MAT Benefits

MAT for Runners

Improved Running Efficiency

Runners take note...

Your normal runner’s gait pattern naturally changes when muscles are compensating for weaknesses. Chronic issues can develop; and that means possible wear and tear injuries. Check out a recent article in that discusses the use of Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) to avoid those injuries...
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Avoid Injuries

MAT can help you prevent and/or recover from:

  • Plantar Fasceitis
  • IT Band Syndrome
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Achilles Tendonitis/Calf Strains
  • Tendonitis of the foot/ankle muscles
  • Back pain
  • Tight Hamstrings/Hip Flexors
  • Decreased/weak arm motion (poor upper body running mechanics) 
  • Shin Splints
  • Patella-Femoral Syndrome (Chondromalatia)
  • Hip bursitis


Running is a series of interrelated joints all working together to create motion.  If the body senses instability or weakness, it tightens up to protect creating compensation.  MAT helps to restore strength and stability, maximizing efficiency. 

Running is a healthy form of exercise when you are able to absorb shock appropriately.  When the muscles are contracting optimally, impact from activities such as running increases bone density and provides nutrition to the joints.  

Set up an appointment now to learn more how MAT can strengthen your weak links and help you continue to run healthy and strong for life! 


In their own words...

“I’m 48 and a lifelong runner. I developed plantar fasciitis several months ago and I was desperate for help. A friend suggested I try MAT and recommended Steve Dam. I was a bit surprised when Steve spent the entire session working on my ‘good’ side, hardly even touching my painful foot. After several sessions with Steve, doing my exercises and following his advice, I have completely changed the way I look at therapy, stretching, and the way my body works in general. I am back to running again pain free and feel even less susceptible to injury now!”
— Maggie Mohr

“I met Steve in February at a Road Runner Sports event. After a short demonstration of the Muscle Activation Technique and quick evaluation of my issues, I immediately knew that I needed their help. There was an increase in muscle strength after just 5 minutes of work. I was stunned! I was suffering from high hamstring tendonitis and as a runner this severely limited my ability to run hills. After only 4 sessions I was able to run a very challenging hilly 25k with no issues or pain. I continue to work with Steve and continue to see improvements and have been able to run pain free all summer. I would highly recommend Activation Fitness and MAT to anyone.”
— Kathy Wasicki
     Road Runner Sports Grassroots Representative

“I am a 15 year old varsity distance runner. I started having tightness and pain last track season which I was told was IT band tightness. At the start of my cross-country season I developed pain in my knee and hip which caused me to stop training. MAT with Steve Dam has helped me gain flexibility and strength in my hips, knees and ankles. I feel stronger after my session and this carries over to help me run faster. With every session I see progress and understand more about how my body works.”
— Maki Mohr

“I have had chronic knee pain for many years.   I have tried many different techniques (surgery, physical therapy, acupuncture, and more) to “get by,” so that I can keep on running.   Some have helped, but usually for just a short span of time before the pain increases again.    With MAT … I have already noticed a significant decrease in knee pain almost to the point of no pain.   In addition I have a much greater range of motion with my joints as well as increased strength.

— Steve Buti
     Highland Park High School
     Assistant Boys Cross Country and Track & Field Coach


What Type of Shoe is Best for You?

At Activation Fitness, we believe a thorough evaluation of your mechanics is necessary before determining what shoe is best for you. There are 26 bones in the foot and ankle! It is an extremely complex structure. In order to evaluate it appropriately, we must look at each major joint and axis of motion individually.

The human body is designed to run barefoot.  This realization explains the “minimalist” running movement.  However, running barefoot is not for everyone in their current state.  Adequate strength and mobility must be restored.  Endurance in these muscles must be built up as you gradually progress to less and less support.

MAT can be an integral part of this process.  If injury and/or restrictive footwear has caused muscle weakness, or there has been adaptive shortening, these muscles must be specifically addressed in order to safely transition into a less supportive shoe.