Aaron Mattes

Aaron Mattes received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Wisconsin State University-Superior, 1970, majoring in Physical Education. Mattes received his Master of Science Degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1972, with special emphasis in Kinesiology and Kinesiotherapy. Mattes served as pitching coach for the University of Illinois baseball team from 1970–1976. Over the past 45 years, he has spent well over 250,000 hours in sports participation, sports and health instruction, rehabilitation, athletic training, adapted physical education, sports medicine, training and prevention programs. He is a registered Kinesiotherapist (#449) and a certified member of the American Kinesiotherapy Association. He is a licensed Massage Therapist (#3864) and a member of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association and the American Massage Therapy Association (#3864). Mattes is a member of the Association of Medical Rehabilitation Administrators and the National Rehabilitation Association (#039204).

Mattes lectures internationally at sports medicine clinics, medical seminars, and massage therapy conventions. He provides continuing education to personal trainers, nurses, strength trainers, athletic trainers, physical therapists, massage therapists, coaches and athletes. Mattes serves as a consultant to sports clubs, high school, college and professional athletes and teams. He has rehabilitated thousands of subjects including famous politicians, entertainers, and hundreds of Olympic and professional athletes.

Mattes is co-author of two books: Pre-Condition, Re-Condition, Re-Habilitation (Shelton, Greninger and Mattes) and Nutrition Therapy for Massage and Physical Therapy Patients (E. Leslie Knight and Mattes). He is the sole author of a number of books on stretching including his 2000-word text Active Isolated Stretching: The Mattes Method. Mattes is internationally recognized for his techniques in treating Pain, Spinal Distortions, Post-Polio, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Spinal Cord Problems and Joint Replacements.

Principles of Mattes Method Active Isolated Stretching

  • Be Gentle. Let tissues soften and lengthen slowly with repetition.
  • Breathe in as you get ready to do the active movement to provide oxygen and nutrients to the tissues.
  • Breathe out during the stretch to eliminate CO2 and Lactic acid.
  • Breathe in again at the end of stretch as you return to the resting position to provide O2 and nutrients to the tissues. This is the pause that refreshes
  • There should not be pain during AIS. We don’t want to create ‘negative tissue memory”. You should feel the contractions of the active muscle. You will feel the stretch sensation but it shouldn’t be strong that you would describe it as pain. Some describe it as a feeling of light irritation.
  • The more you actively engage the moving muscle, the more comfortable the stretch will be, and more effective as well. (ACTIVE)
  • As much as possible, be aware of which muscles you should be contracting and which are your are stretching. (ISOLATED)
  • Actively engage the indicated muscles to take the area into stretch until you feel an initial resistance to further movement on your own.
  • Using rope or strap (while maintaining the active involvement) assist with ease into more a stretch by 1-2 degrees only, and hold for 2 seconds only counting ‘thousand one thousand two.’ (STRETCHING)
  • Range of Movement ROM will not improve unless the existing limit is  exceeded, little by little.
  • Then using your own muscles again return the limb slowly and with control to the starting position.
  • Do sets of 10 repetitions unless you experience fatigue, if so stop, rest, do shorter sets.
  • In AIS we hold stretch for 2 seconds but we repeat 10 times.
  • Stretching is a daily requirement as muscles shorten, stiffen or become tense from work, training posture, gravity or stress.
  • Stay in tune with your own body. The development of flexibility takes time. Set realistic goals.
  • Strive for a positive mindset. Believing it is possible, knowing specifically how and what to do as your work for consistency of effort and exactness of detail will lead to success.