Designed by Mike Fitch, Animal Flow leads into your primal instincts and animal movements in ways you’ve never imagined before. It is comprised of a series of functional bodyweight movements that fuse gymnastics, acrobatics, Parkour, capoeira, and breakdancing, all while staying low to the ground and engaging many muscles at once (like the lion when stealthily stalks his prey). But don’t be fooled by the playful element, this workout is a serious exercise that will drench you with sweat and make you use a lot of energy.
Animal Flow is an innovative fitness program that combines a wide range of exercises and ground-based movement combinations that are grouped into six components, each designed to elicit specific results. They all have great influence whatever training discipline or sport you already practice! The result is a fun, challenging workout emphasizing multi-planar, fluid movements.
The Six Components
The six components can be mixed and matched in many ways, and you can incorporate one, some, or all of them in your workouts! The six components include:
- Wrist Mobilizations include a range of simple exercises designed to increase the flexibility and strength of your wrists, which is particularly important for any practice where you are spending a lot of time on your hands.
- Activations are static holds we perform to connect the body before we start our practice. Examples include: Static Beast Hold, Static Crab Hold, and Limb Lifts.
- Specific Stretches are full body stretches that start in an animal form and then move through a wide range of motion. This increases your mobility and flexibility throughout the entire body. Examples include the Ape Reach, Beast Reach, Crab Reach and Scorpion Reach.
- Traveling Forms are exercises that mimic the movements of animals. You’ll start with Ape, Beast and Crab – (ABC) to get you going on these full body conditioning moves. The traveling forms are essentially how we move like animals to improve the function of the human animal.
- Switches are dynamic movements that we perform one after the other, creating the “flow” of Animal Flow. You can transfer from one form to another, or repeat the same one as a drill.
- Examples include the many variations for Underswitches, Side Kickthroughs, Front Kickthroughs, and Scorpions.
Your Flow is where the real magic happens. You’ll combine the Animal Flow moves by linking them together in a fluid sequence, seamlessly transferring energy from one move to the next. Flows may be a choreographed sequence practiced over multiple sessions, or may be created freestyle!
Top four benefits of Animal Flow workouts
- Mobility and Flexibility
Many young athletes get injured because of a lack of mobility in their joints. When a joint cannot move properly, the body compensates, and these compensations can lead to injury in the long run. Doing Animal Flow, even as just a warm-up, promotes mobility in the joints.
- Rotational Stability
All sports use rotation, and many Animal Flow moves require you to stabilize your core while lifting opposite limbs. One of the rules of Animal Flow is that “limbs lift and land lightly.” To follow this rule, you have to have a ridiculous amount of rotary stability.
- Muscle Pattern Connections
Too often in training programs, athletes perform a ton of isolation exercises for specific muscle groups, most of which offer no athletic benefits. Animal Flow requires you to train muscular patterns through full ranges of motion. Many moves require you to engage your entire posterior chain.
- It’s Fun!
Many young athletes, used to being constantly mentally stimulated, get bored with training in the weight room. All of the ones we work with get excited when we do Animal Flow training. They find it both interesting and challenging.
Animal Flow can be performed in several different ways, but the best way is to set up some music and just practice your flows for a set amount of time. Watch the video below to see Animal Flow in action. You probably won’t be able to try it on your own, but look for this unique style of training to gain popularity in the fitness industry.
Animal Flow celebrity clients include Cameron Diaz, Mila Kunis, Will Smith and Mark Walhberg.
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