Welcome to Muscle Activation Techniques

What is MAT ?

Muscle Activation Techniques(MAT)® is a powerful muscular assessment tool that analyzes and corrects muscular imbalances. At MAT we focus on the cause of pain by testing, correcting, and maintaining muscle contractile efficiency. We believe that flexibility is a derivative of strength, and that muscle tightness is secondary to muscle weakness.

  • MAT is a revolutionary methodology
  • The technique is non-invasive and is designed to balance the muscular system for people of all ages
  • Muscles activated by MAT are conditioned to function with maximum efficiency which is observed through reduced pain and increased range of motion

Who is MAT® for?

Whether you are a client looking for MAT treatment or a health professional looking for MAT education, we have options for you. Clients with chronic pain and restricted movement as well as practitioners have been using MAT in clinics for over 20 years.

  • Practitioners use it to assess and correct muscular imbalances, join instability, and range of motion limitation
  • Clients seek out MAT practitioners to alleviate chronic back, neck, and joint pain that they have suffered with for years


  • People of all ages with chronic pain
  • Neck, back, knee, or hip pain
  • Discomfort walking
  • Shoulder pain & limited motion
  • Sports Performance Goals
  • Improve overall health and mobility

Client FAQ’s

Over time stress, trauma, or overuse, and the resultant inflammation on the body result in a less efficient muscular system and diminished neuromuscular function. The communication between the nervous system and the muscular system can break down over time. This altered communication between the nervous system and the muscular system can lead to altered mechanics which can trigger symptoms relating to muscle tightness, pain and many of the physical complaints that we associate with aging. Then end result of a one-time physical trauma or a lifetime of micro-traumas is altered communication between the nervous system and the muscular system. Due to this altered communication, the contractile ability of the associated muscles becomes less efficient. This can lead to progressive weakness that leads to an increased susceptibility to pain, injury and long term degenerative changes. 

MAT® is designed to re-establish the communication pathways between the nervous system and the muscular system in order to restore muscle contractile capabilities.  The main indicator of muscle(s) losing their contractile efficiency is limitations in range of motion (ROM). Through the MAT assessment, we begin with a muscle-specific joint ROM assessment.. This allows the MAT practitioner to precisely determine which muscles potentially have altered communication from the nervous system. The MAT practitioner will then perform a form of Manual Muscle testing in order to determine which muscles are actually weak. Once the weaknesses have been identified, MAT practitioners are trained to employ two processes that are designed to improve contractile capabilities.  The first form of activation is a muscle-specific palpation technique designed to stimulate the sensory receptors within the muscle in order to improve the input from the periphery back to the central nervous system.  The second form of activation involves  position-specific isometrics designed to  improve motor output from the central nervous system back out to the muscles. As the Central Nervous System re-establishes it’s communication with the muscular system, the affected muscles will  experience fewer protective measures, therefore providing the body with a greater  a sense of stability, which in turn provides  the body with more mobility. “

MAT looks at muscle tightness as being a symptom that relates to underlying weaknesses. Whenever you have stress, trauma or overuse to the body, the resultant inflammation alters the communication between the nervous system and the muscular system so that the muscles cannot contract efficiently. When muscles can’t contract efficiently, they cannot shorten efficiently and they actually weaken due to lack of neurological input. This causes opposing muscles to tighten up. Many modalities focus on trying to loosen up the muscles that are tight. With MAT, we focus on the muscle weakness aspect of the muscle dysfunction. Through specific activation techniques that improve the communication between the nervous system and the muscular system, not only do the associated muscles get stronger, but the protective tightening of other muscles goes away. MAT works to improve a muscle’s contractile capabilities and the resulting range of motion and strength of that muscle/limb. By improving these aspects, a person will see an increased ability for exercise and physical performance.

MAT differentiates itself from other techniques because it never attempts to directly lengthen or change the muscle by stretching, heating, kneading, or foam rolling. MAT is not trying to “relax” muscle, but instead tries to “activate” the muscle, so that your body is better prepared to handle the forces that come from exercise and every day movements.

  • To determine whether there is proper communication between the nervous system and the muscular system.
  • To Identify which muscles are not receiving proper neural input from the nervous system
  • To Improve the communication between the nervous system and the muscular system in order that the muscles can most effectively stabilize joints, tolerate forces and protect the body from injury
  • to provide a system of checks and balances that enables us to identify and correct muscular imbalances that relate to altered communication within the nervous system

Read more about becoming a MAT client >


  • Physical Therapists
  • Personal Trainers
  • Massage Therapists
  • Chiropractors
  • Strength & Conditioning Coaches
  • Other Health and Exercise Professionals

Practitioner FAQ’s

  • MAT is a process that allows the practitioner to identify muscle dysfunction in their client’s body.
  • MAT recognizes that whenever there is stress, trauma or overuse to the muscular system, the resultant inflammation alters the communication between the nervous system and the muscular system which alters the ability to contract efficiently
  • MAT can help you determine whether or not the nervous system is properly signaling to your client’s muscles in order that they can contract efficiently to stabilize joints and protect the body from injury
  • MAT will help you identify which muscles are not receiving neural input by performing proprietary range of motion exams, followed up by proprietary manual muscle testing techniques
  • MAT will help to improve the muscle contractions through specific activation techniques, which in turn, creates the ability for muscles to effectively stabilize joints and protect the body from injury.  
  • MAT will provide you with a systematic process that ensures that your client’s strength and mobility is increased, through improving the neural input coming from the nervous system to the muscular system.

We will let our community of Practitioners help answer this question. According to MAT Practitioner Survey from May 2019:

  • 92% of MAT Practitioners say MAT® gives them a Unique Skill Set in the marketplace.
  • 85% of MAT Practitioners say they enjoy the High Positive Client Outcomes that MAT gives them.
  • Anyone in the health and exercise fields can benefit from learning the techniques that are provided in the MAT education process
  • MAT functions as a great adjunct to any other form of therapy or training in the health and rehab industries. By improving the neuromuscular function of your client it allows for quicker and more efficient results to occur from these other modalities

The prerequisite for the MAT Specialist programs require that participants must be a licensed therapist, or must obtain undergraduate coursework in anatomy and physiology and/or hold a recognized fitness certification with a minimum of two years of experience as a fitness professional. 

The school does not discriminate based on race, sex, religion, ethnic origin, or disability. 

All prospective students must be at least 18 years of age and at a minimum, have a High School Diploma. MAT students will be required to sign a student waiver prior to the class beginning. As a part of this, the students will be required to affirm their receipt of a High School Diploma or GED and confirming that they are 18 years or older. 

Prospective Specialist students are encouraged but not required to have a background and secondary degree in the exercise, sport science, biology, and anatomy fields.  MAT encourages but does not require professional and academic experience in various fields within the exercise continuum. 

Prospective Master Specialist Students are required to have completed the MAT Specialist program or be an MAT Specialist certified in the particular segment for one year. 

Prospective MATRx students must be an active certified MAT Mastery Specialist.

Read more about becoming a MAT practitioner >