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What is Muscle Activation Techniques™* (MAT)?

Muscle Activation Techniques™ is a biomechanical-based neuromuscular assessment and treatment program created by Greg Roskopf MA, biomechanical consultant for the Utah Jazz and Denver Broncos.

The MAT process seeks to identify and eliminate the causes of muscular system issues that can lead to restricted motion, pain and injury.

An adjunct to anything involving the muscle system! Whether it is increasing flexibility for Yoga, improving power in your golf swing, or just enjoying a better quality of life, MAT can ensure that your muscular system is performing optimally.

How does MAT work?

The foundation of MAT is looking at muscle “tightness” as a compensatory and protective response to neurological muscle weakness. The primary function of a muscle is to move and stabilize a joint(s). Although there are several issues that can lead to joint range of motion (ROM) loss, calcium deposits, scar tissue, nerve tissue excursion and other maladies, it is frequently due to neurological muscle weakness.

Most forms of muscle therapy are based around trying to relieve and relax tight muscles. Typically one feels increased muscle “tightness” at a joint where there is limited motion. When tightness begins limiting the way we move, the body compensates by finding another plane or joint to move in, in order to perform the required task.

This creates asymmetrical, or unbalanced stress about a joint or series of joints. As we continue to ask the body to move, this imbalance may cause pain or lead to further weakening of joint structures or place excessive demands on surrounding tissues to manage the forces being applied to the joint. These compensations can lead to inflammation of the muscle and/or connective tissue, causing pain and discomfort in the affected muscles and joints, possibly further reducing ROM in the related joints.

Instead of trying to “relax” the tight muscles, MAT is designed to jumpstart the weak muscles, specifically recalibrating the structures controlling the muscle spindle. This increases joint stability and allows the nervous system to reduce tension on the compensating muscles.

What are the major benefits of combining MAT and Precision Resistance Training?

1. Injury prevention – Another function of the muscle system is to absorb forces. When it is unable to do so adequately, more stress is applied to connective tissue like ligaments and tendons which can tear or become inflamed. Injuries like sprained ankles, torn ACLs, tendonitis and occur when your body gets into a position that the muscular system was unable to respond to quickly enough to control. This can be a singular instance or a symptom of repetitive motion.

2. Efficiency – Exercise is a stress to the body. Optimally, the body responds to this stress by stimulating chemicals to build muscle and burn calories. Using the objective checks and balances system of muscle testing, it is possible to ensure that you are stressing the muscles you are trying to engage, and not overstressing the body, thus enabling you to reach your goals sooner.

3. Recovery – With this treatment, the body does not have to divert its resources to try to repair itself from overstressed/inflamed muscles. This speeds the recovery process and gets you on your feet sooner.

4. Joint Health – A joint is just a meeting of two bones. Joint health is all about the contact surfaces — the parts of the bones that are rubbing against each other. Muscles control contact surface relationships. Having all the muscles available to move a joint properly, promotes normal joint wear, and can help slow down the wear of an already arthritic joint.