I started my fitness journey as any other person would – I started to run every day, eventually joined a gym, and started lifting weights following a high-intensity training format. Because I never bothered to learn proper training techniques, this all led to the accumulation of compensatory movement patterns that would later be my ticket to the Injuries Funhouse.
For about 5 years I lived with every type of pain you can imagine. When you start your day with a sharp pain in your back or feel a sharp pain shooting down your leg just by standing from your chair at work, you know something is wrong. I tried everything under the sun but nothing seemed to fix the root cause of my problem.
In 2016, I had a severe car crash that had me in bed for 2 months. These were some of the darkest days of my life but I’m grateful because it gave me a lot of time to reflect and investigate ways to heal my body the right way.
During the time I was recovering, I studied functional anatomy, and read books on kinesiology, biomechanics, and posture. This all led me to Animal Flow, changing both the way my body moved and my relationship with my body forever.
What is Animal Flow?
Animal Flow is a structured series of animal-style movements that can be linked together to form flows, similar to yoga. It’s good for building mobility, strength and developing motor control, something many programs are missing. I like to think it is similar to learning chords on a piano; once you learn enough of the notes or movements, you can string them together and play fun, interesting songs, or flows with your body.
Who should do Animal Flow?
Animal Flow is a good fit for anyone looking to spice up their training and create more control in their movements. It is also very scalable to all fitness levels. Whether you’re just getting back into training, or have been moving for a long time, you’ll find something interesting in it for you.
What are the components of Animal Flow?
The Animal Flow system is broken down into 5 distinct categories.
1. Wrist Mobility Drills
These are movements that help strengthen the wrists and prepare you for moving on the ground. Since most people aren’t used to crawling on the ground and putting weight on their wrists, this helps a lot with preparing your body for the movements ahead.
2. Form-Specific Stretches
These are mobility drills that help you own the positions you’ll be using in the flows. They’re great for creating flexibility in tight areas, like the front of the body, and strengthening weak areas, which is typically the back of the body for most people.
3. Traveling Forms
This is where you’ll work on strength and stamina. They consist of the traveling Ape, Beast, and Crab, which make up the “ABCs” of Animal Flow.
4. Switches and Transitions
These are the movements that link one position to another to create a flow. Without the switches, you’d just end up with a bunch of isolated movement patterns. This is where Animal Flow really shines over other bodyweight training programs.
These are sequences that combine the Ape, Beast, and Crab with other movements, like the Scorpion and Side Kick Through. Many pre-built flows are shared on social networks today, but the goal is to eventually get creative and start making your own flows.
Chronic pain, immobility, depression, lack of vitality, and energy are all the symptoms of the zoo human syndrome. The zoo human syndrome is how I define the state of today’s society. Think about it: we are living in a nature deficit disorder with zombie-eyes trapped by screens, forests of concrete, and cubicle kennels all contributing to our degeneration. Our bodies as thirsty for movement.
Consider Animal Flow one way you can take a step towards improving the quality of your life and your well-being!