Pushing your hands (or feet) against the floor against friction is one way of deliberately activating muscles. Using friction, you can create stability and/or work at increasing strength.
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 effort you use against the floor.
Friction allows you to apply strength with awareness and control.
While frictional muscle control is focused on making you stronger with the intelligent use of muscle control, it’s also focused on making your 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.
One disadvantage of frictional muscle control is that it requires two points of contact with the earth.
(Another disadvantage is that it's hard to use friction on a slippery surface.)
Pressing exercises are also included to get around the need for two points of contact. These actions, like using friction, help to activate muscles, but the stability generated by pushing action tends to be joint focused.
For example, where friction might be used so that the outer thighs of both legs work against each other to create stability, pressure could be used to stabilize the hip joint so that the muscles of the hip joint work against each other to stabilize the joint directly.
One advantage of pressurized stabilization, because it stabilizes the joints between your center of gravity and your foundation, is that they it make balancing easier.
Another advantage of pressure actions is that they can be used whether you have one or two points of contact with the earth.
Frictional muscle control includes friction and pressure exercises that work on the legs and the arms and in some cases the part that is in-between.
These exercises can be used to improve stability, body awareness and strength. They can also be used to become more aware of how your foundation interacts with the earth.
If you want a non-weightlifting approach to strength training, frictional muscle control can help.
If you have trouble with 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.
The Frictional Muscle Control program is available as a set of videos (downloadable or streamable) or as a PDF.
The postures and exercises are structured as a routine, but also as a set of lessons to teach you frictional and pressurized muscle control.
The videos are structured so that you can follow along. Because the instructions for each exercise are short, simple and easy to remember, you could also watch a portion of the video and then try the exercises without the video. Likewise using the pdf. You can read up on an exercise, try it out, check what you have done, and then move on to the next exercise.
One advantage of the videos, that is hard to get from the PDF, unless you have the relevant experience, is moving slowly and smoothly. In the videos, all exercises are demonstrated with a slow and smooth technique ideally making it easy to follow and easier to try to duplicate.
The video is in three parts:
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.
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.
You can buy the PDF and videos individually or as a package.
Click the button below to order.
Or order directly on the gumroad page.
Once you've ordered, you'll be able to download or stream the videos on any of your devices. If ordering the PDF, you'll be able to download it.
The video titles are numbered to indicate viewing order. The videos themselves also contain written tips/title cards before each section.
If you have any problems use the contact form to get in touch with me.
While the final focus in this program is on chaturanga dandasana, the techniques focused on in this program are applicable in a variety of poses. More importantly, you'll get a better feel for your body.
While one of the goals is to make chaturanga easier to learn, that doesn't mean that it will be easy. You will have to work. You will have to use muscular strength. However, the techniques outlined here ideally make it easier to apply your strength. You may even find that trying to apply strength intelligently feels good. You may find the work enjoyable simply because there is a clear and simple focus. And, ideally the sequencing of the exercises makes it easy to gradually improve.
That being said, if you find the exercises or instruction not suitable for you (or it's just not quite what you hoped for or expected) this program comes with a 30 Day money back guarantee.
Also, if you have questions about any of the exercises, or need some help modifying, contact me to let me know.