Another commonly overlooked feature on the mTrigger app is called “Goal Match”. This feature is found on the “Settings” screen just below the single / dual channel option. The toggle for goal matching can be turned on/off depending on the goal for that exercise or treatment session.
This goal matching feature can provide several added benefits for enhancing and improving your treatment interventions. However, one of the biggest hook ups for clinicians is understanding when goal matching is appropriate. Therefore, the focus of this blog post will be on defining when and how to best use the mTrigger Goal Match feature.
To start off with, this feature is for dual channel training only. Meaning you must have two channels in use during your exercise intervention. Let’s take a look at several clinical examples that warrant the use of the Goal Match feature and several that do not.
Here are some excellent ways to utilize the “Goal Match” feature on your mTrigger device.
1.Bilateral Training on the Same Muscle
This is the type of exercise the app feature was designed for. In bilateral exercises such as squats, hamstring curls, heel raises, bridges, etc you are looking for equal activation of the selected muscle group on both sides. This is exactly what goal match does – it matches the activation goal on channel 1 to the activation goal on channel 2.
During a squat, this means the goal for the left quad is the exact same as the goal for the right quad. That way during the exercise, the patient can tell if they are shifting weight or compensating. Notice how you can see the weight shift off the right (involved/channel 2) side in this video. It is important to match goals during exercises like this so patients receive accurate and realizable feedback. Just like in the video below.
Another example of this would be a bilateral glute bride exercise. To ensure equal activation of both right and left glutes, turn on the Goal Match setting so that the MVC goal you set for channel 1 will automatically be assigned to channel 2 as well. In this video, you can see the deficit on the left side (channel 1) since the goals are matched and equal MVC output is expected bilaterally.
In addition, exercises such as bilateral heel raises, hamstring curls, scapular slides, and bilateral banded shoulder external rotation are excellent examples of exercises appropriate for the Goal Match feature.
2. Input from the Same Muscle Group
Another reason to match goals, is when you are looking at dual channel input from one muscle group. For instance, during a quad set, you may have a dual channel set up like the video below. In this case, you want both channels to have matching MVC goals for the exercise.
Now let’s take a look at exercises that would not be appropriate for using the Goal Match feature.
1. Up Training/Down Training a Muscle
When you are trying to address a compensation pattern by increasing the activation of one muscle group (say the lower trap) but decreasing the activation of another muscle group (say the upper trap) the Goal Match feature is not appropriate. Since you have opposite goals for each muscle, increasing one and decreasing the other, the MVC goals need to be set independently and should not match. In this video example, channel 1 is on the upper trap and has a much lower goal. Channel 2 is on the lower trap and has a much higher goal to help encourage increased activation.
2. Single Channel Use
In order to use the Goal Match feature, you must have two channels in use. Therefore, quite obviously, single channel exercises are not suitable for the goal matching feature.
3. Training Two Different Muscles with Expectedly Different Activation Levels
In this case, you are using a dual channel set up, but you don’t expect the same output for each muscle group. Perhaps you are looking at ipsilateral glute activation and quad activation during a step up. You expect both the quads and the glutes to be activating during this exercise, but you don’t expect their output levels to be the same or for them to occur at the same time. In this case, each MVC goal needs to be set independently based on the demand of that specific muscle during your selected exercise.
Another example would be a Prone Y exercise where you are encouraging increased activation of the lower trap and infraspinatus, but you don’t expect the activation level of each muscle to be simultaneous or equal.
The Goal Match feature on the mTrigger application is an excellent way to make sure you are encouraging equal activation and balanced movement patterns in your patients. While this feature is not designed for every exercise, it is essential when performing bilateral exercises that focus on balanced and equal muscle activation or when looking at dual channel input from the same muscle. Make sure you turn on “Goal Match” in your mTrigger app to maximize your training results.
Learn more about mTrigger’s Audio Feedback Function
Using Biofeedback for Rotator Cuff Weakness