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Muscle Activation Technique For Endurance Athletes


You know I am all about muscle activation, but what about Muscle Activation Technique? Did you know that Muscle Activation Technique is a growing field in the certified specialist provider spectrum that could help you get the most out of your body and your training.

Today, I want to introduce you to Martin Kimpson, a Certified Muscle Activation Technique (or MAT) specialist who I have had the pleasure of meeting several times and even visiting his Strictly Muscles clinic at Lateral Fitness in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.

As someone with a history of muscle activation issues and injuries as well as a running coach and personal trainer, I was instantly curious and wanted to learn more about the field, and I thought you all might as well! So I asked Martin if he would like to put together a post explaining to all of us a bit more about Muscle Activation Technique, and how MAT could benefit Endurance Athletes.

Please welcome Martin!

Muscle Activation Technique for Endurance Athletes: How can you get more from your muscles beyond strength training? Find out on @suzlyfe

Muscle Activation Technique for Endurance Athletes

Martin Kimpson (Strictly Muscles)

How important is exercise to you? For many people exercise is a vital part of their happiness and identity.  It is who they are and what they do with the little bit of spare time they have in their life outside of work and family.  Question: Have you ever had the ability to exercise taken away because of injury?  Unfortunately the most common answer to this question is “yes!”  Well a growing number of athletes in the professional and recreational world are using Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT™) as a way to turn that answer to “no!”

MAT™ is a technique that helps athletes recover from competitive stress quickly and helps them prevent future injuries. MAT™ prepares the body to be more efficient in training and athletic performance.

Muscle Activation Technique for Endurance Athletes: How can you get more from your muscles beyond strength training? Find out on @suzlyfe

In order to reach optimal performance capabilities, an athlete is forced to train at high intensity levels. Because of this, there is always the risk for injury. Some athletes may be predisposed to an injury, due to muscles not contracting efficiently, which place increased stress on joints and other tissues. When training at a high level, those inefficiencies are magnified, and sometimes the body can no longer handle the stress, eventually breaking down. It is like driving a car with bad alignment. The faster you drive it, the faster the tires are going to wear out. The body functions in much the same way. 

Muscle Activation Technique for Endurance Athletes: How can you get more from your muscles beyond strength training? Find out on @suzlyfe

The goal of MAT™ is to address the weakness before an injury occurs. Conventional therapy will typically treat the symptom, but the cause of the problem is often left unaddressed. The end result is that the athlete does not heal, or they go on to experience repetitive injuries or a more severe injury.  The primary benefit of MAT™ is the ability to assess, prepare, improve, and manage an individual’s muscular system. By balancing the muscular system, MAT™ provides an improved environment for restoring physical performance. This allows the athlete to return to sport sooner with improved athletic capabilities.

Everyone knows what a tug-of-war match is. It’s two different teams of people pulling in opposition to one another. Now let’s imagine that each team are actually muscles pulling around a joint (contracting). Let’s say one of the sides start to lose participants, what happens? There are less people helping to respond to a whole bunch of people.  That’s tightness! A few muscles are over working and trying to respond to the high amount of forces (i.e. high mileage or intervals). MAT™ isn’t focused on getting rid of the muscles that are tight, because they are the muscles working. It’s focused on getting more muscles back on the side of the tug-of-war, which increases strength and decreases the need for some muscles to work more than others.   

Muscle Activation Technique for Endurance Athletes: How can you get more from your muscles beyond strength training? Find out on @suzlyfe

MAT™ is ideal for endurance athletes that are frustrated that they are unable to maintain a regular training schedule due to repetitive injuries like IT band syndrome or plantar fasciitis. They are worried about a future where they aren’t able to run and compete like they want to. They feel sad that they are not able to keep up with their friends on race day anymore.

The great thing about MAT™ is it helps people learn about their body and teaches them how to address the issue on their own. It’s not about “fixing” you. It’s about getting your muscles contracting better, improving the amount of tension the muscle can develop, and maintaining that strength. The results of getting your muscles contracting more efficiently are you can train harder while decreasing the risk of injury.

Strictly Muscles is a Muscle Activation Technique clinic in River North Chicago.

Thank you, Martin!

Could Muscle Activation be the secret to your greatest race ever? @strictlymuscles #runchat Click To Tweet

What questions do you have for Martin about Muscle Activation Technique?

Are you familiar with Muscle Activation Technique?

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and Running Coaches Corner

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