What is MAT™?
Developed by Greg Roskopf (MuscleActivation.com), Muscle Activation Techniques™ (MAT™) is a systematic approach to checking the current state of your neuromuscular system. This information allows the MAT™ specialist to determine if your body is ready to begin an exercise program and, if so, how to appropriately proceed with prescribing exercises and progressing you.
From the MAT™ Specialist's standpoint, muscle tightness is secondary to muscle weakness. In other words, tight hamstrings, low back muscles, pecs, etc, are seen as a protective mechanism instilled by the body in order to intentionally limit range of motion at specific joints.
When stress, trauma, or overuse of a specific muscle occurs, the body often times "shuts down" this muscle, meaning it intentionally inhibits the muscle's ability to contract properly and generate tension. When this happens, the body has to recruit other muscles to do the inhibited one's job, i.e. compensation. Due to this increased workload, these new muscles can quickly become overworked and suffer the same fate as the muscle they took over for. Since you now have fewer muscles to manage your joints, discomfort and muscle tightness can occur.
Muscle Activation Techniques™ is attempting to overcome this muscular inhibition by activating inhibited muscles, i.e. improving the ability of muscle to contract and reestablishing them as viable options for the body to use, allowing for more range of motion at the joints and, more importantly, greater stability and control of those joints.
MAT™ can be a valuable tool for a wide demographic of individuals. If you suffer from any type of tightness ordiscomfort; are a regular (or not-so-regular) exerciser or competitive athlete; have trouble moving or keeping your balance due to aging or injury; have ever had any type of traumatic experience (such as a car accident or surgery) or injury (no matter how small); or want to be able to do what you currently enjoy doing for years to come, MAT™ may be of benefit to you!