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Ratings of Perceived Activation (RPA Scale)

I would like to introduce my method for measuring muscle activation, a Ratings of Perceived Activation Scale.  I developed this chart to help manage problematic areas that need to be addressed.  It also helps my clients provide feedback regarding their ability to consciously activate certain muscle groups.


By assigning a number to a client's muscle activation, a map of their muscle activation can be made. This makes it easier to focus on establishing muscle activation in areas that need it the most.

Example Client:  Cyclist complaining of quadricep fatigue, difficulty breathing, knee and lower back pain.

RPA Map:
  • Quadriceps: 10 
  • Gluteus Maximus: 3 
  • Rectus Abdominis: 10 
  • Pectoralis Major: 8
  • Middle trap/ Rhomboid: 4
  • Back extensors: 5
A quad dominant pedal stroke stresses the patellar tendon.  By working on muscle activation protocols to increase glute activation specifically for the bike, knee pain diminishes.  Increasing back extensor activation helps the cyclist maintain an anterior pelvic tilt, keeping the lumbar spine neutral to eliminate the low back pain.  By stretching the chest, the cyclist begins to reverse the neural inhibition at the mid back, improving posture and increasing chest expansion for deeper breaths.
Vincent Vergara holds a degree in Kinesiology and multiple certifications from the American Council on Exercise- Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition and Sports Conditioning.

For personal training or coaching inquiries, please contact Vincent at EatSleepTrainSmart@gmail.com or cell 260.797.2256.

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