Animal Flow: A New Type of Exercise

Learn about Animal Flow, a relatively new type of workout focusing on fluidity and range of motion.

Animal Flow is a relatively new type of workout. Focusing on fluidity and range of motion, it combines parkour, gymnastics, breakdancing, hand balancing and other bodyweight practices. Invented four years ago by trainer Mike Fitch, it constitutes a welcome alternative to the monotony of weightlifting.

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Here are the 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

What sports use rotation? All of them. Many Animal Flow moves require you to stabilize your core while lifting opposite limbs. The movements also require you to control your body before placing your limbs back on the ground. 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, because they place such a high demand on your anterior chain.

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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. Training these patterns promotes better movement, which can lead to a stronger, better-communicating body. I have also found that training these patterns teaches better neuromuscular control and helps prevent injury in athletes.

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.

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