The hip control guide is designed to help you feel and control the deeper "single joint" muscles of the hip joint. Rather than teaching you rules, it helps you to improve awareness and control so that you can decide for yourself how to control them.
Repeating each of the muscle activations in a set sequence of poses you'll see how some muscle activations are effective in some poses and not in others. You'll then have a better idea of not only how to control your hip joints but also how you can explore other parts of your body.
The Hip Control Guide was my first ebook that focused on the hips. Since then I've continued to explore the body as a whole. The video extras below include some of the latest techniques that I use in my classes for exploring and learning the body. Each is a routine or workshop in its own right and can help you deepen your awareness and control of your own body.
This routine focuses on stabilizing the extremities, the feet and ankles for better hip control. (Applying the same idea to the arms, the hands and forearms are stabilized for better shoulder control).
By stabilizing the feet and ankles you give the muscles that cross the knee a stable foundation from which to work on the thighs and pelvis.
Read more about Extreme Stability (Foot and Ankle Control for Better Stability)
Frictional Arm and Leg Strength
This routine uses friction as an initial means of turning muscles on. And this is actually the fallback method I use for developing muscle control and awareness with students who can't feel their muscles using other methods. Generally, those are students who are hyper flexible and in some cases very skinny. (So that working against their own body weight doesn't give them much muscular feedback.) With frictional methods, you use two parts of the body against the floor in opposing directions. One of the really nice things about this method is that once you get it you can gradually ramp up the muscle activation (and also gradually reduce it.)
Since friction can only be used when two parts of the body are in contact with the floor (i.e. two feet) this set of videos also includes techniques for turning muscles on with only one point of contact with the floor (i.e. standing on one foot.)
One important point about using friction is that the more you press down, the greater the friction. So if you are frictioning a hand and a foot, it helps if the hand has at least some downward pressure, if not the same amount of downward pressure as the foot.
Legs: Quads and Hamstrings, Hip Flexors and Glutes
This set of exercises provided the basis for the Muscle Control for Better Flexibility and Active Stretching programs. The focus in both of these programs is on moving the thighs relative to the pelvis. It was sometimes a tricky concept to teach and the fallback was usually to use friction to teach muscle control. It's included it in this package because it offers a nice contrast to the next program where the focus is on moving (or thinking about moving) the pelvis relative to the thighs.
It's also handy in its own right because it teaches you how to activate the quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and glutes by working against body weight as opposed to friction.
Read more about Legs: Quads and Hamstrings, Hip Flexors and Glutes (Activate and Feel your Quadriceps and Hamstrings)
Feel and Control Your Pelvis
In this set of videos, you learn to control the hip muscles by moving (or trying to move) the pelvis relative to the thighs. You'll also focus on creating a pull on prominent landmarks of the pelvis.
This video is in more of a workshop format, very similiar to the format used in the Hip Control Guide ebook.
It offers a nice compliment to the previous set of videos and with both sets of videos, you learn how to control the hip joint by focusing on moving either the thigh or the pelvis.
Read More about Improve Hip Control, Feel and Control Your Pelvis
One question that you could ask is, how effective are these exercises in improving flexibility?
It depends. Using the front-to-back splits as an example, for some people the technique used in Feel and Control Your Pelvis works really well, for others it's the Extreme Flexibility program that works better.
Basically, there is no guarantee of improving flexibility. But with practice, using the techniques in this set of videos and ebook (which by the way is in pdf, mobi and epub formats), you will develop better awareness and control and that could lead to improving your flexibility.
And that's one reason for packaging all of these programs together. At any point in time, you may find that one of the above options works better than the other, and it changes from day to day.
And so to that end, I'd suggest focusing on feeling your body while doing each of these exercises. Each program is designed to help you learn each technique so that you can do it without thinking. You then don't have to follow along with the ebook or videos, you can practice without them while focusing on feeling and controlling your body.
How Much Practice is Required?
Another question is how much practice is required? I had one client who practiced 3 hours a day. He warmed up for an hour for each yoga class he took and he continued his practice after each class. But he's rich and can afford the time.
Find a reasonable amount of time that works for you. Aim for three hours a week as a minimum. That can be three 1 hour sessions or 6 half-hour sessions or even 12 quarter-hour sessions. What can make the time less relevant is the quality of the time you spend practicing. 5 to 10 minutes a day focusing on actually feeling your body while your exercising could be more beneficial than 1 hour just going through the motions. And in the process of actually feeling your body while doing the exercises, you may find that you actually enjoy the exercise or feel better afterwards.
What Routine Should I Use?
The Extreme Stability and Frictional Arm and Leg Strength videos are actually in the form of a routine. Either of these could be used as a model for developing your own routine.
Video and Ebook Format and Viewing
Videos are in MP4 format. I'd suggest using VLC if you have any trouble viewing them if you download them. But as well as being able to download the videos, you can also stream them.
The ebook is in PDF, epub and mobi (kindle) format. You get all three formats with your purchase.
Buying Videos Individually
You can buy any of the videos individually. Click on any of the Read More links in the relevant section above.
30 Day Guarantee
If you aren't happy with this program, contact me (my email is also included in the ebook) for a full refund.
I've been teaching yoga for 18 years now.
Prior to becoming a yoga teacher I studied Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. And before that I was an Armourer in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers.
I live and teach yoga in Taiwan.
I've been living here for the last 11 years and my focus is on teaching my students to feel and control their body. All of the above programs are based on exercises and routines that I've used in my classes.