Health Tips > Fitness Files > Recover Faster with MAT

Recover Faster with MAT

View All Section Pages

physical therapist massaging knee

Are tight muscles or pain inhibiting your movement? Limited range of motion is one way your body works to protect weak areas. Our body compensates for weaknesses, creating muscular imbalances and asymmetries that ultimately impact the way we move and our quality of life. Instead of treating the symptoms, it’s critical to get to the cause of the problem.

Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT) is a non-invasive approach to identify and correct muscular imbalances and limitations in range of motion that contribute to pain and injury to the body. Once weak areas are identified, muscles are tested for strength and stability to achieve full range of motion and balance throughout the body.

MAT Results:
•    Help the body function better 
•    Improve range of motion
•    Increase strength and stability within range of motion

Injury Recovery with MAT

MAT helps in injury recovery by allowing the body to heal itself properly. For example, if you have a sprained ankle, the body tightens up tissue to protect you from putting pressure on the affected muscle groups. MAT helps the body function more effectively by getting more muscles to fire and operate around the sprain, taking pressure off the area that is painful and inflamed. 

Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer and MAT Specialist Robert Treece explains to maintain muscle mass while recovering from an injury, a good rule of thumb is that if it hurts, don’t do it. “All exercises you do involve more than just the one muscle that is in pain,” says Treece. “MAT it is the safest way to correct imbalance because trainers are able to isolate one muscle at a time and evaluate the status of a specific muscle in a controlled environment.”

Including MAT in a treatment plan enables someone to ease back into working out post injury. It provides a more thorough understanding of the body’s threshold of stress and helps the body recover more quickly and effectively by appropriately activating the surrounding muscles.

MAT and Massage 

“MAT is a great way to lay a foundation for continually reevaluating the status of your muscle system,” says Treece. “A 50-year-old client loved to play golf but his shoulder pain kept getting worse. He had shoulder surgery scheduled, but after undergoing MAT sessions he was able to cancel the surgery altogether. It just took a couple of modifications to his workouts and making sure all the muscles were firing properly.”

In addition to being MAT certified, Treece is also a Licensed Massage Therapist. Treece recommends paring MAT with massage therapy for the most effective recovery. MAT deals with the hardwiring of the body and the way the brain and central nervous system communicate with muscles. Massage therapy is more about the architecture of the muscles, helping break up scar tissue from injuries allowing the muscles to slide more easily over each other which allow for fluid movement and range of motion.

If muscles are stuck together or not sliding against each other properly, MAT will not be effective. Therefore, the two work together to balance in the musclar system and promote proper recovery.

For more information about MAT or to schedule an appointment with a professional fitness trainer, visit