Mobility and Activation Paired Sets (MAPS) is a system created by Nick Tumminello to make mobility and activation exercises better complement each other to retrain proper movement patterns. What we are trying to achieve in activation exercises is the upregulation or firing of certain muscles that are often inhibited while mobility exercises are trying to provide more range of motion(ROM) . Through mobility exercises we will see improvements almost immediately, however, the brain needs to immediately know how to use/control the new ROM otherwise it will result in..
- Uncontrolled range of motion (instability)
- Or you will lose that new-found mobility (which we be a complete waste of your time)
Therefore, it is a great idea to pair activation exercises immediately after a mobility exercise. One example would be a rectus femoris (a quad muscle) mobilization then a set of reverse lunges.
Where can you apply MAPS?
- As your dynamic warm-up
- Active recovery between sets of strength training
- As part of your cool down
The way we have used it at Endeavor is as part of our warm-up. I know that with some of our own staff programs that we apply them as active recovery between strength training exercises.
A1) TrapBar Deadlift 4 x 3
A2) MedBall Thoracic Extensions 3 x 8
So if you want a effective smart way to move better, limit injuries, and achieve better joint mobility & stability it should be worth a look at you specifically design your warm-ups or strength training programs. I know that as a past track coach I threw together dynamic warm-ups foolishly because of what other track coaches did, but I have found that this method is much more effective considering the way the 21st century is (bricks for shoes which limits ankle mobility, sitting too much which can affect thoracic spine or hip mobility) and how our bodies have adapted towards as a result.