Muscle Activation Technique
The Fitness Fix is proud to announce that after months of training and practice, all of our instructors are now MAT Jumpstart Certified Trainers, and one is also a MAT certifed specialist!
MAT CLIENT PROFILE FORM
What is Mat?
- Muscle Activation Techniques are body assessment and correction techniques designed to identify range of motion asymmetries and muscle inefficiencies (weakness) that lead to possible breakdown of joints over time. We will assess your range of motion in many different positions and let your body tell us where your asymmetries in upper body, trunk and spine, and lower body exist.
- MAT optimizes the muscular system so your range of motion becomes equal, limiting stress put on other parts of the body. Once we find your greatest asymmetries we will test your muscles’ ability to “recruit” and contract properly using gentle isometric (no movement, or “holding”) contractions to find angles and directions of weakness. Once we find/confirm weakness, we help you perform gentle positional isometrics you need the most to stimulate muscles to contract properly again. This adaptation is from our nervous and muscular systems. The body has to be retrained to recruit the correct muscles in the correct order.
- Jumpstart MAT uses these positional isometrics as a way of diminishing the inhibition to get a muscle able to contract in its’ extreme end range position and cut down on the need for compensations. If a muscle doesn't have the ability to contract throughout its entire range, tightness and tension will be created in other parts of the body to try and give this area the stability it is lacking. For example, if your hamstrings won’t bend your knee to pick up your foot, your IT bands may try to!
- MAT prepares your body for optimal performance in any activity you partake in (whether its a specific sport of just feeling better in daily living).
- MAT does not treat pain or injury directly; but by finding and correcting your weaknesses, and having the muscular system working better, the body can begin to strengthen and heal, removing repetitive trauma, therefore decreasing inflammation and reducing or eliminating pain.
What is the difference between MAT and regular training/treatment/or “corrective exercise”?
- We are some of a very few professionals in Canada that can provide these techniques! The biggest difference is that we can actually TEST your muscles to find out what is working and what isn’t so we can correct your weakest links! We let your body reveal through range of motion and extremely gentle isometric pressure tests what is really happening so we can be more precise with your training and give you the exercises and programs that may help you the most! Instead of “guessing” what is a “good” or “safe” exercise for you; we have the tools to find out what is best for you to help you optimize your training.
- Jumpstart MAT is a tool designed to find asymmetries in the body's movement which could identify possible muscle inhibition. When the body has inhibition it will rely on compensation to create movement. Compensation isn't always a bad thing as without it we wouldn't be able to move. It is when the compensations become too great and we start to lose the ability to move into ranges that it can become uncomfortable. Everyone compensates as everyone has muscle inhibition at some point, due to stress (mental or physical), overuse, trauma, dehydration, improper nutrition and sleep deprivation.
- If traditional methods of exercise are solely used the body can often just compensate through these ranges, often without us even knowing, until it is too late and pain, tension or even injuries are present. A positional isometric will target a specific range and all the muscles that do that motion to create proper input to the brain from the muscles doing that job.
- These assessments and corrections can also help increase your awareness of what is happening in your body, and one of the most powerful tools to preventing injury. We will help you understand what is wrong, and possibly what movements or activities cause more problems for you. Some corrective exercises or treatments may not be what you need, and may actually reinforce injury if the wrong muscles are working to try to complete those movements. It is critical we do what your body can handle with as little compensation as possible so the correct muscles get stronger. No matter how long or severe your injury, there is a possibility of improvement!
How can MAT benefit you?
- Please also refer to explanations above, and in summary; by finding and correcting weaknesses and muscle imbalances that can lead to ineffective movement and injury.
- Because the corrections that we give you are isometric holds that are done for seconds with no equipment, they are often easy to apply at work, watching TV, in the middle of a run, etc. One example: I know that my left hamstrings tend to not contract well. In the middle of a run if I notice my left IT bands or hip start to tighten, I contract my hamstrings gently and those muscles now are working again to help me pick up my lower leg again and my “IT band kick” is eliminated and so is the pain. A few 6 second contractions in the middle of a half marathon to remove pain and prevent injury- I’ll take it!
- We can also give you specific homework that can be done in seconds and retest to make sure the weaknesses are correcting, to help you keep improving until we get to see you again!
How much does MAT cost? (not including gst)
Initial 90 minute MAT session, either Jumpstart assess and correct, or the specialist treatment.……$160
Personalized, mini corrective program (with pictures of your prescribed exercises) to help you make corrections, or even use as a muscle recruitment warm up before, during and after activity………...$25
Follow up 60 minute assess and correct MAT sessions (jumpstart or specialist) …………………$105
Regular 60 minute MAT sessions …………………$80
What is the difference between MAT JUMPSTART AND MAT SPECIALIST TREATMENT?
They are similar, and both provide great benefits, except the specialist treatment can get deeper into the absolute weakest link or isolated muscle to correct it. MAT specialists are trained over an entire year with extensive testing and can palpate muscles to stimulate better function and help them recruit more effectively. They can treat all the muscles contributing to an entire movement pattern that may be weak! It is a deeper level of correction, and can complement any training program, or even the Jumpstart treatments. The Jumpstart practitioners can test full body on range of motion and muscle weaknesses and also correct using isometrics, but cannot palpate certain muscles or treat an entire movement pattern to the same level of specificity.
How do I incorporate MAT treatments with training sessions?
We recommend all new clients have at least one Jumpstart or Specialist session so that when we initiate training sessions, we have already started on a path of correction, and we can make informed quality decisions when designing the right program for you! Once you are into training sessions, we would be happy to incorporate the MAT techniques to ensure the correct muscles are firing, and also to help us determine if the exercises are truly correcting your imbalances so we are not wasting your time, and we are helping you get the best possible results!
How do I get started?
Please complete our MAT CLIENT PROFILE FORM so that we have the information we need to get you started! We will email you with possible session times as soon as we receive your email, you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to book directly.
Owner The Fitness Fix
B.Sc. Exercise & Health Physiology
Muscle Activation Technique Jumpstart Certified Trainer
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
Medical Exercise Specialist
Certified Fitness Consultant