What is Animal Flow?
Movement is the new buzzword in the fitness industry and in the past few years, more people are turning away from their conventional gym workouts to a more bodyweight movement program. The new hype allowed new innovative movement programs to enter the market and many of these programs are built on the theory that people have been using animal movement and bodyweight training to improve their fitness levels for hundreds of years.
Fitness professionals and enthusiasts are finding new innovative ways to move and one of the most popular movement programs available today is Animal Flow.
What is Animal Flow?
Animal Flow is a system of ground-based movement designed to help improve your flexibility, mobility and coordination as well as increasing your strength and stamina. The animal flow modality is designed for all levels of fitness professionals and enthusiasts. Whether you want to improve your fitness levels on your own, train with a fitness professional or looking to join a group fitness class, the Animal Flow system can be easily implemented in a variety of ways to fulfil anyone's fitness goals.
Created by Mike Fitch, Animal Flow is a combination of Activations, Form Specific Stretches, Switches & Transitions and Animal Locomotion movement put together to form a "flow". This series of Animal Flow moves are linked in multiple ways creating a fun and creative sequence focusing on myofascial slings. The focus on "myofascial slings" is fundamental in building the essential connection between muscles, joints, connective tissue and bones to work together creating a string of action and reaction.
Animal Flow Creator: Mike Fitch
The Six Components of Animal Flow
Wrist Mobilization is an important aspect of Animal Flow. Simple but effective, as these movements are used to warm up the hands and wrists before your Animal Flow workout. Strong and flexible wrists are the key to success with Animal Flow for both beginners and professionals Animal Flow-ists. Considering the extra time we spend on all fours on the ground compared to our everyday routines, healthy wrists are important in creating a good foundation of the Animal Flow system.
Animal Flow activations is the next component of the Animal Flow system. We start by going all fours on the ground, finding the connection between the mind to our physical body while bringing awareness and interaction with the ground. We can call this the "awakening" as we focus on the connection of the mind, physical body and the environment (the ground). There are two activation forms in the Animal Flow system which we call the "Beast" and "Crab". As you progress with your Animal Flow journey, you will start to understand the importance of these two fundamental positions.
Form Specific Stretches
Form Specific Stretches helps improve our flexibility and mobility of our entire body. These stretches increase our strength while in motion. Each Form Specific Stretch starts from an animal base position and moves through the various end of ranges of motion. When used correctly, these movements can be integrated into a fluid sequence (flow) or used individually as conditional tools.
Travelling Forms in Animal Flow are based on animal locomotive movements. The movement mimics the way certain animals move as this will improve the function of the "human animal". The foundation of travelling forms is known as ABCs of animal movements: Ape, Beast and Crab. More advanced animal flow travelling forms include Bear, Leopard and Crocodile.
Animal Flow Travelling Form: Crocodile
Switches and Transitions
When putting together an Animal Flow sequence, Switches and Transitions make up the majority of a flow. Switches and Transitions are dynamic movements that are linked together to form endless variations of a flow. Like Form Specific Stretches, these movements can also be used as a single powerful exercise or workout. There are four main Switches and Transitions expressions: Underswitch, Side Kickthrough, Scorpion and Front Kickthrough.
Animal Flow Switches & Transitions: Underswitch
When we design a flow, we put together a series of animal flow movements together to create a fluid and continuous motion of movements. These pre-arranged flows can be a challenge for first timers (even if you're a fitness professional) so usually before performing a flow, practicing individual Animal Flow movement or practicing in a smaller sequence can be a workout itself already. Once you have mastered the whole flow, you can start to integrate the tempo or add some choreography flare to the flow to change the dynamics of the flow and your workout.
Why Animal Flow?
The Animal Flow system is created to enhance your power, strength, mobility, flexibility and coordination. This systemised program allows us to understand movement in a much simpler form which makes it a great training program for all levels of fitness.
Animal Flow puts you on all fours frequently with the intention to move with fluidity. Building strength with weights and barbell are a thing of the past, with Animal Flow, you are constantly required to support your full body weight whether you are just drilling specific moves or performing a flow. The animal moves in different patterns while engaging different parts of your body so to boost your overall body strength, design a flow that will challenge your body and stimulate those muscles with tempo changes and timed static stretches.
Animals move differently and your coordination can determine a lot on how you move. When travelling on all four limbs (quadrupedal movement, i.e. Beast Travel), our brain is challenged to coordinate the right steps while moving as smoothly as possible.
Animal Flow movements are designed to improve your range of motion through mobility. Bodyweight movements improve mobilizing all the joints in the body. The ground-based movement in the Animal Flow system will enhance your overall body awareness and performance while keeping your joints strong and healthy.
Anywhere, Anytime and Plenty of Fun
Learn the foundation of the Animal Flow system and you won't need your gym membership again. Especially with Work from Home being normality now, you just need a small open space whether it's your lounge room or at the park, the only equipment you need is your body! Not only Animal Flow will enhance your fitness levels by improving strength, mobility and coordination, moving like an animal is fun and innovative to move naturally to get into a better shape.
Animal Flow Session: Playing games with Animal Flow
Make the most of your body with Animal Flow and unleash your inner beast!
The uniqueness of Animal Flow compared to other movement modalities is that it has a very well thought out system. Once you've learned the moves, you can practice anywhere you want, whether you're at home, at the gym or the park, Animal Flow can be performed anywhere anytime.
Animal Flow in Thailand Koh Samui: Anytime, Anywhere
Want to get a preview of what Animal Flow is like? Subscribe to Animal Flow On Demand and get unlimited access to tutorials, classes and flows on your phone or computer!
Want to learn in person? There is no better way to learn and continually improve your fitness level with an Animal Flow Certified Instructor. Click here to check out our Animal Flow page