These days, it’s not uncommon to attend a Fitness Conference or be at a gym and hear Fitness professionals saying something to the effect off…

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– You glutes are not firing or, Your glutes are off!

– Your Transverse Abdominis (TvA) is turned off

– Your (fill in the blank)__________ muscle is not activating

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I’m sorry to say but statements like the ones above in most cases are inaccurate and  flat out wrong!

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There are only 3 reasons for a muscle to actually be turned off:

1. Paralysis

2. Deinnervation

3. Death

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Now, if you work with dead clients -you have the most boring job in the world and you’ll never get paid! The other two reasons require a qualified Therapist, not a FItness Professional!

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The TRUTH is –

– If you can walk, your glutes are on!

– If you can breath, your TvA is on!

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Now, lets get one thing crystal clear – Just because a muscle is active, doesn’t mean it’s level of activation is optimal!

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This is why I use Muscle Activation exercises as a regular part of my Warm Ups… and you should too!

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product03 Throughout our daily living/working activities, we tend to spends lots of time sitting, slouching and not doing much athletic activity.

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In these cases, certain important muscles such as your glutes, scapular stabilizers and abdominals tend to down regulate their level of activation below optimal levels needs for safe, efficient and healthy movement.

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Over-time, this can lead to problems such as poor posture, sub-optimal athletic performance  and drastically increase risk of injury.

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Also, it can drastically hinder your performance in the gym if nothing is done during the transition stage from normal activity to athletic/gym based activity. This transition stage is your Warm Up!

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Muscle activation exercises help to quickly restore muscles to optimal levels of activation by utilizing exercises that cause your CNS to up-regulate them.

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The BIG take home Message!

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There are 3 very important points you should take away from this post:

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1. Muscles usually aren’t off, the muscle’s level of activation is simply down-regulated!

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2. If a muscle is actually turned off, it’s beyond the scope of practice of a Fitness Professional to deal with.

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3. Do your Muscle Activation exercises before EVERY workout!

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Leave your comments below and tell us about your favorite muscle activation exercises and techniques!

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