Isometric exercise is a great complement to Muscle Activation Technique, helping to strengthen weakened muscles and keep them at peak performance.
Isometric exercise is another form of resistance training that prevents injuries and speeds up rehabilitation from existing injuries. It involves muscular contractions, during which no shortening or lengthening of a muscle occurs. In other words, there is no movement. Instead, there is a constant and equal force or strain placed on the muscles.
It was once believed that if there was no joint movement during exercise, strength would not develop. It was thought that resistance must be applied when the joint is in several positions to develop strength throughout the full range of motion. This is not the case. If a muscle is strengthened in the shortened position with an isometric contraction, the strength will carry over throughout the entire muscle’s range. Isometric training has the capability of producing a deep level of muscular development in a very short period of time.
Isometric Exercises and MAT
Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) incorporates isometric exercises because they are a simple but very effective method for strengthening muscles, thus aiding in injury recovery and prevention of future sports injuries.
MAT and isometric exercise solve several problems that weightlifting and other activities do not solve:
Problem #1: A weak muscle will not contract with most strengthening exercises because dominant muscles will compensate for weak muscles.
Problem #2: When the body senses instability in the joint, it will tighten up to protect the joint. Stretching a tight muscle will only create a temporary release and could result in a more vulnerable joint.
Problem #3: Muscle imbalances may occur through repetitive use of the same muscle, or through injury, causing the body to go into “protective” mode.
The Solution to Muscle Injuries
In order to restore proper balance to the musculature, weak muscles must first be re-activated with a combination of MAT and isometric exercises.
My goal is to actually fool the muscle system by implementing corrective isometric contractions in a muscle’s shortened range, making it more responsive to resistance. This allows for an increased impulse to the brain, which in turn causes an increase in muscle strength.