Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility

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Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility

Post by MonkeyJesus » Fri May 16, 2008 12:32 pm

With the recent discussion on Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility, I dug out my copy and finally gave it a viewing. I’m sure the others who are soon to have copies of their own will chime in when they get a chance.

Steve Maxwell. Really, that should sum it up. The man has enough knowledge of physical culture to overflow the Mariana Trench. He’s the type of person that when speaking, one would be wise to close their mouth and take notes. One of the only good things remaining on the Dragon Door forums is a backlog of 2000 odd something posts by user “Steve Maxwell”, which should be required reading for anyone interested in a deeper understanding of strength and conditioning. That being said, there has yet to be a product produced that carried Maxwell’s name that I have not found useful. Truth be told, I had reservations with his more recent materials, or the “Spartan Series,” which appeared to be piggy backing on the marketing of the 300 movie. Had Steve turned capitalist running dog, succumbing to the mighty dollar with DVDs full of more fluff than stuff? After having the privilege to view some of the titles in the series, my faith was restored and then some. Seriously, it’s Steve “Mother-Fucking” Maxwell.

The Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility, a bit over 3 hours of non-stop info – no fluff. The 3-disc set is broken down as follows:

Disc 1:
Intro to Joint Mobility
Neck Series
Shoulder Series
Elbow, Wrists, Hands & Fingers Series
78 minutes

Disc 2:
Spine & Lower Back Series
Hip Mobility
62 minutes

Disc 3:
Toe, Foot, Ankle & Knee Series
Spinal Rocking Series
52 minutes

Within each series, Steve demonstrates and explains a wide variety of movements to target the mobility, strength and conditioning of all the joints in the body. The exercises presented are influenced from a range of traditions and filtered through Steve’s numerous years of experience as a trainer, athlete and movement specialist. If you have any familiarity with the other joint mobility programs out there, such as Z-health, Warrior Wellness or the more recent IntuFlow, then many of the joint specific movements will be very familiar. Steve simply adds his experience to the presentation and explanation on how to perform the exercises. Then there are other movements presented that are more uncommon, such as the Dance of the Shiva (Lappa on Youtube).

I personally found more interest, and for me some new stuff, in the ground engagement and floor exercises. Again, if you are familiar with the work of Scott Sonnon, like Body Flow and the newly evolved Prasara, portions of the material presented will be nothing new. Yet, Steve further rounds out the encyclopedic nature of the product by introducing additional floor movements influenced from his grappling and yoga experience. A lot of these ground series exercises are used to strengthen and condition the joints in order for them to perform without injury under stress. The Spinal rocking series contains a ton of useful information and kinetic chains specifically useful to grapplers, but also anyone interested in possessing the athleticism to move around effortlessly, controlling their own bodyweight under gravity.

If you are purchasing this product with the intention of having a routine all laid out for you, then you will be disappointed. There is no such routine or follow-along like in the Z-health and Intuflow programs. This is as the title suggests an encyclopedia that catalogs all of the joint specific movements that Steve has experienced and found useful in overall performance, health and longevity. It remains up to the user to intuitively string together a routine that fits their specific needs. Although, if you have a nagging body part that needs some extra TLC, you could plug in the appropriate series and run through the exercises, performing enough reps to alleviate any pains. Steve also hints at a future “advanced” mobility product in the works, though some will find the exercises in this set plenty challenging.

Overall, I’d rate Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility a 9.5 out of 10. The only thing missing is some discussion on program design. I for one, have no problem with it, however there are more than enough individuals out there that need to have a laid out, fully developed “routine” to follow along with. If this is the case, then I would suggest exploring IntuFlow or R-phase of Z-health. If however, you want a large collection of movements to target every joint in the body and provide a plenty of variety to pick and choose from, then this product is for you. This is an excellent value for 50 bucks. Hell, I just checked Ebay and this is going for about $40 shipped to your door. Given the depth of information, you are really getting the best of a handful of other DVDs for less than the cost of one of the other popular programs.

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Re: Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility

Post by Crust Bucket » Fri May 16, 2008 2:34 pm

Thanks for the thorough review, it sounds very good.
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Re: Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility

Post by grey » Fri May 16, 2008 4:24 pm

I ordered my copy on Monday and recieved it today. The only jm products I own are Maxwell's JM and Recharge and Pavel's Super Joints so I learned a ton. Other than a lack of programming the only other fault I have with it is that there is no index for the movements on the disc or on paper. The insert for the discs are advertisements. I will probably watch this and make my own.

All in all though the best purchase I've made in a long time.
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Re: Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility

Post by Abandoned by Wolves » Sun May 18, 2008 4:55 pm

Thanks for the excellent (and thorough) review. I was intrigued by Maxwell's demo of Andre Lappa's stuff in "The Boys Are Back In Town", and I didn't know that he included the "Dance Of Shiva" material here. That's enough to convince me that I need this DVD. It goes on my birthday "wish list", or else my first purchase when my "economic stimulus" check gets here.
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Re: Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility

Post by Mutant » Tue May 20, 2008 1:42 pm

Abandoned by Wolves wrote:...I didn't know that he included the "Dance Of Shiva" material here. That's enough to convince me that I need this DVD. It goes on my birthday "wish list", or else my first purchase when my "economic stimulus" check gets here.
FYI, Lappa's 'Dance of Shiva' DVD is only about $30 and looks like something worth picking up for the price. I really liked Lappa's "Introduction to Universal Yoga" and thought it was a steal at $25. Wish his book and 'Level 1' DVD set was cheaper. My list of stuff I want always seems to grow beyond my income...


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Re: Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Tue May 20, 2008 3:47 pm

Good stuff on it this set of DVDs.

If you just want a follow along thing, pick up an old copy of Warrior Wellness or a newer one of Intu-Flow, though.

Don't complicate a movement unless you have to, the bottom line is still moving the joints through a full range of motion, first slow, then more quickly.

One thing that I did notice, and it made me curious, is that Maxwell is underdeveloped in the traps and mid-back compared to the rest of him.

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