WHAT IS MAT™?
Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) is a revolutionary approach to the assessment and correction of muscle imbalances that may be contributing to joint instability/dysfunction, pain and limited mobility. MAT® was developed by world renowned strength and conditioning coach Greg Roskopf of Denver, CO. MAT® is a non-invasive technique, designed to balance the muscular system in order for it to function with maximum efficiency in everything from activities of daily living to strenuous training and sport. A three step simplified introduction to why MAT® can be beneficial and how its works is below.
Muscles produce force
Muscles are designed to create force to move our bodies, stop our bodies from moving, and to stabilize and align our bones. When muscles are working efficiently we can tolerate more force, therefore, reducing the risk of injury!
Excessive forces cause injury
Excessive forces that injure us can be completely external to the body (such as falling, some sports injuries and car accidents). They can also come from repetitive motions in work, exercise (such as running), or sport (like swinging a golf club or tennis racket)!
Muscles don't always work like they're supposed to
The same forces that can injure us (as well as other factors) can lead to decreased tension within a specialized group of muscle fibers called intrafusal muscle fibers (every skeletal muscle in your body has intrafusal fibers). These fibers have a specialized nerve imbedded in them that helps the muscle communicate with the nervous system as to how long the muscle is at any given point in time. When a decrease in intrafusal muscle fiber tension occurs, the muscle can still work to produce tension (force); however, movement becomes inefficient when these muscles become mechanically emphasized in exercise, sport or everyday life.
Muscle tightness is actually a protective mechanism
When the body experiences the type of inefficiency mentioned above, it senses instability in joints the inefficient muscle controls and its natural response is to try to prevent going to positions that place a mechanical emphasis on those inefficient muscles. The body tries to avoid these positions by causing muscles that oppose the inefficient muscle to tighten up! Therefore tightness in this very common scenario is actually a protective mechanism to prevent injury. In the example diagram to the left, inefficiency in any of elbow flexors (biceps, brachialis, etc, etc, etc) will result in tightness in the elbow extensors (triceps, anconeus, etc, etc, etc).
MAT® identifies inefficient muscle function
Using a systematic approach called the comparative assessment of mobility, the MAT® process begins by identifying imbalances in mobility and potential areas of muscular inefficiency. Then over 300 different tests are used to assess for muscular inefficiency. (Only tests specific to limited motions are used on each individual).
Muscle efficiency is improved
When a muscle fails a test, a few different activation techniques can be used to improve the muscle's function. Muscles are then retested to confirm improvement in efficiency. Over time more and more muscles often maintain their designed efficiency allowing for longer lasting benefits to an individuals health, fitness and/or sports performance.
Move better, move stronger, feel better!
The potential benefits of MAT® are quite amazing. Through more efficient muscle function; people compensate less in motion resulting in less unnecessary joint wear. Over time people often experience less pain in activites as muscles become strong and efficient enough to handle a task that previously would result in pain or injury. With more efficiency and muscular control sports performance is optimized and workouts can have a greater diversity of safe exercises for improving strength.
Are you ready to start the Muscle Activation Techniques® process in Overland Park, KS?