Forget caveman workouts: you can build functional, flexible muscle and primal fitness with bodyweight system Animal Flow.
If you’re at all sceptical about moves with names like "travelling ape", just try it before you scoff. “It’s surprising how difficult this stuff is,” says Mike Fitch, Animal Flow creator, PT and all-round bodyweight training don. “You take these really big, strong guys, get them on the floor and they struggle – it’s pretty humbling for them.” If you haven’t heard of the latest primal fitness trend to come out of the US, Animal Flow is a hybrid that takes in gymnastics, parkour, capoeira, and even breakdancing. What makes it so hard is also what makes it so effective. “Using all of your limbs at the same time through multiple planes of motion, as they were intended, has a carry-over to power, strength, endurance and fat loss. Even if you simply want to improve your ability to lift weights, this will do it.”
Not that you’ll want to: Fitch hasn’t lifted anything other than his own body for years, having become disillusioned with getting “jacked” (not to mention injured). “I’ve never looked or felt better. You never forget your first handstand push-up, your first flag. These are benchmarks as a bodyweight athlete – and as a human being.” Consider this your induction into the jungle gym.
Try the Animal Flow workout
Depending on how hard you want to work, you can use Animal Flow as a high-intensity workout, dynamic warm-up or active recovery. You can also slot individual moves into other circuits to see huge improvements in strength, not to mention shoulder and arm muscle.
Go with the flow: Animal Flow moves are used in seamless combos, so you’re constantly moving and working. Below is an example routine, but once you’ve mastered it you can build your own or freestyle.
- Forward-travelling beast (5 steps each side)
- Side kickthrough (5 each side)
- Front step (5 each side)
- Lateral-travelling ape (5 each side)
- Forward-travelling crab (5 steps each side)
- Underswitch (4 full rounds each way)
Originally published on menshealth.com
Image credit: iStock