Home Tips What’s Muscle Activation and Why Is It Vital?

What’s Muscle Activation and Why Is It Vital?

What’s Muscle Activation and Why Is It Vital?

Muscle activation, or MAT, is a treatment modality that hasn’t been around for long. We’ll inform you all about it in this text.

Muscle activation is an idea that lends itself to confusion and that will also be found on the Web under the proposal of a series of techniques to enhance posture and soothe the pain. Actually, there are even training courses and international certification for many who need to train on this modality.

In itself, muscle activation is the process by which a muscle contracts, that’s, it does its work, either voluntarily or involuntarily. We activate the buttocks and abdominals to do the plank, for instance, in order that we hold the posture for the stipulated time.

But we even have MAT (muscle activation techniques) or muscle activation techniques. This can be a type of treatment for neuromuscular disorders that cause pain, weaknesses, and imbalances.

What’s MAT or muscle activation?

Within the early 2000s, Greg Roskopf, a master in health and fitness, proposed a theory to elucidate why many individuals had muscular discomfort that was not resolved with the standard physiotherapy techniques. For him, the effective way was to search for imbalances that may explain the pain from one other perspective.

So he suggested that some patients suffered pain on one side of the body, for instance, because they didn’t activate the alternative side accurately enough. And this could possibly be traced back to a foul connection between the neurons and the muscle tissue, or to an inhibition within the communication of the nervous system with the muscle.

He developed specific techniques to resolve what he determined to be an issue. These techniques start with a diagnosis made by the TMA specialist, through which he manages to discover the non-activated areas.

Then, the treatment goals on the muscular activation of those regions forgotten by the nervous system. With different approaches, contraction, and tension are stimulated within the areas that might improve the patient’s quality of life.

Neurons carry information to the myocyte, which is the muscle cell. In this manner, they indicate contraction or rest of the fibers.

We expect you might be curious about reading this, too: An Easy Guide to Constructing Muscles Like Arnold Schwarzenegger

The explanations for the issue in line with TMA

So, summarizing the speculation of muscle activation, we’d say that there are 3 ways by which neuromuscular pain could possibly be generated that could possibly be solved with TMA techniques:

  • Inhibition: the brain would have the opportunity to inhibit nerve transmission in certain neurons which might be in command of activating the muscles. Why wouldn’t it achieve this? Basically, to guard the structures or since it detects that they should not getting used. That’s, because there’s an injury or a repetitive movement that may cause damage, or because a sedentary lifestyle warns the nervous system that this part just isn’t getting used.
  • Weakness: it’s possible that you’ve gotten weak muscles. This is able to mean that they should not in a position to fulfill the precise function that corresponds to them. They don’t contract with the sufficient force required within the anatomical context by which they’re inserted or they don’t execute the movement that we ask of them in an exercise or sport. This weakness will cause the brain to activate other nearby or distant muscles to perform the motion. This favors injuries, because the opposite activated tissues should not trained for this latest function.
  • Imbalance: muscular imbalance can be a consequence of the 2 previous problems. One a part of the body develops rather more than the opposite. Due to this fact, there are muscles with good tone and strength that overshadow the remaining and don’t allow them to activate. It’s as if the weaker part enters a chronic energy-saving mode.

Muscle activation techniques

TMA techniques are performed by people trained on this area. Depending on the country and the health laws in force, the skilled will sometimes be required to be a physiotherapist, while in some places this just isn’t indispensable.

It might due to this fact be a specialty inside kinesiology or an alternate treatment. In either modality, the technician or practitioner performs a preliminary diagnosis to discover inhibited, weakened or unbalanced areas. Then she or he applies the MAT techniques.

But there are also some muscle activation exercises which might be useful to perform at home. Before proceeding to a more intense routine, these alternatives function a warm-up.

1. Isometric movements

Isometric movements are in a position to activate the musculature, avoiding among the disadvantages of concentric exercises. The latter are people who shorten the muscle fibers against resistance, as happens when lifting a dumbbell towards our shoulder.

The issue with concentric exercises is that, in the event that they are repeated too often, they strengthen some fibers while leaving others out of recruitment. Consequently, one area of the body becomes stronger, but the opposite is weakened.

Isometric exercises don’t change the length of the muscle fiber. That’s, the person stays in a static contraction and there isn’t a noticeable displacement. This improves neuromuscular balance and will be executed with ease if we do the isometric plank or a static squat.

2. Knees lifts without impact

Before heading out for a running session, runners can do some warm-up movements that activate the complete lower body. One in all them is to boost the knees above hip level, but without jogging in place and returning the foot to its starting position without impact.

The key to this muscle activation is a calmness to finish the arc of the joint and never to descend with an excessive amount of power. We need to stimulate the muscle tissue, not to start out running. Then, with the running session, the standard muscles will likely be used.

Skipping is different, because it consists of a run in place, with impact and elevation of the knees. Due to this fact, it’s not MAT.

Like this text? You could also wish to read: The Farmer’s Walk: Technique, Advantages and Muscles Worked

3. Palpation

With palpation, we stimulate muscle tissues that could possibly be inhibited. Just touching inactive muscle masses sends a signal to the brain for some contraction.

It’s difficult to discover which regions to the touch if we should not trained in TMA. Still, idea is to palpate those areas that we all know we use less often.

If we all the time do strength work within the gym, think about the upper body, and never go running, we could spend minutes palpating the glutes, quads, and calves. It’s a way of warning the brain not to modify off those lesser-used muscles.

MAT still has a technique to go

The muscle activation technique just isn’t accepted by all health professionals. There continues to be an extended technique to go and more scientific studies are needed to determine its true scope.

For now, we all know that it’s not the identical for kids as for adults. Within the pediatric age, there should not the identical vices as with aging, just as there just isn’t often strength gym work, which limits the incidence of inhibition or sports injuries.

For older people, the abdominal muscle activation that reduces back pain is of interest. Nevertheless, there’s research that clarifies that not everyone advantages from it and that there ought to be a personalised prescription.

In the intervening time, seek the advice of a trusted health skilled. Start with a physical therapist or a trauma doctor who can guide you, diagnose you, and recommend a TMA session or not.

It’d interest you…

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to make sure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this text was considered reliable and of educational or scientific accuracy.

  • Dotan, Raffy, et al. “Child—adult differences in muscle activation—a review.” Pediatric exercise science 24.1 (2012): 2-21.
  • Arnold, Pauline, and Ivan Bautmans. “The influence of strength training on muscle activation in elderly individuals: a scientific review and meta-analysis.” Experimental gerontology 58 (2014): 58-68.
  • Stokes, Ian AF, Mack G. Gardner-Morse, and Sharon M. Henry. “Abdominal muscle activation increases lumbar spinal stability: evaluation of contributions of various muscle groups.” Clinical biomechanics 26.8 (2011): 797-803.


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