How to Customize Your Time Settings

By |2023-06-18T18:18:18-04:00June 25th, 2023|Latest Articles|

Once you have set up your mTrigger device, placed it on your patient, and described an exercise, there is still one last important thing to do… program the time settings! The time setting function within the mTrigger app is entirely customizable to give you control of your outcomes. In this blog, we will review several different ways in which mTrigger time settings can be applied and fine-tuned to provide the results you are looking for. Remember, you must use the time settings in order to track your training sessions and view the results.

Count Your Reps

One of the easiest ways to think of the time setting function, is as a means to count exercise repetitions. To do this, you need to determine three pieces of information.

1) How many reps do you want your patient to perform?

2) How long should each rep take/do you want there to be a hold? 

3) How long of a rest do you want between reps?

Once you have determined each of these, you can program the exercise accordingly. Let’s go through several examples.

Time Settings for Isometric Holds
If a patient is performing a straight leg raise, you may want them to perform 15 reps, each with a 5 second hold, followed by a 5 sec rest between reps. Knowing this, adjust your time settings to reflect such:
Total Time: 3 min (15 reps x 10 sec per rep is 150 sec or 3 min)
Contract: 5 sec
Relax: 5 sec

Early on post operatively, you may want to focus simply on quad activation. To do this, adjust your time settings to reflect the goal of a long duration isometric hold during a quad set.
Total Time: 10 min
Contract: 10 sec
Relax: 10 sec

Time Setting for Tempo Movement
Instead of having a patient perform an isometric hold during an exercise, you may just want to focus on the tempo of their movement. For instance, the patient performs 10 reps of a tempo squat where over 10 seconds they slowly lower down to a squat, pause for a couple seconds, then return to stand, then rest for 5 sec and repeat. This would be reflected in the time settings as such:
Total Time: 2 min 30 sec
Contract: 10 sec
Relax: 5 sec

Relax: 5 sec

Using the time setting function of the mTrigger device to assist in counting reps really helps your patients to achieve the most out of each repetition. Without biofeedback and a time counter, it is easy to fall into the habit of just getting exercises done without attention to form, detail, or execution. By utilizing the time setting function, exercises become more challenging and more beneficial as each repetition requires muscle activation to be maximized during the entirety of the exercise.

Monitor Relaxation or Fatigue over Time

Another valuable way to use the time setting function is to monitor fatigue or achieve muscle relaxation over extended periods of time. In these instances, the “Contract Time” is better referred to as the “ON” time, meaning you are measuring all muscle activity over this period of time, not simply when the muscle is contracting. To help clarify, let’s take a look at two examples.

When trying to achieve relaxation of a certain muscle due to protective guarding or over activation, it often takes an extended period of time for that muscle to relax. For example, hamstring guarding during a prone knee hang following ACL surgery. To promote relaxation of the hamstring muscle, adjust your time settings to allow the patient to achieve muscle relaxation over an extended period of time:
Total Time: 10 min
Contract: 10 min
Relax: 0 sec
This will allow you to see how over time the hamstring muscle relaxes and activation levels go down.

Sometimes it is important to monitor a muscles performance over time to access for fatigue. During an extended length of exercise (biking, rowing, hopping) you can use the mTrigger time settings to capture of view of muscle performance over time. In this case, the patient performed continuous rowing on an erg for 5 min. Time settings were programed as:
Total Time: 5 min
Contract: 5 min
Relax: 0 sec
Notices how after several minutes you start to see a decrease in activation on the left side!

Measuring Dynamic Movements

Another unique was to use the mTrigger time settings is to capture what is happening during dynamic movements. Since dynamic movements such as jumping, landing, cutting, swinging, etc. occur quickly, your time settings must reflect this short time frame. Take this example. When looking at quad activation during a drop land, the entire movement takes less than 5 seconds. In order to capture the moment of landing, adjust your time setting to something like this:
Total time: 7 sec
Contract Time: 5 sec
Relax: 2 sec

Remember each session starts with the relax time. By using a 2 sec relax time at the beginning, it gives the athlete a short count down before starting their movement. This is then followed by a short “ON” time to capture the dynamic activation you are looking for.

This same framework can be manipulated to fit multiple dynamic movements. For instance, a triple hop may take longer than a drop land so you might adjust the settings to:
Total Time: 10 sec
Contract 8 sec
Relax: 2 sec
Or whatever best fits your movement.

No Time Settings at All

A final way to use the time setting is by not utilizing it at all. This can be beneficial early on when a patient is just trying to learn a movement pattern. Say it’s their first time squatting after a knee surgery, you may just want the patient to see what even weight bearing feels like without having to also focus on a hold time, relax time, or repetitions. Eventually, adding a time setting will help to provide additional information on muscle activation levels, performance, and progress, but sometimes just utilizing the immediate feedback function is enough to start with.


Getting the most out of every repetition starts with well programed time settings. Appropriate use of mTrigger biofeedback’s time setting function allows you to maximize the muscle activation of each exercise repetition, encourage tempo movements and isometric holds, to track relaxation and fatigue over time, and to assess muscle activity during dynamic movements. Understanding how to fine-tune your time settings can enhance not only your patient’s progress but your understanding of muscle activation and how they move.


Learn More about using your mTrigger Device



Biofeedback for Older Adults



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