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Whether you’re a professional athlete, a bodybuilder or a weekend warrior, you know that you put your body and mind through many challenges as you work toward your goals. Because of this, it’s imperative that you take care of yourself with athletic recovery and proper nutrition.
It’s also important to know that even the most trained athlete can experience a problem with muscle imbalance. If you are using improper form while completing an exercise, get injured or are returning from time off, your muscle strength may at different levels throughout your body. Because of this, some muscles may overcompensate for the lack of ability in others, which leads to imbalance and other complications. Whether you’re a professional athlete or just enjoy working out on the weekend, this is a good thing to be aware of so you can correct any imbalances.
One way to achieve this is through muscle activation therapy (MAT). MAT is a training method that helps to restore balance to your body and improve its function. The foundation of MAT, according to ACE Fitness, is that tight muscles work to protect the body, and sometimes muscles can get stuck in a tight, shortened position. When this happens, the risk of injury increases and the muscle can’t perform properly.
“When muscles become too tight they have the same effect, which limits joint motion and could be a potential cause for injury,” Greg Roskopf, former collegiate strength coach and developer of MAT, told the source.
The Muscle Activation website said that MAT can be thought of as a system of checks and balances that helps people to “evaluate the integrity of the neuromuscular system whenever a force has been applied against it.”
Men’s Health Fitness has developed a list of ways you can benefit from MAT:
Better coordination: In order to protect the itself from injury, the brain tells the body to use the strongest muscles, even if they don’t create a clean movement. MAT works to strengthen imbalanced muscles so that you can move more quickly and efficiently, which will improve your coordination.
Gain strength: When the muscles have an imbalance, you are not working your body to its fullest potential, even with the most dedicated training routine. Integrating MAT into your workout plan will help correct the issues, and as a result, you will become stronger overall.
More flexible: Using a portable massager to loosen up sore muscles improves flexibility, and MAT can help even more. Weak muscles send the wrong brain signals, which limits your range of motion. With MAT’s checks and balances, you’ll be able to move more in all planes.
Less injury risk: Stabilizer muscles are important for helping you prevent injuries and these will likely become stronger using MAT. For example, if you fall and your muscles are imbalanced, you’ll most likely get hurt. However if you trip but have strong stabilizers, you have a much better chance of catching yourself.
Lower amounts of pain: Pain is often the result of improper patterns of movement that are continuously repeated for chronic muscle dysfunction. When this is added to a miscommunications between the brain and the muscles, it can leave you seriously hurting. Using MAT’s checks and balances, you can work to improve the communication, which lowers your level of pain.
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Living a healthy lifestyle takes commitment and focus. It’s easy to be swayed off course by cravings, sweets cravings and fatty foods, but you know that these will deter you from your goals. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, enhance your endurance, run a marathon or get stronger, eating a balanced, nutritious diet is a must.
Even so, late night snacks are hard to resist sometimes, and if your stomach is rumbling before hitting the hay, you may reach to something quick and easy. Instead of just grabbing whatever is closest at hand, try these nighttime snacks that won’t derail your good eating habits: