People doing moving yoga poses on the ground and Tai Chi in the gym is not an uncommon sight these days. If you are wondering what these crawling exercises are, you have reached the right place. The flow of various ground-based movements is called animal flow. It has recently come under the spotlight for its various health benefits. In this guide, we are going to cover what animal flow is and how animal flow routine can help you get stronger. Read on.
What Is Animal Flow?
As the name suggests, animal flow is a series of movements mimicking the movements of animals. This training was invented by a well-known trainer named Mike Fitch. According to Mike himself, the animal flow fitness:
- Is a series of ground-based movements
- Has no requirement of any types of special equipment
- Can be understood as a mix of yoga poses and gymnastics
The main aim of animal flow movements is to improve the practitioner’s power, stability, and strength. Although the movements look quite simple, they challenge the body with quiet intensity. You can perform animal flow as a complement to other workouts such as explosive power athletes and barbell work.
Benefits Of Animal Flow Workout
A legit question that comes to the mind of beginners is that is practising animal flow worth it or is it just another social media fad? Here is a list of benefits that will help you decide whether the animal flow exercises is worth your efforts or not:
- It Reduces The Risk Of Injuries: Doing animal flow exercises will strengthen your muscles and increase your sense of balance. With these enhancements, your risk of getting injured gets reduced.
- It Increases Body Flexibility: By practising animal flow regularly, you will be able to enhance your mobility and flexibility. If you are a beginner, animal flow can also act as a stretching and warm-up exercise.
- It Helps Your Attain Control Over Breathing: While doing animal flow, you have to control the pattern of your breathing. Hence, its regular practice can help you attain control of your breathing patterns:
- It Improves Your Control Over Body Movements: The movements in the animal flow workout routine are in succession but under control. You have to be mindful of every minute movement when you are doing an animal flow home workout. After regular practice, it will help you improve your control over body movements during regular day-to-day tasks too.
- It Increases Your Stamina: Some animal flow movements require muscular strength and regulated breathing. Over time, these two factors add to increase your stamina. If you want to go longer at the gym without feeling fatigued, you should add animal flow exercises to your workout.
- It Increases Your Heart Rate: Movements like the Alternating AF Front Kick Throughs are quite efficient at increasing your heart rate and hence improving cardiovascular health.
Animal Flow Workout: The Best Movements
Here is an animal flow movements list that you can add to your daily workout routine right away:
• Animal Flow Movement 1 - Static Beast
Start the movement by getting in a tabletop position. Keep your knees under the belly button, corkscrew the palms into the flow, and retract the shoulders blades. Keep your spine in a neutral position, squeeze your glutes, brace the core, and lift knees an inch over the floor. This is the static beast; hold this for 10-30 seconds.
• Animal Flow Movement 2 - Crab Reach
Sit on a yoga mat with face-up and arms rotated externally behind your back. Keep your feet at a shoulder-width distance to each other and create a shape like the letter “M”. Corkscrew the palms into the flow and retract the shoulders blades. Keep your spine in a neutral position, gaze up, and brace the core. Now, lift the left hand to the chest making a guard position, and drive through the heels. Extend the hips upwards and as you reach the top, bring your left arm over your head pointing to the floor. While doing this movement, you have to keep your eyes on the right hand.
To release the pose, you have to first bring the left hand back to the chest and then make the letter “M” pose again. Do this pose to open up your hips or as a warm-up pose for any type of hinge movements such as the bunny hops and frog jumps.
• Animal Flow Movement 3 - Alternating AF Front Kick Throughs
Start the movement by getting in a tabletop position. Keep your knees under the belly button and walk your hands while driving the hips back. This movement will stretch your body from both sides. Now, flare the knees to hover an inch over the flow. This position is another common animal flow movement called the loaded beast position.
Now, replace the left hand with the left foot abruptly - almost in an explosive manner. While doing this quick movement, you have to step forward using your left leg and get into the lunge position. To complete this movement, kick the right forward and place your arm at the chest, making a guard position. This is the alternating AF Front Kick Throughs pose.
To release this pose and return to the starting animal flow pose loaded beast, you have to first bring the kicking leg back and then the left hand down. This is a powerful animal flow pose that mimics the explosiveness and energy of box jumps without risking your joints. If you want to increase your heart rate, practice this movement for timed intervals.
Animal flow workout for beginners includes a series of low-intensity movements that can be practiced by anyone. To perform these movements, you do not need any special piece of equipment other than a yoga mat. The list of benefits of animal flow is huge while the downside is none. So, if you are planning to add some fun-to-do movements to your workout, animal flow can be a great place to start.
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