Leg Muscle Control and Proprioception
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This video course used to be called "Sensational Leg Anatomy", but it's not so much about learning your anatomy as it is learning to feel and control your muscles! In particular your leg muscles, from your hip bones down to your toes.
And so now it's called:
"Muscle Control and Proprioception for your Legs".
This course is broken down into a set of 5 minute or shorter videos, each taking you through one or more exercises for helping you to activate (and feel) different leg muscles.
Stopping Your Thinking Mind
In some types of yoga class, the focus is on continually moving from pose to pose to help you get out of your "thinking" mind. With a focus on muscle control, you don't have to move, you can focus instead on controlling your muscles, either activating them or relaxing them. The sensations generated give you something to focus on. It's a lot like focusing on your breath. However, with breathing exercises, you focus in general on the sensations generated by your respiratory muscles. With these muscle control exercises, you can focus on any of your muscles to help take you out of your thinking mind. At the same time, you get the chance to experience your body, via your muscles.
You also can learn to understand it.
Learn Muscle Control Principles
Another advantage of this program is that you get to learn some basic practices of muscle control, like "creating stability".
Creating stability not only makes it easier to control your muscles, it can make it easier to do yoga poses as a whole.
Another aspect of muscle control is controlling the length of muscles (via other muscles) for easier muscle control.
As well you'll also get a taste of how to adjust your body, again with the idea of making it easier to control your muscles.
And so muscle control isn't just about turning muscles on and off. It's about creating the necessary conditions to effectively control your muscles and feel them.
Note that without muscle control you wouldn't have proprioception. You wouldn't be able to feel your body. And so muscle control is just as much about feeling your body as it is controlling it. But to what end?
Muscle Control Benefits
Apart from giving you better awareness and control of your body, muscle control can be used to improve flexibility and help with some types of pain, particularly types of pain that result from poor muscle control.
But that isn't something that can be learned straight away. You have to learn the basic muscle control first, then you can use it as a tool for improving flexibility or dealing with pain. (That is, unless you have a teacher or coach with you to guide your muscle control efforts.)
If you want to try to learn this for yourself, then you'll have to start with the basics first. And so, while improving flexibility and controlling pain are advantages of muscle control, those aren't covered in this set of videos.
As a for instance of dealing with conditions that cause pain, I've been using muscle control to help deal with knee and hip pain. It's also been the root of most, if not all, of my improvements in flexibility. Bear in mind, even with muscle control, it can still take some time, and some investigation to fix problems. And it can be a frustrating journey. But that's true of anything that is worthwhile doing.
Muscle control won't fix everything, but it can help you become self sufficient. Rather than relying on someone else to evaluate and decide what you need to do, you can learn to do all of this for yourself.
Some Challenges with Teaching Muscle Control
Teaching Muscle Control and proprioception, I've found that some techniques work with some people for improving flexibility, and other techniques work for other people.
When I'm in a class I can see what works and pick exercises based on what I sense. With a set of videos that's a bit difficult to do. And so the idea of this course is to teach you a range of techniques so that you can pick the ones that are useful.
Giving Yourself Room to Fail Safely
So that you can experiment with muscle ocntrol safely, the chief safety mechanism is moving slowly and smoothly.
Another safety mechanism is adjusting the way that you move so that your joints and muscles feel comfortable.
This might seem tedious, but one of the advantages of moving slowly and smoothly, and of self-adjusting is that it forces you to become present in your body. You think less because you are focused on feeling and controlling your body.
Under these conditions, developing muscle control and proprioception can become an exercise that feels good, even meditative in nature.
Training your brain
A side-effect of these muscle control and proprioception exercises is that they train your brain. More precisely put, it improves the models or body maps that are built into your brain. By learning to feel and control "isolated" parts of the body your brain builds a better model of your body. Better yet, it creates a modular model, one whose pieces can be reused in different combinations.
(Note that any new physical activity will change your brain. Learning in general trains your brain. However, these muscle control and proprioception exercises are designed to train your brain to better sense and better control your body.)
This is similiar to learning to write Chinese characters.
Chinese characters are, in a lot of cases, "modular". The more characters you learn, the easier it becomes to learn further new characters. Learning simply becomes the act of re-using known elements in new combinations.
It's the same with anatomy. Once you learn to feel (and control) one set of muscles, it becomes easier to feel and control other muscles.
Types of People Who Have Trouble with Muscle Control (and Proprioception)
Are there people who have difficulty learning sensational anatomy?
The students who seem to have the most difficulty with learning sensational anatomy (or more precisely, the muscle control at the heart of sensational anatomy) are hyper flexible or "floppy" people, students who can drop into the splits easily but can't lower into them slowly.
Ironically these are people who could benefit from it since muscle control not only makes them stronger and helps to protect joints, it also gives them feeling, which can be lacking if you haven't got muscle control.
You can't feel your body or proprioceive it unless you have muscle control.
The exercises in this course are organized so that it is easy to learn to activate and muscles (and feel them) even if you are floppy.
At the other end of the spectrum are people who are really tight. The exercises in this course don't rely on flexibility. Most of the exercises are done while standing upright so that most people can learn to feel and control their body even if they are "tight".
Are names of muscles and bones covered?
The main intent of this course is to help you feel and control your anatomy directly. As much as possible layman friendly terminology is used. Names of muscles are mentioned, but the main focus is on actually feeling your muscles (and the bones that they attach to)
Note that the focuse here is on feeling and controlling muscles of the lower body, from the hip bones down to the toes. Though because the sacrum and lumbar spine is important for some of the exercises, a brief video on spine muscle awareness and control is also included.
What is the course made up of?
The course is divided into 4 Parts. Each part is made up of a series of short videos a maximum of 5 minutes long. Each video focuses on 1 or more simple exercises.
Videos can be streamed (using the gumroad app) or downloaded. (Downloads are 1280x720 MP4 files.)
How is the Course Taught
Exercises are taught using simple and easy to remember instructions. You can watch the video, do the exercises along with the video, then pause the video.
While the video is paused, try the exercise by yourself to make sure you understand it. If not, replay the exercise.
Once you have a grasp of the exercise, restart the video for the next exercise.
What's the Best Way to Do The Course?
It depends on your time constraints.
You could focus on watching one video a day. Watch it in the morning, then practice the exercises throughout the day whenever you have a moment to spare.
If you have a bit more time, you could possibly cover each part (there are 4 parts) in an hour. And so you could go through the whole set of videos in less than a week.
In either case, rather than rushing through the exercises, focus on feeling your body and controlling it while you do them. Move slowly and smoothly so that you improve your ability to feel your body and control it.
Note that some exercises may be a little bit challenging, so may require a bit more time. If you understand the basic instructions, then you can practice whenever you have free time.
If you are a yoga teacher or have your own yoga practice, you can play with any of the muscle activations in your yoga poses.
Note, when experimenting with muscle control in different activities, find a way to gently implement muscle control.
If you are interested in exploring how to implement muscle control in a yoga practice you can buy Leg Muscle Control and Proprioception as part of the Muscle Control package.
Muscle Control and Proprioception for the Legs is covered with a 30 day guarantee. Try it out and if you aren't satisfied, then let me know and I'll send you your money back.
Get Started Now
Because there are so many exciting and different courses out there, this course is designed so that it is easy to get on with doing it. Work is required, but rather than having to read through lots of pages (or watch hours of video), with sensational anatomy, you can watch short videos with simple exercises that you can get on with practicing now. You do have to do a lot of work but its the type of work that can be enjoyable because you are learning to better feel and control your own body.
You may find that because the focus is on feeling and controlling, you think less, you worry less.
How Important is Alignment in this Course?
Note that rather than focusing on exact alignment, you'll learn to self adjust, basically finding your alignment internally. And that's one of the main advantages of learning to feel and control your body. With enough practice you'll know when you are in the right position just by being able to feel it.
How are the Exercises Executed?
For all exercises, the focus in this course is on slow and smooth activation and slow and smooth relaxation.
Initially you can do sudden activation and relaxation, just to get a basic feel for your muscles. But once you have that the idea is to learn to activate and relax them smoothly and slowly. The exercises can then become like deep breathing exercises and have a similiar affect. Even though you aren't focusing on your respiratory muscles you may find that your breathing naturally becomes slow and smooth.
Option 1 is Leg Muscle Control and Proprioception. You'll learn to feel and control the muscles of your leg as described above.
Option 2 includes the above option 1 plus Anatomy and Muscle Control for Hamstring Flexibility. The Hamstring Flexibility video shows you how to use the techniques learned in Leg Muscle Control and Proprioception to help improve hamstring flexibility in a standing forward bend.
You can also use this URL (copy it and paste it directly into your browser:
Downloads have 1280x720 resolution and are in mp4 format.
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
If you aren't satisfied, let me know within 30 days and I'll give you your money back.
Note that all videos are streamable or downloadable.
Designed and Presented by Neil Keleher
This course has been designed and is presented by me, Neil Keleher. Nearly all of it is based on techniques that I've taught in my classes. It's also based on what my own experiences dealing with pain, injury, lack of flexibility. Prior to becoming a yoga teacher I worked as an test engineer. And before that I fixed guns while I was in the army. In all cases what I've found is that the better you understand something the easier it is to fix, and the easier it is to improve.
Sensational yoga anatomy (in this case, Leg Muscle Control and Proprioception) is designed to help you experience the anatomy of you own body so that you better understand it. It's not going to turn you into a yoga master or make you instantly flexible or pain free. But it will give you some of the tools you need to work towards those things.
Ask yourself why smartphones are smart compared to normal phones. They have a huge touch screen, a sensor, instead of buttons. And they can respond to touch in different ways. That's what makes them smart.
You don't need to upgrade your body to become body smart, you just need to learn how to use the sensors and actuators that are already built into it.
Another important idea of this course is to make you less reliant on guru's or fitness experts, to give you the necessary tools so that you can determine for yourself what is right or wrong for your body.
You can also use this URL (copy it and paste it directly into your browser: