When people think of muscles, they usually don’t immediately think of a Muscle Activation Techniques™ (MAT™) practitioner, but they should.  Similar to how somebody might think of a dentist after hearing “teeth”, or a chiropractor after hearing “back” or “spine”, Muscle Activation Techniques™ may one day have that same relationship when somebody hears “muscle”.  For the time being, though, that typically isn’t the case, and here’s why — many people aren’t sure of 1) what MAT™ is, and 2) what makes MAT™ unique.  In that case, let’s discuss both of these. 

First, what is MAT™?  Muscle Activation Techniques™ is an exercise-based process by which a client is assessed to figure out which of their muscles are not working as well as they should be.  Often times, clients can present as having the symptoms of tight or achy muscles, unstable joints, weak muscles, limited joint mobility, or compensatory movement patterns.  Sometimes, clients may present with no symptoms at all, too.  They may be in the very early stages of their compensations, or they may be so used to how their body feels that they don’t realize there is an issue.

Muscle Activation Techniques™ assesses a client to see if there are specific muscles that are not able to contract well and thereby contributing to these symptoms.  When certain muscles are found to not be contracting well, they are reactivated through either light isometric exercise or by manually stimulating the muscles where they attach into the bones.  More information on the MAT™ process can be found here and here.

A demonstration of the MAT™ process can be seen here and here:

Now, for the real question — what makes MAT™ unique?  A lot of times people believe they have done MAT™ after hearing the description of MAT™.  Or, perhaps they have worked with somebody who has done some kind of muscle activation.  But here’s the thing, unless you have worked with a certified MAT™ practitioner, you have not experienced MAT™.  Why?  Because the thing that makes MAT™ unique, as well as the thing that makes MAT™ so powerful, is the process of MAT™, and most importantly the specificity of the process.

The specificity of the process of MAT™ allows the practitioner to determine exactly which divisions of which muscles are not working well for you.  It allows the practitioner to get those muscles caught back up to all of the rest of your muscles.  It also allows the practitioner to design specific exercises for your body’s needs based around which muscles are working well and which muscles are not.  An example of this can be seen here:

When you work with a MAT™ practitioner, you are working with a highly skilled individual who is well-educated on the workings of the muscular system.  This education goes far beyond that of a traditional personal trainer, because not only do they have an understanding of how to train the muscles, they are also well-versed in how to detect and address dysfunction within the muscular system.  As a client, this means your workouts are safer and more appropriate for your body, which, in the long term, means far better results for you.

Interested in learning more about the personal training and Muscle Activation Techniques™ experience at Muscle Activation Schaumburg?  Contact us and connect with us on Facebook!

Interested in learning MAT™ as a student?  Check out the list of upcoming events and use the code “MAS” when you register to receive reduced pricing!

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Charlie Cates

Charlie Cates is the leading consultant to high-level professional, college, & high school basketball players in the Chicagoland area for injury prevention, recovery, & muscle performance. As a certified Muscle Activation Techniques® MATRx practitioner & former college basketball player, he uses his personal experience & understanding of the game & player demands to create customized exercise options for his clients to recover faster & perform their best. He is certified in the highest levels of MAT®, including MATRx, MATRx Stim, and MAT® Athlete. Follow him on Instagram @CharlieCates!