Engaging Muscles

I restore stability and improve function by addressing the underperforming muscles. With 26 years of experience as a licensed massage therapist, I blend the best of sports massage with the essential components of deep tissue.

Operating as usual

Timeline Photos 09/20/2021

This is what I have seen in practical application. In other words, if you're assessing extension of the thigh at the hip joint with a straight leg, you aren't getting a clear read on how well the gluteus maximus is functioning.

During hip extension, the gluteus maximus displays greater activation when the knee is flexed (such that the leg is bent) compared to when the knee is extended (such that the leg is straight). This is likely because a straight leg position allows the hamstrings muscles to contribute more effectively. This has important implications for predicting which exercises are likely to be best for training the gluteus maximus.

-------------------- #sandcresearch #strengthandconditioning #strengthtraining #strength #sportsscience #biomechanics #exercisescience #research #gluteusmaximus #glutes #hamstrings #hipextension #hipextensors #hips #muscles #muscle #legday #hipthrust #glutebridge #glutetraining

09/20/2021

If your goal is to avoid low back surgery, you have more than likely not done all there is to do. https://engagingmuscles.com/low-back-surgery/

If your goal is to avoid low back surgery, you have more than likely not done all there is to do. https://engagingmuscles.com/low-back-surgery/

Why Low Back Surgery Isn’t Avoided Enough 09/06/2021

Why Low Back Surgery Isn’t Avoided Enough

If you would like to avoid low back surgery, this new post will provide you with plenty to think about.

Why Low Back Surgery Isn’t Avoided Enough Did you know the total health care spending in 2016 added up to 3.1 trillion? That dollar amount was up 1.7 trillion from 1996. In 2016, the highest payout was for low back pain and neck pain. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) estimated 134.5 billion was spe...

09/05/2021

I have a new post coming out tomorrow. Here's a snippet. A plank is an example of an isometric exercise. As popular as planks are in the world of gym science (a.k.a., bro-science), it is an exercise that fails to transfer to anything in your life. This is due to the fact that there is no outside force applied to any one muscle responsible for controlling the posture of your trunk and spine.

I have a new post coming out tomorrow. Here's a snippet. A plank is an example of an isometric exercise. As popular as planks are in the world of gym science (a.k.a., bro-science), it is an exercise that fails to transfer to anything in your life. This is due to the fact that there is no outside force applied to any one muscle responsible for controlling the posture of your trunk and spine.

Engaging Muscles updated their information in their About section. 08/08/2021

Engaging Muscles updated their information in their About section.

Engaging Muscles updated their information in their About section.

08/08/2021

A short history of running shoes.

A short history of running shoes.

08/01/2021

Foam rolling and rolling on a lacrosse ball feel therapeutic. That's also the case with most hands-on techniques. The problem is none of those approaches allow for more stability throughout the new available range of motion, and that is why muscles tighten again (and again).

Foam rolling and rolling on a lacrosse ball feel therapeutic. That's also the case with most hands-on techniques. The problem is none of those approaches allow for more stability throughout the new available range of motion, and that is why muscles tighten again (and again).

Why is my left shoulder more sore than my right shoulder after working out? My right hand is the dominant one. 06/17/2021

Why is my left shoulder more sore than my right shoulder after working out? My right hand is the dominant one.

Because of muscle imbalances and your body's ability to compensate, movement-based exercises are not as productive or therapeutic as they feel.

Why is my left shoulder more sore than my right shoulder after working out? My right hand is the dominant one. Rick Merriam's answer: The fact that you are right-hand dominant has nothing to do with why your left shoulder is sore. When it comes to movement-based exercise programs, the reality is muscle imbalances are present before the repetitive motions. When there are muscle imbalances, you will have c...

Your Gym Teacher Was Wrong — You Don't Have to Stretch Before Working Out 05/28/2021

Your Gym Teacher Was Wrong — You Don't Have to Stretch Before Working Out

This article sums up the reasons why you don't want to spend time performing static stretches. Not only before you go for a run, but also for plantar fasciitis, etc.

Your Gym Teacher Was Wrong — You Don't Have to Stretch Before Working Out In some cases, static stretching might do more harm than good.

Foot Orthoses and The Compensation that Follows 04/04/2021

Foot Orthoses and The Compensation that Follows

I updated this post. If you want the short version, orthotics don't align your feet. They also don't slow down pronation.

Foot Orthoses and The Compensation that Follows Foot orthoses don't increase stability. Instead, custom orthotics increase compensation by allowing for a different workaround.

04/01/2021

Orthotics don't slow down pronation. Instead, they eliminate your foot's ability to initiate shock absorption. https://youtu.be/Wb4aU1-C2JM

Orthotics don't slow down pronation. Instead, they eliminate your foot's ability to initiate shock absorption. https://youtu.be/Wb4aU1-C2JM

03/21/2021

If you've wondered why it's been difficult to move beyond plantar fasciitis, many of the reasons are covered in this video. https://youtu.be/KfTBZX0HWJ8

If you've wondered why it's been difficult to move beyond plantar fasciitis, many of the reasons are covered in this video. https://youtu.be/KfTBZX0HWJ8

What happens if weakness occurs after knee replacement surgery? 03/10/2021

What happens if weakness occurs after knee replacement surgery?

When you go through rehab, it's worth knowing that a physical therapist cannot address what they don’t know to check. https://qr.ae/pNL60R

What happens if weakness occurs after knee replacement surgery? Rick Merriam's answer: When you have undergone a knee replacement, there’s a high probability you will have quadriceps that are not receiving optimal feedback from the brain and spinal cord. Note: your quadriceps are a group of four muscles, that together, encompass your thigh. A few years ago, .....

02/22/2021

If you've wondered why your shoulder mobility isn't improving, it's more than likely that nothing has been done to restore stability. https://youtu.be/8UIdsA5Jc-M

If you've wondered why your shoulder mobility isn't improving, it's more than likely that nothing has been done to restore stability. https://youtu.be/8UIdsA5Jc-M

How Femur Length Affects Squat Mechanics 02/15/2021

How Femur Length Affects Squat Mechanics

If you look around a group exercise class, you'll see each person performing a squat differently. I learned this in the 90s. It turns out it's still relevant today.

How Femur Length Affects Squat Mechanics Meet Maren and Brett, the two latest Glute Squad members. They are the same height, but their torso and femur proportions differ markedly. Maren has a longer torso and shorter...

NEW Video and Much More 02/15/2021

NEW Video and Much More

If you aren't subscribed to the newsletter, here's the newest edition. https://app.tidings.com/newsletters/12878/preview

NEW Video and Much More In this edition, you'll find a NEW video covering massage for the obturator internus muscle. Watch and subscribe to my channel on YouTube.

Massage for Obturator Internus – A Deep Hip Rotator Muscle and Piriformis’s BFF 02/01/2021

Massage for Obturator Internus – A Deep Hip Rotator Muscle and Piriformis’s BFF

Much like your piriformis muscle, the obturator internus is rarely tight. https://youtu.be/n58IkEzNd7M

Massage for Obturator Internus – A Deep Hip Rotator Muscle and Piriformis’s BFF Massage for Obturator Internus – A Deep Hip Rotator Muscle and Piriformis’s BFF Related article: http://bit.ly/piriformispain Palpation of the obturator inte...

Where would muscles attach for the flexion of the knee joint? 01/26/2021

Where would muscles attach for the flexion of the knee joint?

To flex your lower leg at the knee joint, you need muscles that cross your knee joint. https://qr.ae/pNqheo

Where would muscles attach for the flexion of the knee joint? Rick Merriam's answer: To flex the lower leg at the knee joint, muscles have to cross the knee joint and be posterior to the invisible frontal axis (a.k.a, mediolateral axis). Three muscles are posterior to the knee joint and attach to the femur from below. The popliteus is the only one of thos...

quora.com 12/25/2020

An answer to What are prevertibral muscles’ origin and insertion?

What muscles make up the prevertebral group? https://www.quora.com/q/massageforstability/What-are-prevertibral-muscles-origin-and-insertion?ch=99&share=25629a29&srid=z4wn

quora.com

12/24/2020

If you're interested in piriformis syndrome or the new label, deep gluteal pain, this article will give you a little bit to think about. https://tomjesson.substack.com/p/piriformis-syndrome?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&utm_source=twitter

coursera.org 12/15/2020

Anatomy: Musculoskeletal and Integumentary Systems

This 26-hour free course starts today. If you complete it, you'll receive a certificate. There are also flexible deadlines. https://www.coursera.org/learn/anatomy403-1x?recoOrder=10&utm_medium=email&utm_source=recommendations&utm_campaign=i3N6YD4yEeuTnfsZ4aha4w

coursera.org Offered by University of Michigan. In this anatomy course, part of the Anatomy Specialization, you will learn how the components of the integumentary system help protect our body (epidermis, dermis, hair, nails, and glands), and how the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, and skeletal muscles) pr...

12/05/2020

Explore the role of your piriformis muscle. https://youtu.be/tVR-Mq6xs9s

12/03/2020

If you're considering what's been described as a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves retracting your piriformis muscle, you'll want to read this. https://ryortho.com/breaking/how-much-force-will-damage-piriformis-muscle-shockingly-little/

11/30/2020

I updated this image for my site today. When we started the process, we had no idea it would play out like this. https://www.engagingmuscles.com/

quora.com 11/25/2020

Does it mean anything if my massage therapist says my muscles are very tight?

When one of you is going by feel, you won't get the level of results you're aiming for. https://qr.ae/TWvVTh

quora.com Rick Merriam's answer: Tight muscles do indicate something. Just not what MOST massage therapists are taught in massage school. The best way to explain the tight muscle fallacy: correlation does not imply causation. "Correlation does not imply causation.” is a mental model that’s often used to ....

quora.com 11/24/2020

An answer to What causes muscle "knots" in the neck?

If you've been told that you have pain because of a knot, a trigger point, or scar tissue, there's a strong possibility that someone is being fooled by randomness. https://qr.ae/pN91db

quora.com

11/22/2020

If you're wondering why every attempt at solving back pain has led to more of the same, you'll find this to be helpful. https://qr.ae/pNW3MH

youtube.com 11/02/2020

Hawk Head Stabilization

When this hawk's body is driven in all 3 planes, its head and eyes stay in one place. On a regular basis, I ask patients to rotate their torso while keeping their eyes tracking straight ahead. More often than not, they can't do it. This speaks to how the stability and strength of the cervical spine has an impact on the whole body. Case in point, increasing stability of the cervical spine impacts stability of the lumbar spine.

youtube.com There's something quite satisfying about this hawk's head-turning and the motion he does with it. -------------------------------------------- Subscribe to t...

09/30/2020

How to address a piriformis muscle that is rarely tight. https://youtu.be/t__KpfqQsP4

09/22/2020

A NEW video. If you have shoulder pain, you don't want to release or stretch a muscle that plays a big role in providing stability. https://youtu.be/oeFfsYC984c

09/19/2020

If your current running shoes force your toes to curve upwards, the joints throughout your toes are forced to absorb shock from a position that's far from optimal. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/09/curve-on-shoes-makes-walking-easier-but-may-lead-to-foot-problems/

disq.us 09/15/2020

7 Exercises to Treat and Prevent IT Band Syndrome

Sadly, the recommendations in this article would still be what's recommended today. My response is in the comments.

disq.us What I find laughable about articles like this one is that *rest* is mentioned. Everything that was mentioned is chasing pain and symptoms, and yet, *rest* is also thrown into the mix. *Rest* is not going to improve the muscles' ability to pull (read: generate) tension at the right time. *Rest* also...

09/13/2020

If you release a muscle that's primary role is to provide stability of a shoulder that's widely known as the most unstable joint in the body, your process isn't in alignment with the first-principles of function. https://youtu.be/aoEqt9Bz060

vogue.co.uk 09/06/2020

Running Injuries? This Is What You Need To Know About Your Foot Health

You'll find some definite takeaways in this piece.

vogue.co.uk And the 5 foot exercises you should do every day

09/01/2020

If you're interested in knowing more about your rotator cuff musculature, this is a great resource. https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-0040-1709029#top

Our Story

Prior to each session, I first want to see what each and every muscle that crosses a particular joint is capable of. To do this, I’ll put your joints in positions where one muscle is emphasized more than any other muscle.

The goal: I’m asking each one of your muscles a super specific question. As you might have already imagined, it’s a challenge that each one of your muscles hasn’t been presented with.

The question goes like this: When all of the other players are taken out of the equation, are you (read: a specific muscle) capable of pulling your weight?

When the answer comes back as NO, then, I know the muscle in question is not performing to its full potential. See, when your muscles are presented with a super specific challenge, you’ll know whether or not they are capable of meeting that challenge.

Videos (show all)

Massage Therapy for the Piriformis Muscle
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis (PF) Pain
Trunk Muscle Stability Equates to Shoulder Muscle Stability
This Kneeling Yoga Twist Can Be Used To Assess Thoracic Spine ...
Anybody want to take a guess as to what muscle I'm palpating?
How This Client with Plantar Fasciitis Progressed In Just 3 Se...
Palpating Obturator Internus
Client Testimonial

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12700 Hillcrest Rd Ste 125 #143
Dallas, TX
75230

Opening Hours

Tuesday 8am - 9pm
Wednesday 8am - 9pm
Thursday 8am - 9pm
Friday 8am - 9pm
Saturday 9am - 5pm
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