Heart Butt Challenge – Week 1
by Ashley Black
Week 1: Fascia Release
Because fascia is the main sensory organ, it’s essential for the mind-body connection to every muscle – including the glutes. This week we’re gonna focus on opening and restoring the fascia that’s binding the skin to the muscles, fat, and other structures so that you can get full access to the blood flow, nerves, and muscles that will help you sculpt and shape your Heart Butt.
Heat and oil up, then use the FaceBlaster™ to lightly prep the tissue for a few minutes of light blasting. Then use the larger claws of the Mini1™, Mini2™, or FasciaBlaster® to FasciaBlast the love handles, “high butt”, low sides, and glute-hamstring tie-in. You’ll also want to add in some full-body FasciaBlasting sessions throughout the week for full-body fascia restoration!
Step 1: Heat
Here are some ways to heat the tissue, and you can read pages 138-143 from my bestselling book “The Cellulite Myth” for more information on heating the tissue both internally and externally and the science behind it!
Step 2: Oil up and prep the tissue with a few minutes of light, brisk FasciaBlasting
If you have the FaceBlaster™, this is the perfect tool to start out with so you can open up and restore those surface layers.
You can use the techniques in this playlist:
If you can lightly FasciaBlast without pain or sensitivity, and you see the skin turning red, it’s time to move on to FasciaBlasting with the larger claws.
If the area(s) is still painful or sensitive to FasciaBlast, that’s an indication that you stick with Step 2 and stay light and brisk until you’re ready for deeper treatment. You can use this disarming technique to desensitize the nervous system and prep the tissue while you ease into the treatment:
Step 3: Use the FasciaBlaster, Mini1, or Mini2
After a few minutes of lighter FasciaBlasting, you can use the larger claws to FasciaBlast the following areas:
Heart Butt Blasting Zones:
- Love Handles
- What I call “High Butt” or “Square Butt”
- Low Sides
- The Glute-Hamstring Tie-In
- Full-body FasciaBlasting
Intro to the Heart Butt FasciaBlasting tutorials:
FasciaBlast Each Zone for 3-5 Minutes (total of 12-20 minutes on each side):
1. Love Handles
What I call “High Butt” or “Square Butt”
The Glute-Hamstring Tie-In
You can mix in some full-body FasciaBlasting sessions throughout the week to ensure you’re restoring the fascia all over your body, which will allow for improved muscle performance and muscle and nerve activity, blood flow and venous return, and full body fascia restoration.
Step 4: Recovery
After FasciaBlasting, we recommend “flushing”, which is simply a light, brisk up and down stroke to increase blood flow to the area. You can use the FaceBlaster to lightly blast the areas you just treated, or you can use your hands or the back of the FasciaBlaster to flush the whole extremity.
The After Blaster cream is perfect for flushing, and the high-quality arnica and skin tightening agents will help the areas you treated to quickly recover!
Be on the lookout for brand new #HeartButtChallenge tutorials in the FasciaBlasters group, and make sure you sign up to our #HeartButtChallenge mailing list so you don’t miss the updates, tips, and tutorials!
Don’t forget to do the Heart Butt exercises 3-5 times per week, and follow the full instructions from the Heart Butt Blog to correctly sculpt, shape, and perfect your Heart Butt!
Fascia Restoration Tips:
While we’re in the initial “Fascia Release” stage of the challenge, we need to remember that this is a process and a lifestyle, not a quick fix. Easing into treatment is essential for your results. You may feel that “going off” on an area will glean better, faster results, but the reality is that you need to restore the fascial layers one at a time.
Fascia, when distorted or dysfunctional, can form what I like to call “Fascia Chunks”. This is fascia that is tightened, adhered, and has trapped muscle, skin, and fat into a “chunk”. Treating and loosening the tight fascia will cause this chunk to begin to release and smooth out.
Fascia runs in layers, and it’s important that we restore each layer at a time to avoid beginning the restoration process in too many layers at once. Like I mentioned above, the restoration of these chunks will cause them to “break up”, which can result in an uneven texture that may show through on the outward appearance your skin. If you restore one layer at a time and progressively work out those chunks, the appearance will smooth out, and you can move on to restoring the next layer. However, if you were to blast too hard, too soon, you will begin to break up the chunks in deeper layers. It’s simply easier to restore one layer at a time rather than three at the same time. #AmIRightOrAmIRight
Two ways to ensure that you’re restoring your fascia layer by layer are:
- Prepping the tissue
- Gauging if your body is ready for deeper treatment
First off, make sure that you’re following all the steps and protocols in this blog.
Following are some ways that you can prep the tissue:
– Start out with the FaceBlaster! While this tool was designed for the face, one of my favorite uses is prepping the tissue! Those little claws make a world of difference for helping to stay more surface level and getting blood flow, as well as warming up the area for the bigger blasters! In fact, we were so excited to see this additional perk that we designed and manufactured the MasterBlaster! This tool is gonna make all the difference in your blasting sessions! (The MasterBlaster is coming soon and will be launched for Black Friday! )
– If you don’t have the FaceBlaster yet and are just starting out, it’s important to remember to stay surface level. In this video, I discuss how to find the correct pressure.
– I’m all for focusing on your trouble spots, but you should be doing at least one light full body blast a week to help with blood flow and overall fascial release. I understand that many of you don’t have the time to do a full body blast in one session, so follow this sample schedule to get each zone at least once a week!
– Flushing is another great way to enhance blood flow and move out inflammation to aid the recovery process and help get to blood flowing to areas with restricted circulation. Check out this playlist with tutorials for flushing!
– Due to our daily habits and/or routines, our fascia can contract and hold the posture that we maintain throughout our activities. It’s important to stretch the full fascial lines throughout or at least once a day to keep your fascia malleable and flexible. These stretches are demonstrated in my book The Cellulite Myth on pages 119-125 (get it here if you haven’t already!). You can also find video tutorials showing PNF stretches here!
Before moving onto deeper treatment, it’s important to make sure that your tissue is ready. Below are some tips to help you gauge if you are ready for deeper treatment.
– You should always be able to stay at a manageable pain level – one way to gauge this is to stay at a 2-4 on a scale of 1-10. Whether you’re a newbie and blasting at the surface level or a season blaster and are using advanced techniques, your pain level should not be more than a 2-4. If you’re applying more pressure and you’re experiencing more discomfort than necessary or recommended, please ease up on the pressure and continue with lighter blasting sessions until your tissue is restored and ready for deeper treatment. Listen to your body!
– We mentioned blood flow above as being a sign that you’re preparing the tissue. A good way to gauge if the tissue is ready for deeper treatment is if the area is receiving proper blood flow. Is the area getting red and warm when you blast? If after you blast the area is white, splotchy, and cold to the touch, that area is not getting good blood flow and you are not ready for advanced techniques; you need to continue to blast lightly.
– If you’re still bruising from light FasciaBlasting there’s no need to “go deeper”. I don’t want to see any monster bruises showing up in my inbox!! You need to go lightly if you’re still bruising at surface level. For more information on bruising, read “The News on the Bruise“.
I can only tell you what you should look out for, but in the end, you are the one who knows your body best, so you are in control. Be smart; listen to your body. If you feel you need to, lighten up, back out, take extra recovery days, and focus on activating, flushing and hydrating….and then get back to it! My Ashley Black Guru inbox is always open for coaching and I love to be involved in each of my blasters’ journey.
And just because I’m the best in the whole world, I wrote up a protocol for you ladies to follow to ensure that you successfully get through the restoration phase.
Do the following protocols 2-3 times per week:
– Full body, light FasciaBlasting sessions with the FaceBlaster. Take a break for a day or 2 between each session for recovery (i.e. 1 day blast, 2 day rest; repeat).
You can put extra focus on your “trouble spots” – meaning you’re not digging in or trying to “go deeper”, you’re smoothing out the layers with the FaceBlaster.
– Be sure to flush after blasting (you can use my After Blaster cream), as well as the following days after blasting.
– Activation is important and you should incorporate this protocol right after blasting, and/or within 24 hours of your blasting session.
(The HeartButt exercises are an awesome way to activate your glutes)
– *Optional* Incorporate low impact cardio 4-6 times per week. Some of my favorite low impact cardio options are the elliptical, stationary bike, dancing, and swimming. Get creative and find what works best for you!
So to wrap this up, ease into treatment and take it layer by layer. Going too hard too soon can actually work against you and is not necessary, nor is it recommended. Listen to your body and even if the process takes longer than you’d prefer, be patient with your body and keep in mind that you’re improving your overall wellbeing by restoring your fascia. Give back to your body everything it has given you by loving it and showing it the respect it deserves.