Fluidity and precision of human movement: the surprising role of the body fascia

Have you ever noticed how much more fluid our movement is than that of humanoid robots that tend to imitate us? Although technology has made great strides in recent years, the quality of the movement of these machines is not yet comparable to that of humans, their gestures are less harmonious, more restricted in the three axes of movement, still distant from the human ones, instead so perfect and coordinated.

There is in an organ that allows us to be so fluid in movement; A structure, which interconnects all the various anatomical structures present within our body: this Cinderella, first discarded in anatomical dissections, but now widely re-evaluated, is the fascia.

What is the fascia

Schleip, one of the leading scholars of this organ, defines the fascia as a continuous network throughout the human body, covering and connecting every single organ, every muscle, every nerve or tiny muscle fiber.

It is easy to understand how in recent years this discovery has revolutionized our way of thinking and has prompted us to do research to clarify concepts that, until recently, were controversial.

The fascia body is a connective tissue that wraps around and interconnects all the structures of our body, including muscles, organs, nerves, and blood vessels. It is a three-dimensional network of collagen fibers and other protein components that give strength, elasticity and structural support to the body.

Immagine endoscopica presa dal recente studio di Guimberteau. Possiamo osservare come quella patina bianca (fascia) interconnetta grasso, muscoli, piccoli vasi sanguigni e nervi.

Because it makes movements fluid.

The fluidity of the body fascia is due to several factors:

  • Tissue Composition: The fascia is mainly composed of collagen, elastin, and other protein components. These elements give the tissue its elasticity and resistance, allowing the band to stretch, contract, and adapt to different forces and movements of the body.
  • Three-dimensional structure: The fascia is a three-dimensional structure that forms a continuous network throughout the body. This arrangement allows the band to distribute tensions and forces evenly, reducing the risk of injury and increasing flexibility.
  • Adaptability: The fascia is highly adaptable. It can react to external stimuli, such as movement and pressure, by modifying its tension and structure to support the body during different activities.
  • Repair Capacity: The fascia has the ability to self-repair in response to injury or damage. This repair process helps maintain the fluidity and integrity of the fascia over time.
  • Interconnects: Fascia is a highly interconnected fabric, which means that tensions or changes in one part of the body can affect other parts of the body. This network of connections contributes to the band’s ability to adapt and respond to changes in movement and posture.
  • Hydration: The fascia contains water and other substances that keep it hydrated. Water is essential for the flexibility of the fascia, and its presence allows to reduce friction between the different structures of the body.

To be concise, we have finally understood how our body thinks in terms of movement, interacts with external proprioceptive stimuli and manages internal peristaltic movements, i.e. the rhythmic and involuntary contractions of the smooth muscle present in hollow organs such as the esophagus, stomach, intestines.

In summary, the fluidity of the body fascia is the result of a combination of factors that include its composition, its three-dimensional structure, its adaptability and its ability to repair. These features allow the fascia to play the critical role of support and integration within the body, while ensuring mobility, stability, and resilience.

Not just brain

Until a few years ago, it was thought that it was the brain that directly organizes all the movements of our body, through direct communication with muscle fibers. The thing that didn’t add up, however, is that, if this had been the case, the amount of information that the central nervous system had to process would have been excessive, therefore difficult to manage by one apparatus alone.

Today, on the other hand, it is estimated that only 40% of the motor gesture is programmed by the central nervous system, the other 60% is managed by another very plastic and adaptable structure, which is precisely the fascia. A further discovery that has revolutionized our way of thinking is that the body thinks in a much more simplistic way, thinking only about the motor directions along which to move. We know that we can move in the 3 planes of space and in the 6 consequent motor directions. Let’s see them in detail:



  1. Sagittal plane (front and back
  2. Frontal Plane (lateral and medial)
  3. Oblique Plane (intra rotation and extra rotation)

At this point, two questions arise:

  1. How do we recruit an exact number of fibers to perform a given gesture? (lifting a feather requires a very different muscular use than taking off 50 kg)
  2. How do we manage the intermediate directions in which our body moves? (here represented by arrows)

The simplest possible answer is that we have movement and muscle contraction receptors located in the fascia. They are like minicomputers, able to communicate both with the brain, which imparts the motor program, and with the fascia, which provides information on one’s state of health and interaction with the outside world and its stimuli.

Through these exceptional biological tools we are able to perfectly modulate each of our gestures, both in terms of direction and intensity.