Have you ever heard of “sleeping glutes” or heard someone talk about their diminished lack of push-off in their big toe or a calf muscle that doesn’t “fire” when they need it? Though these conditions might sound minor at first blush, it’s serious stuff. Experts have realized that many injuries, chronic pain, and less-than-stellar athletic performances can be linked to inactive or underactive muscles. What’s the solution? Muscle Activation Technique (MAT®) Training!
The goal of MAT® Training is to restore the ability of a muscle to react to neural stimulation so it can exert force in the way it’s intended to do so. Whether due to injury, fatigue or a host of other events, muscular imbalances and poor biomechanics arise when other muscles kick-in and overcompensate for a weak link. This, over time, often leads to underperformance when it comes to fitness, or worse - accumulating injuries.
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MAT® evaluation involves figuring out if the muscles that support or help move a particular joint are receiving and responding to sensory input properly. In short, the evaluator determines if the muscle is able to execute the movements they are designed to do, whether it be providing stability to a joint or mobilizing joint action.
Often times muscle tightness inhibits proper joint function. An overly tight muscle or a muscle that’s weak from disuse will fail to respond after a while to neurological signals telling it to lengthen. If a muscle can’t contract isometrically (while lengthened) and concentrically (while shortened), it isn’t performing fully. The muscle, then, will not be able to move its associated joint in full-range-of-motion and might even fail as a joint stabilizer.
The goal of MAT® Training is to identify dysfunctions and to create an exercise program that wakes-up the muscles for which other muscles have been over-compensating.
In order to re-activate muscles and improve the muscle’s neural response, the exercise prescription calls for performing isometric contractions that generate force without shortening or increasing the length of the muscle.
MAT® Training can help just about everyone! Get started with an expert evaluation. Many people have sleeping glutes. Get a feel for what MAT® can do for you with some simple exercises to wake-up your booty and enhance your workouts! When you’re ready to take it to the next level, HealthSPORT Eureka has you covered.