Get healthier and fitter by practicing animal movements. Although there are many to choose from, below you will see the reason why you only need to master five and get your mobility and strength to the next level.
In the vast landscape of fitness videos that inundate our screens, the prevailing narrative often revolves around the coveted goals of fat loss, muscle building, and achieving that perfectly toned physique. Yet, amid the fervour of sculpting our bodies, an essential aspect often remains in the shadows—the profound connection between looking good and feeling good.
Despite what fitness influencers may propagate, the pursuit of aesthetic excellence alone is insufficient to guarantee a holistic sense of well-being. It’s time to unveil a paradigm shift, recognizing that true fitness transcends the superficial, delving into the realms of primal and animalistic movement that not only enhance our physical appearance but optimize the way our bodies function.
As the fitness industry inundates us with promises of transformative physiques, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the pursuit of wellness extends beyond the superficial allure of sculpted muscles and lean physiques.
In this pursuit, the emphasis shouldn’t solely rest on the external aesthetics but on fostering an internal cooperation of looking good AND feeling good. It’s an exploration of the transformative power of animalistic movements—ancient yet remarkably relevant in the contemporary fitness landscape. Beyond the promises of visible transformations, the real jewel lies in discovering a realm where bodies operate at their optimal capacity, seamlessly merging functionality and aesthetics.
This article seeks to unravel the often-overlooked dimension of fitness, encouraging a shift in perspective from the conventional to the primal, where true well-being is a harmonious blend of looking good and feeling even better.
And who came up with these exercises? Trevor Hash is a movement coach who co-founded Strength Side alongside his brother Joshua Hash. They spent years in fitness from personal training to corrective exercise, to hand balancing. Strength Side’s YouTube Channel has over 1 million subscribers where videos are posted about different movement patterns to improve your athleticism, abs exercises and life-changing habits.
See it all unfolded below of the only 5 animal movements you need to move better and feel great.
The Only 5 Animal Movements you Need
· Cat Crawl: The fundamental yet potent cat crawl serves as a cornerstone in the world of primal movement. Initiate this crawl by assuming a position on hands and knees, lifting the knees slightly off the ground. With a harmonious alternation of limbs, extend one hand forward as the opposite foot glides forward. This rhythmic progression engages reflexive strength, uniting the upper and lower body through the core. Mimicking the fluidity of walking, the cat crawl hones the body’s ability to shift weight seamlessly from side to side, fostering a connection between shoulders, hips, and spine.
· Bear Crawl: Transitioning from the cat crawl, the bear crawl elevates the movement by straightening the knees and lifting the hips, emphasizing a pronounced stretch along the backside of the body, including hamstrings and calves. The bear crawl is a testament to functional movement, mirroring the efficiency observed when individuals stand up from a seated position or land gracefully after navigating obstacles. By distributing weight from legs to arms, the bear crawl epitomizes the intricate interplay between upper and lower body dynamics.
· Ape Traverse: Unveiling its functionality in movements like standing up from sitting or navigating uneven terrain, the ape traverse is a dynamic addition to primal crawling patterns. Begin in a low crouch, arms extended in the desired direction, and shift weight from legs to arms, propelling the body forward. By mastering the art of weight transfer and incorporating jumps for added dynamism, the ape traverse not only challenges the body but activates muscles often left dormant in routine movements.
· Crocodile Crawl: Diverging from the straight-line trajectory, the crocodile crawl introduces lateral movement with an emphasis on hip and upper spine mobility. Commencing from a low lunge position with one hand placed inside the front foot, the crocodile crawl involves a graceful rotation to achieve the same position on the opposite side. This lateral shift not only targets stubborn areas but also enhances overall mobility, offering a nuanced approach to fitness that extends beyond conventional stretching.
· Frog Crawl: While not the most functional human movement, the frog crawl uniquely focuses on upper body strength. Originating from a squat position with extended arms, the weight is shifted into the hands, propelling the body forward. This foundational pushing strength, developed from ground up, proves invaluable for those aspiring to master handstands. The frog crawl’s emphasis on upper body engagement allows for experimentation with hip mobility, offering a holistic approach to strength-building.
Bonus: Crawl Switch: Elevating the art of transition, the crawl switch seamlessly intertwines the cat and crab crawls. Initiated from a crab position, the shift of weight onto one arm facilitates the movement of the same-side leg underneath, orchestrating a graceful rotation into the cat crawl position. This amalgamation not only challenges functional strength but presents an avenue for creativity, encouraging individuals to explore diverse transitions between fundamental crawling patterns.
These fundamental crawls are more than exercises—they’re explorations. Tailor sets and reps based on personal preferences, exploring your backyard, hallway, or any available space. Listen to your body and enjoy the creative process, experimenting with different transitions and movements.
Read More: How Running Once a Week Changes Your Body
Beyond conventional workouts, animal movements provide a unique avenue for achieving both aesthetic goals and overall well-being. While the initial apprehension of performing these movements in public may exist, the transformative impact on one’s life is worth embracing.
Crawling has the potential to reshape your fitness journey, unlocking not just physical prowess but also a sense of longevity and joy. In the realm of primal movements, the Hash brothers believe these basics should be accessible to all, reinforcing the idea that being healthy should be a free and empowering pursuit.
Watch the video below to fully understand how to perform each of these 5 animal movements to get your workout and mobility to the next level.
Crawling movements, often overlooked in traditional fitness routines, offer a transformative approach that extends beyond the realms of conventional exercises. Firstly, these primal patterns engage the body in a holistic manner, activating a diverse range of muscles and promoting functional strength. Unlike isolated exercises that target specific muscle groups, crawling requires the synchronization of various muscle chains, fostering a comprehensive muscular engagement. The intricate interplay between the upper and lower body during crawling patterns ensures that no muscle group is left untouched, promoting a balanced and well-rounded approach to fitness.
Secondly, crawling movements contribute significantly to mobility and flexibility. The dynamic nature of these patterns challenges the body to move in various planes, enhancing joint mobility and range of motion. As individuals navigate through crawling sequences, they naturally incorporate movements that stretch and strengthen muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This focus on mobility not only improves overall flexibility but also mitigates the risk of injuries by promoting joint health and functional movement patterns.
Moreover, crawling exercises provide a cardiovascular and endurance boost. The continuous and rhythmic nature of crawling elevates heart rate and respiratory function, turning these primal movements into effective cardiovascular workouts. While crawling may appear deceptively simple, the sustained effort required over time transforms it into a powerful endurance exercise. Integrating crawling patterns into fitness routines not only challenges the cardiovascular system but also enhances stamina, contributing to improved overall fitness levels.
In essence, crawling movements present a paradigm shift in fitness philosophy by embracing the primal patterns that our bodies are inherently designed for. From fostering holistic muscular engagement to enhancing flexibility and boosting cardiovascular endurance, these movements offer a multifaceted approach to fitness that extends beyond the traditional confines of gym workouts. Embrace the crawl, and embark on a journey that not only transforms your physique but also revitalizes your connection with movement and well-being.