When you live a sedentary lifestyle (working at a desk, minimal exercise) it can really, really mess with your body. Your muscles become lazy and work with minimal effort to help you function- the effort required to help you stand, sit and generally move about becomes compromised because they’re not working effectively or even as they should. Prolonged inactivity will mean the muscles forget how to communicate with each other and although you probably feel like you can get about fine at the moment, it won’t seem so rosy when you’re older, as it undoubtedly compromises other aspects of your health and body, for example, you ligaments and joints.
When reintroducing yourself to exercise and activity again, it’s really best to start from the very beginning; retraining your muscles how to communicate and work in the way they should. It’s a technique called muscle activation therapy.
Muscle activation therapy (MST) is an assessment of the muscular system to determine the efficiency of the muscle contractions to determine the mobility of that limb (MuscleActivation). This is done by comparing a specific limb on one side of the body to the other. This is followed by a specific strengthening exercise before repeating the assessment to determine the development. The ultimate objective is to achieve symmetrical structure of the left and right hand sides of the body.
The assessment would involve resisting forces (at multiple angles) to determine the limbs strength and flexibility. Once the ‘weaker’ muscle (of the two sides) has been determined, you focus on strengthening exercises- this involves identifying the correct muscles for the movement and creating a tension or a stretch in the muscle. This position would be held for mere seconds before relaxing and repeating the same exercise several times over.
Muscles are highly intelligent and if you led a pretty active lifestyle before, there is every chance that you’re body will respond well to this sort of treatment thanks to muscle memory, enabling you to get back to full health quite promptly. However, even when your muscles seem to be responding to such a technique, it is worth building in this strengthening into the foundation of your exercise programmes to ensure the muscles continue to work effectively as there is every chance of relapse early into the process. It is also quite possibly that some areas take longer to engage than others and will require several sessions at the most basic level.
Initially you are likely to find such a process quite tiring as your body is having to work in a way that it hasn’t for such a long time that the muscles will easily fatigue. It is essential that you don’t push yourself too early when working on muscle activation.
As for you that live quite an active lifestyle already? Looking into muscle activation isn’t a bad option. Being active you’re more likely than most to handle most things physically. But there is every chance that you’re not using muscles correctly and compromising your posture, ligaments, joints and other muscles. When we’re not under the watchful keep of a personal trainer (pretty much everybody), it’s easy to adjust our stances to make physical activity more comfortable/bearable but could be completely wrong and we end up compromising our bodies; it may make some aspects of physical activity more difficult initially but you and your body will be grateful in the long run.