Stretching The Field

Peyton Manning

Muscle mechanic improves life quality

By Karie Angell Luc Contributor April 3, 2012 2:16PM

Steve Dam owns Activation Fitness, Inc. and a Certified Muscle Activation Techniques specialist in Glenview. Dam works with client Janet Sontag from Glenview. | Tamara Bell~Sun Times Media
Updated: April 3, 2012 10:37PM

Steve Dam of Glenview’s Activation Fitness has been called a “Muscle Whisperer,” but he prefers “Muscle Mechanic.”

“Once people begin to grasp how this technique works, the most common response we get is, that just makes sense.’”

Dam is referring to an approach to exercise called “biomechanical perspective utilizing Muscle Activation Techniques™ (MAT).”

“Muscular imbalance creates tension and stress, MAT uses the muscles to align and balance your body,” explains Dam.

“We challenge every exercise and workout to determine the best way to help you meet your goals.

“Every person is highly individual with specific strengths and weaknesses, so this cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Dam believes if an exercise program is administered appropriately, clients can eliminate chronic pain and muscle tightness as well as prevent future injury.

Muscle tightness is a symptom, “it is how the body protects itself from instability.

“Strengthening the weaknesses will improve stability and the body will allow more motion,” he said.

Dam and his wife Christina, of Johnsburg, Ill., have three children Gerrit, 6, a kindergartner, Trevor, 4, a preschooler and Anneke, 2.

One of his biggest cheerleaders, Jon Harris of Northbrook (of Sara Lee Corp.), says clients travel from Indiana and Wisconsin to see Dam from locales such as Bartlett, Oswego and Osh Kosh, Wis.

“Glenview has a great variety of people and businesses,” said Dam.

“I love the small hometown feel, and it has a great deal to offer. People are very welcoming and supportive of small businesses; they are active and open to new ideas which are perfect for the services we offer.”

After working six days a week in Glenview for three years, and after spending five years working in Northbrook, Dam’s client base is primarily from Glenview, Northbrook, Northfield and Winnetka, with long distance clients rounding out the roster.

Dam’s success stories include people of all backgrounds and abilities.

“We work with all kinds of clients from grade school to clients fully mature and in their nineties.” said Dam.

“Most people first come to us injured or dealing with chronic pain and tightness, but we also help people prevent injury, lose weight, and build muscle safely and efficiently,” Dam said.

“Quite a bit of the work we do is with runners and tri-athletes helping them to run, bike and swim for years to come.”

Some of his clients have life-changing stories.

“A professional violinist came to us with over 10 years of severe neck and shoulder pain that originated when she fell in her early 20s,” said Dam. “She now is able to play violin regularly and work out pain free.

“I work with someone who was a great collegiate runner,” he added. “After multiple knee surgeries and now in his 30s he could barely run five miles a week due to the pain. In a short time we were able to eliminate his orthotics and help him run 30 miles a week again pain free.

His wife, Christina, has a similar story.

“She was a top collegiate runner who was close to having ankle surgery in her late twenties due to chronic ankle instability,” said Dam. “Now after three kids, she is back running 5K (courses) and half marathons as fast as she did in college.”

Steve Dam, MAT Certified Specialist, is located at 1940 Lehigh Ave Unit F., Glenview.

Call (847) 730-5531. Visit


Contact Activation Fitness today to learn more: (847) 730-5531.