Recently I was invited to check out Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) at Muscle Activation Fitness in Plano. Located in Willowbend Fitness Club, Muscle Activation Fitness is a great way to get custom fit exercises to help with pain and increase muscle movement. Jake and Matt work with a variety a clients (from youth athletes to adults and professional athletes) looking to improve performance, pain, or appearance.
I was able to work with Matt and here is what he has to stay to a couple of my questions.
What is Muscle Activation Therapy (MAT)?
MAT is a GPS for the body and uses a system to find and correct your muscle imbalances that can lead to tightness, pain, and lack of performance. It began with Denver Broncos Biomechanics Consultant, Greg Roskopf about 15 years ago. He helped both John Elway and Payton Manning stay in the game for as long as they did.
You know when you are driving and your alignment goes out and there is uneven wear on the tire? The tire marks are the symptom of the bad alignment, right? Well we believe that tightness is the symptom of bad alignment in your body. This bad alignment happens from over compensation in other areas of the body. Certain muscles take over and try to take on the work for other muscles. It’s like B team stepping up for A team. It just doesn’t work. So we go in, check out your alignment, find muscle imbalances and strengthen the weakness that exist in specific muscles. When we do this your compensation improves and you may find that the tight muscles can relax and the painful areas in your body can heal naturally.
Benefits of MAT
We focus on 5 things:
- Improved Coordination and Performance in any sport (We have worked with helping youth, strengthening dancers and even better verticals with professional basketball players)
- Improved Flexibility (Flexibility with Stable joints)
- Decreased Pain
- Increased Strength
- Lower Risk of Injury
(Video Source) This brief video is from the muscle activation therapy website to give you a better idea of what MAT is and what techniques are used.
My experience at Muscle Activation Fitness
The Willowbend Fitness Club was easy to find, clean and full of great amenities. Jake and Matt were helpful, friendly and thoroughly explained the process before, during, and after.
Matt sent me a questionnaire packet to fill out before our session together. The questionnaire asked about everything from my physical and medical history to current nutritional habits and more. It was extensive, but it didn’t take me long to fill out.
The first session included a consultation to go over all of the pre-session paperwork. Matt and I discussed my medical history, including my bike accident. Once he got a good idea of my medical history and current , he started my initial evaluation.
He started by evaluating my current strengths and weaknesses. This consisted of multiple tests of my legs, hips, and arms to determine my limitations in motion. Right away, it was obvious that I had issues with my hips from what I imagine was months spent walking with walkers, crutches, boots and casts. After a few pokes to activate my muscles, there was already a difference in strength.
Then, we went to the gym to practice a few exercise to strengthen and activate those problem areas.
Since Matt already knew what needed to be strengthened, he went straight to work. At times muscle activation therapy feels like a very brief deep tissue massage. Again, once the strength tests were complete, we went to the gym to work on the exercises. I felt like I had a personal trainer working with me on very specific muscles, because that is exactly what I had!
What I noticed
After three sessions, I noticed a difference in the way I felt. I had less pain in my hips, and felt as though my hips were more aligned. My leg strength has improved. Unfortunately, I found out that when I sprained my ankle I actually broke it, so I am walking with a boot for at least 6 weeks. (This was right in the middle of my treatments, so I guess I will just have to go back again when I am all healed up!).
To learn more about MAT at Muscle Activation Fitness, contact Matt at Matt@muscleactivationfitness.com or visit their website here (and receive a free consultation session- value $125).
Muscle Activation Fitness isn’t just for pain, they also offer personal training sessions. Be sure to check them out!