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Over the last year, we have all come to realize, now more than ever, the importance of maintaining and improving all aspects of our health. A little over a year ago, I met Heather Garrigus, who opened a one-on-one fitness studio in Downtown Franklin after moving here from Texas. She introduced me to Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT®) and is the first and only certified Specialist in TN. Here are her thoughts on how this technique can help you.

What is MAT®?

“Your health is your most valuable asset. The more health you have, the more you can do. I want everyone to be the healthiest version of themselves and to be able to do all the things that bring them joy. A strong muscular system is vital to our health and our best chance at staying active throughout life. Your muscles are the engine of your body. They move your bones, protect your joints, and keep you doing the activities you enjoy most. When you have previous injuries, repetitive movements, lack of consistent exercise, overuse/overstress, and/or aging, your muscles can stop working as well as they once did. When this happens, you can lose flexibility and strength, your posture can worsen, and you can start to feel achy and tight. Over time, muscles not working well can start to take away from your physical freedom.

Body Architecture Heather Garrigus

The goal of Muscle Activation Techniques is to improve the ability of the body to tolerate stresses and stop the downward spiral we typically relate to aging. One of the foundational principles behind MAT® is that muscle tightness is secondary to muscle weakness. While many approaches focus on trying to reduce tension in the muscular system, MAT® allows us to take a deeper look to identify the underlying causes of excessive tension and restore tension in the body where it needs to be via improving muscle contractile capabilities.

Tightness in the body is a protective mechanism that occurs when the body senses instability. Hence, tightness is purposeful and protects the body from injury. MAT® allows us to assess for and address these muscle inefficiencies, helping to improve strength and mobility so you can get back to doing all the things in life you enjoy. Muscle Activation Techniques can be an extremely valuable tool for a wide range of people: regular exercisers, competitive athletes, post rehab, or someone just wanting to stay active and pain-free throughout life.”

Thank you, Heather, for taking the time to introduce us to MAT®! Heather offers Muscle Activation Techniques, Personal Training, Pilates Reformer, and Isophit at her studio, Body Architecture Fitness, in Franklin.

Heather has been a certified MAT Specialist since 2002 and trained directly under Greg Roskopf, the developer of MAT®. She opened Body Architecture Fitness in Franklin to offer muscle activation techniques, personal training, Pilates Reformer, and Isophit exclusively to Franklin and the surrounding area. Visit her website at, or to learn more about Muscle Activation Techniques visit
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