Fascia is a matrix of connective tissue much like your skin, except it’s under your skin and connects everything from skin to muscles and bones. Virtually every part of your skeleton has this connective tissue.
There are a few tracks of fascia in your body, much like train tracks, that have a continuous connection of tissue starting from a certain place and spanning across the body in various ways. “Anatomy Trains” by Tom Meyers illustrates these points and how different fascial trains connect in our body. One example of this is what he calls the Superficial Back Line.
This line is one continuous piece of fascia that begins at the bottom of your foot, comes up your calf to your hamstring, up your back, wrapping around your head, and ending at your forehead. The interesting thing is you can affect the flexibility, function, and compliance of these lines by applying pressure anywhere along the line.
First, try and keep your legs straight and bend forward as far as possible. Then try standing on a ball or hard object and massaging the bottom of your foot for at least two minutes per side. Then retry bending forward. You’ll notice that you have much more range of motion in your hamstrings without ever directly stretching them.
Neat trick huh?