Bryson DeChambeau and Muscle Activation Techniques® are Changing Golf
As world events continue to weigh heavy on our hearts, we celebrate the win for Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) Headquarters athlete, Bryson DeChambeau! One of the PGA's top-ranked golfers and this past weekends champion of the Rocket Mortgage Golf Tournament, Bryson, has been working closely with Greg Roskopf for the past three years. In case you missed the Golf Channel segment featuring an interview with Greg, Bryson, and Golf Channel's own, Gary Williams, click here to check it out!
Bryson's most recent transformation has taken the golf world by storm. He has worked hard to gain muscle mass and strength which improved his clubhead speed, ball speed, and distance while maintaining accuracy and precision in his swing. Bryson has brought his muscular strength and integrity to an all-time high to stay healthy throughout the long golf season.
Roskopf has been focusing on maintaining DeChambeau's muscular strength and endurance through their MAT sessions. These sessions have allowed DeChambeau to increase both his strength and body mass while maintaining his range of motion. This is a difficult task for golfers attempting to increase size and strength while playing golf. Many times these programs can result in the golfer's muscles becoming restricted and tight.
Roskopf and DeChambeau recognize that if there is a loss in range of motion, swing speed and accuracy could be compromised. Things appear to be going as planned — DeChambeau just smashed Tiger Woods longest average drive record last week in Detroit.
Movements, Muscles, and MAT For Golf
Roskopf has DeChambeau work on is the Trunk Rotation machine. This machine focuses on the muscles that rotate the core. As we all know, the golf swing requires a great amount of strength and mobility in the muscles that rotate the core. By strengthening these muscles it can help close the feedback loop which enables DeChambeau the ability to be strong and stable from his hips to his thorax.
Roskopf and DeChambeau have worked through activation techniques and exercises that enable Bryson to maintain strength and stability throughout his golf swing. These muscles are now able to tolerate greater amounts of force, and in turn, have improved his performance and will protect him from injury over time.
"...if I wasn't activated, I would not be able to get to full end-range. So if you are dysfunctional when you're working out, [you could be] adding more and more dysfunction to your system; rather than being stable, functional, testing strong through end-ranges of motion before working out — you're adding proper stress to your system..." DeChambeau explains while training with Roskopf in Denver, Colorado at the Muscle Activation Techniques Headquarters.
"When you are unstable, like when we see muscle weaknesses, that's when people are vulnerable. If you put load on weak muscles, they shout out in pain saying 'I am already injured — I am already inflamed — don't put force on me'," says Roskopf.
"With Muscle Activation Techniques, we are going through Bryson's body, movement by movement, muscle by muscle to determine where his weaknesses or vulnerabilities are. The goal of his treatments is to improve the function of all isolated parts [muscles] so the integrated system can function at a high level where the isolated strength transfers into significant improvements in golf swing," Roskopf explains more of DeChambeau's training.
Muscle Weakness and The Integrated System
What does Roskopf mean by muscle weaknesses and the integrated system? Let's break it down:
When Roskopf talks about muscular weakness, he is talking about the neuromuscular ability of a specific muscular contraction. If a muscle is unable to contract efficiently it is unable to contract on demand and therefore it is considered weak. Muscle weakness can come from various things including, stress, trauma, and overuse. The resultant inflammation related to these stressful issue are what causes muscle weakness or inhibition. When there's muscle weakness in the body, other muscles will tighten up as a protective mechanism.
Within the MAT paradigm, muscle tightness is the result of muscle weakness. Muscle tightness is an indicator that something is wrong and that there are other muscle weaknesses in the body. Muscles tighten up to protect the body from the instability that is created by the muscle weaknesses. Like when we walk on ice, muscles will tighten up in an attempt to create stability. The goal of MAT is to MELT THE ICE.
By activating the weak muscles and improving their ability to contract, the protective muscles no longer remain tight. "When you increase stability, the body will give you all the mobility in the world," Roskopf says routinely to clients and students.
With DeChambeau, the principles around MAT have elevated his game to world-record levels ball speed and drive length while maintaining stability through each golf swing.
The Integrated System
One of the Muscle Activation Techniques principles is addressing the importance of our bodies' isolated parts, i.e. each individual muscle that helps create a motion. Our bodies have hundreds of muscles that have specific functions and working together in an integrated system to perform a golf swing. The swing requires specific motions that have to occur through the shoulders, hips, trunk, and feet. All motions are controlled by muscles, all muscles must be able to contract on demand.
Bryson was even saved from a shoulder injury several years ago because of MAT. Each individual muscle must do their job at each joint to complete this complex muscle movement. Roskopf works to keep each muscle stable by utilizing the MAT modality.