Health & Fitness

This Animal Movement workout will make you stronger with out weights

Don't let the strange name put you off: Animal Flow offers unique benefits that you won't get from traditional strength training. "It basically takes you back to basics," says Nike master trainer Patrick Frost. "These are ground-based movements where you create resistance by pushing and pulling your body around a solid platform." The trick to mastering this discipline is to create constant tension throughout your body. "There are some parts that require grace and some that require grit," says Frost.

"You could do the same workout multiple times and have a completely different experience depending on how you attack it." While mimicking the movement patterns of a crab or monkey can seem a little silly, animal flow workouts will challenge your strength, endurance, balance, and mobility at the same time. Over time, you will develop better proprioception and move with greater intent, making your training more efficient and effective, and making you feel like an apex predator.

The workout

Warm up and then do 3 rounds of each exercise according to the prescribed work and rest hours. These movements require a lot of wrist extension and stamina to maintain proper shape. So take a break as needed when you start. Add this workout to your program 1-2 times a week and slowly build up to 3-4 times. You can also use some of these sequences as warm-up exercises or even as a finisher for your program.

Expert tip: clamping

While these exercises should be fluid, create constant resistance by digging palms into the ground and exaggerating movements that exude tension through your limbs.

The warm up

Take 5 minutes to mobilize your wrist: get on all fours and twist your wrists.
then lean or rock back and forth. Then do these exercises for 40 seconds
everyone. They prepare your joints for the main animal flow. Perform 2 rounds.

Changing crab range (A) James Woodley for the men's journal

Warming up 1. Alternate crab reach

Begin in the crab position, feet hip-width apart, hips 1 inch above the floor, and arms behind your back with fingers pointing away from your body. Bend your right arm toward the midline so the hand is 6 to 8 inches from the face (A).

Transitional phase of the alternating crab reachTransitional phase of the alternating crab range (B) James Woodley for the men's journal

Ride through your heels and straighten your hips up to a three-point standing bridge (B).

Final stage of the range of alternating crabsAlternating crab range final stage (C) James Woodley for the men's journal

Reach up with your arm and the opposite hand while holding a gentle bend in your elbow. The eyes look at the static hand (C). Lower the sides with each repetition.

Initial phase of unloading the wave of beastsInitial phase of unloading the wave of beasts (A) James Woodley for the men's journal

Warm up 2. Beast Wave Unload

Starting on all fours in the loaded beast position, pushing your hips back toward your heels as you reach your arms forward (A).

Beast Wave discharge transition phaseBeast Wave discharge transition phase James Woodley for the men's journal

Walk your hips towards the ceiling. Once your knees are fully extended (B), tuck your chin into your chest and slowly roll your spine, emphasizing the curve in your back (C). When the shoulders roll past the wrists, you come across an upward-facing dog.

Beast Wave discharge transition phaseBeast Wave discharge transition phase (D) James Woodley for the men's journal

Open your chest, pull your chin up towards the ceiling, and squeeze your glutes (D). Reverse and repeat wave.

Beginning of the alternating Scorpio reachInitial Phase of Alternating Scorpio Reach (A) James Woodley for the men's journal

Warm up 3. Alternating scorpion reach

Start in the position of the loaded animal (A).

Transitional phase of the alternating Scorpio range (B)Transitional phase of the alternating Scorpio range (B) James Woodley for the men's journal

Pass through ankle balls to bring your left knee over your body toward your right wrist, bending your right knee slightly (B).

Final Phase of Alternating Scorpio Reach (C)Final Phase of Alternating Scorpio Reach (C) James Woodley for the men's journal

Extend your arms as you pull your left leg back, bend your knee, open your hips, and push your shin towards the ceiling (C). Bring your left knee over your body again before returning to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

Deep Ape Position (A)Deep Ape Position (A) James Woodley for the men's journal

Training 1: Deep Ape to Side Kick Through

Start in a deep squat with your feet hip-width or wider, feet pointing slightly outward, and arms between your knees. Keep a flat back and a proud chest (A).

Deep Ape to Side Kick ThroughDeep Ape to Side Kick Through Transition (B) James Woodley for the men's journal

Shift the weight forward while placing your right hand on the floor (B) and stepping through your right leg, pointing your toe, and pulling your left elbow back with your palm facing away (C).

Side Kick Through (C)Side Kick Through (C) James Woodley for the men's journal

Return to the deep monkey position, then switch sides. Work in for 40 seconds and work out for 20 seconds.

Crab position (A)Crab position (A) James Woodley for the men's journal

Training 2. Crab to Underswitch Taps

Start in the crab position (A), then pass through your right toe and left hand to pivot your body (B) onto all fours.

Crab to Underswitch TapsTransition from Krabbe to sub-switch (B and C) James Woodley for the men's journal

As soon as your limbs touch the ground (C), direct your swing immediately to the starting position (D).

End position of the transition from crab to underswitch taps (D)End position of Crab to Underswitch Taps (D) James Woodley for the men's journal

Switch sides on each repetition. Work in for 30 seconds and work out for 15 seconds.

Starting position of the traveling animal (A)Starting position of the traveling animal (A) James Woodley for the men's journal

Training 3. Traveling Beast

Start in the animal position, with hands just below your shoulders and knees stacked above your hips and floating 1 inch above the floor. Reach into your core, keep your torso straight and low, then take a small step forward. Move your right hand and left foot and resist the rotation through your hips (A).

Traveling Beast (B)Traveling Beast (B) James Woodley for the men's journal

On the next repetition, move your left hand and right foot, making sure they pick up and land at the same time (B). Work in for 30 seconds and work out for 15 seconds.

Loaded beastStarting position of the charged beast (A) James Woodley for the men's journal

Training 4. Loaded beast step forward

Start in the position of the charged animal (A) and then explode through your ankle balls
(B) and jump forward with control.

Loaded beast step forward through transition (B)Loaded beast step forward through transition (B) James Woodley for the men's journal

Bring your left leg with pointed toes into full extension while your right arm is in a "protective position" at your midline and your elbow is bent in front of your face with your hand (C).

End position Loaded beast step forward (C)End position Loaded beast step forward (C) James Woodley for the men's journal

Reverse the motion to return to the start, switching sides on each repetition. Work in for 20 seconds and work out for 10 seconds.

Finisher flow

animal to left leg switch to Crab reach on the right arm to jump left leg switch to Right leg kicks through to right scorpion on right leg to left leg switch to animal. Repeat the opposite side. Work in for 60 seconds and work out for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

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