue faster if they just use the arm only swing.
Conversely, when an athlete uses the entire body to hit, they have more muscles engaged and more fascia involved, so they should be able to hit harder and maintain the power longer, with less fatigue.
The Sling or Whip Effect of Muscles & Fascia
When the whole body is engaged in hitting movements, when the athlete takes a step and turns the hips, the turn of the hips stretches abdominal muscles (and the overlying fascia).