Flexibility, core strength, and mobility in your shoulders and hips are all factors that you rely on every day. Whether you are simply going about your daily routine and planning to perform a workout session, these are specific elements that contribute to your overall performance. Unfortunately, many people struggle with these factors.
The good news is there are several types of exercises and workout programs you can use to work on your flexibility and strength, as well as enhance your body’s overall mobility. Animal flow movements have become a particularly popular topic among people who want to work on these particular factors. We are going to take a closer look at what an animal flow workout is and how you can perform them too.
What Are Animal Flow Movements?
Animal flow movements refers to a collection of exercises that was developed by Mike Fitch. He is a well-known trainer who holds years of experience. Mike Fitch has developed these particular ground based movements in order to help with flexibility and stability in the body. He describes them as a mixture of gymnastics and yoga, and one of his key focus points was to ensure they do not require any type of equipment to be performed.
The term “animal flow” describes the training philosophy behind the exercises. These exercises primarily focus on movements that we generally see among animals. By mimicking these movements in an animal flow exercise, the body can experience a number of potential benefits. Apart from working on stability and flexibility, many of these workouts also focus on strength and power.
What Are The Benefits Of Animal Flow Movement?
When the creator of these workouts designed them, he particularly focused on the benefits that the practitioner is able to achieve. By understanding the benefits that you are able to gain from these animal flow movements, you have a better idea of whether or not they are a good fit for your own requirements. We take a closer look at how these zero equipment moves that only requires an open space could benefit you.
Improved Body Control
Many people have trouble being in full control of their bodies. This can be due to poor muscle strength and stability, but there are other factors that also affects your control. With the animal flow movements, you are able to improve the level of control you have over your muscles. This can make your future workouts more effective as you can focus on the right muscle groups as you work out.
Strength is a critical element in your daily life. Even when you do the washing, you rely on your body’s strength to carry the wet clothes out to the washing line. In the gym, strength becomes an even more important element that you have to keep in mind. The amount of strength you have determines the weights that you can lift or the specific exercises you are able to participate in. With regular animal flow exercises, you are able to effectively build upon your body’s strength. This will pay off in the gym when you want to increase the intensity of your workouts.
Endurance also plays a role in how well you can perform certain activities. By increasing your endurance, these movements are great for helping you last longer when you go for a run, get on the treadmill, or decide to participate in a bodyweight workout program.
One of the key benefits of animal flow movements lies in its ability to boost your flexibility. Flexibility can help to reduce the risk of injury, improve muscle function, and can even help to prevent the risk of chronic back pain. Furthermore, greater flexibility may help to improve blood circulation in your body and can contribute to a healthier posture.
Helps With Stress
Another important benefit that comes with these animal flow movements is the fact that they also help to reduce your stress. This is something that people deal with on a daily basis. Several publications have shown that exercise plays an important role in how the body reacts to stress. It essentially helps to reduce the amount of stress hormones that circulates the body – thus calming the mind and allowing you to experience a lower impact from stress.
Common List Of Animal Flow Movements
Several types of animal flow movement options have been developed to help with core muscles, shoulder stability, and body flexibility. Each move has a specific flow that you should follow and works certain parts of the body. This is why a combination of different animal flow movements are important. While all of these workouts help to keep the core engaged and are ground based movements, you should consider how each work separately.
The inchworm position is a particularly popular animal flow movement. Your starting position is on all fours, with your body facing down toward the ground. From the starting position, you will start to walk your left and right arm outward. Make turns with your right arm and left arm, instead of trying to walk them both simultaneously.
As you progress with the move, you can start to experiment with the inchworm position. For now, consider the basics. After your hands are at a width where you cannot go further, it is time to switch to your feet. Move your left leg and right leg outward, similar to how you did with your hands.
Next up is the ape movement. This particular movement does require some existing skill and strength, but it definitely has great benefits that you can expect. You will begin in a deep squat position. Your right and left foot should be grounded on the floor. Now, push your hands down onto the floor and use them to support your body. Keep your fingers pointing in an open position to ensure your hands support your body, then slowly lift your legs up.
There are some variations, such as the deep ape position, that you can progress too later on.
The move is a great option if you want to enhance shoulder and hip mobility. You will also notice that the move is a great option for improving upper body strength and stability.
There are different variations of the crab position and movement. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with two of the common options as they both offer numerous benefits.
The first of the crab position is the crab walk. Get into a classic crab position with your hands and feet on the floor. Lift up your hips, then move around in this particular position. The crab reach is another variation that you should try out.
Similar to the crab walk, start in a crab position. With this particular exercise, you won’t walk around, however. You will bring your one arm to the opposite leg. For example, start with your right arm and bring it to your left leg. Then switch sides.
The crab reach helps to work on your core stability. It is also a great option for enhancing shoulder stability. The crab walk also works on the mobility of your shoulders and affects your core muscles too.
If you want an animal flow move that will help you work on your lower body, then the frog position is a great option to consider.
To get into the frog position, start by going down on all fours. Your hands and feet should be flat on the floor. Keep your feet hip width apart from each other. Now, you should bend your knees and hips.
The move is great for working on various muscle tissues in your lower body. It works on strength and flexibility.
Another popular move is the beast position. This is a very basic type of animal flow movement, but still provides a number of benefits. The beast position requires you to place all fours down on the floor. Keep your hands and feet flat as you move around.
There are several variations of the beast position. Some examples includes the loaded beast position and the beast wave.
The beast position helps to engage your core. This increases both stability and strength in the core muscles of your body.
With a focus on the hips, this is another great option for mobility and flexibility. The monkey position requires you to go into a squat position. Keep your feet on the floor, but your hands should be lifted a little bit above the floor.
You can also use the monkey position when you want to improve strength in your core muscles, as well as the hips.
The last animal flow move that we are going to take a look at is the bear. The bear crawl is the most popular one in this particular case. It requires a position that is similar to the beast and loaded beast position. Your hands and feet are placed on the ground, but with this particular move, you will raise your hips into the air.
The move is great for upper body strength, as it works on your shoulders. It can also be used to add greater mobility to your hips.
Animal flow exercises are gaining traction due to the potential benefits that they can offer. With a good animal flow workout strategy, you can effectively target your entire body. There are various animal-inspired poses and movements that you should consider when you find yourself interested in these workouts. A balanced program can help to ensure you work your lower and upper body. Start with the animal flow workout movements that you discovered in this post and work your way up from there.
Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a bachelor’s degree in medicine from Alexandria university and is a practicing plastic surgeon. He’s our expert on all things nutrition, medicine, rehabilitation, and flexibility. Dr.Ahmed has been a medical content writer for more than 11 years and his work reached top publications such as the HuffingtonPost