Using your hands (or feet) against each other with friction is one way of deliberately activating muscles.
Depending on how you use the floor, you can use friction to help create stability which in turn can make you feel stronger.
To use friction it helps that your hands and feet don’t slide. Body weight helps in this regard. But one of the nice things about friction is that so long as you have enough friction, it’s easy to gradually ramp up the amount of strength you use against the floor.
Stronger and More Body Aware
While basic muscle control is focused on making you stronger with the intelligent use of muscle control, it’s also focused on making you more body aware.
Another advantage of frictional muscle control is that it tends to use the whole body in an integrated fashion. This isn’t true for all of the exercises, but there is a greater tendency for friction to unify the whole body, or a large portion of it, via muscular tension. This tension is part of what makes it easier to use your muscles since they have a stable base of foundation from which to work.
When Friction Can't Be Used
One disadvantage of basic muscle control using friction is that it requires two points of contact with the earth. To get around this, Pressing exercises are also included. These, like friction, help to activate muscles, but the stability generated by pushing action tends to be joint focused.
One advantage of pressure exercises, because they stabilize the joints between your center of gravity and your foundation, is that they can make balancing easier.
Frictional muscle control includes poses and exercises that work on the legs and the arms.
If you want a non-weightlifting approach to strength training, frictional muscle control can help. In particular:
If you have trouble with doing chaturanga dandasana, the yoga version of a push up, frictional muscle control includes exercises that help you apply frictional muscle control to making chaturanga dandasana easier to learn.
Basic muscle control can be purchased as a set of videos (downloadable or streamable) and/or as a pdf.
The video is in three parts, a 15 minute warm up (that can be shortened once you remove all the explanation)
The second part, standing exercises, is divided into two videos, the first 30 minutes (again, it contains explanations so that actual exercise time once you’ve learned them is shorter), the second is 20 minutes. The final part, teaching two methods for doing chaturanga dandasana, is 30 minutes long.
Note that this program focuses on lifting up into chaturanga from a prone position but doesn’t deal with lowering down into the pose from full plank (like doing a push up.)
There are some standing forward bends included in the main section and these are demoed with props to show how you can do them if you are less flexible. The only props you require, if your flexibility is limited, are either yoga blocks or a sturdy chair.
The videos are “follow along”. The exercises are all demonstrated with slow and smooth execution. This makes it easier to follow along and ideally, you learn to do the exercise with the same slowness and smoothness.
Instruction sets for each exercise set are short and simple so that you can also watch a section of video and then do the exercises yourself without the video. I’d suggest this method so that you can own each of the techniques so that you can work towards doing these exercises without the videos, and so that you can then began to explore variations of these movements, and so that you can try these actions, or variations of them in other poses or exercises, even ones not included in this video.
The pdf includes pictures plus clear and simple instruction sets for each exercise.
The pdf can be purchased as a standalone item.
One important idea you can learn from this workshop is how the same techniques can be used in different poses.
You’ll also learn how to feel the changes that go on inside your body when you change the way you interact with the earth.
Quick Guide PDF
Warmup video (15m)
Main video (2 videos, ~50m total).
Chaturanga video (2 videos, ~49m total)
Splits video (32m).
Videos are 1280x720 MP4 format and can be streamed or downloaded.
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