Why Do Animal Moves Workouts?
Animal Moves - make them Part of your Play Experience!
There’s a good reason why animal movements are now being integrated into workout routines and fitness regimes: even though they are as old as movement for humans itself - they can provide an unmatched full-body workout that mobilises, conditions and strengthens.
Most animal exercises make you use your entire body, as well as your imagination. These aren’t just workouts for kids.
If you've been a regular visitor to PrimalPlay.com, then you may have purchased the best-selling Animal Moves book, considered getting the Animal Moves fitness deck or tried the Animal Moves Challenge video course. They are fun but challenging workouts kids and adults of all ages can engage in and find enjoyable.
Animal workouts can make you more functional, more human and help you to awaken your mind and embrace your inner child.
#1 - Animal Moves Are Functional
Animal Moves and workouts have been featured in national fitness magazines and videos showing exactly how to do animal movement exercises can be found all over YouTube. I certainly use animal movements as a fundamental part of my playtime with Primal Play, and it certainly should be considered for anyone looking for more fun and exciting movement patterns during their workouts.
These moves are inspired by the animal kingdom, however it isn’t just about having fun, the serious part is that it encourages us to engage in movement patterns we often neglect in a modern environment as adults and unfortunately it’s the case for many kids.
The feature of animal movements to include crawls, jumps, sprawls and hops mean we move as nature intended, in whole-body ways that are primal, natural and functional.
#2 - ANIMAL MOVES CAN MAKE YOU FEEL Like a Kid Again
It may have been quite a while since being a kid that you last moved and played mimicking other animals.
Once you get over any initial anxiety about being a grownup doing Bunny Hops, then you’ll quickly see that these animal moves – all modelled on the movements of animals in the wild – can make a big difference to your health but they are also playful and pleasurable too!
Turning movement into a game, helps us to reconnect with our inner child. Make your workouts become playouts.
#3 - ANIMAL MOVES CAN IMPROVE Mobility
In some cases, these animal movements are designed to improve your overall flexibility and range of motion through mobility. For example, any movements requiring squatting or crouching down into a crawl position help to improve mobility in your hips and lower body. Pandiculation rather than stretching is something that animals do and is nature's way of maintaining a youthful range of motion.
#4 - ANIMAL MOVES CAN BUILD Strength
What many of these animal movements have in common is that they require you to support your full body weight, which is why they can be used for strength training. The Crab Walk exercise, for example, aids in core stability and also builds strength throughout your shoulders, abs, hips and back. For added leg strength and explosive power, try a Frog Jump exercise (see image below) that requires you to jump forward while in a frog-like squatting position.
Movements that need you to support your body on all four limbs very close to the ground such as the Crocodile Walk are great at supporting your body weight with locomotion requiring a significant strength effort.
Be your own superhero. It’s important to be strong, to be useful!
#5 - ANIMAL MOVES CAN IMPROVE Coordination
As you might have initially guessed, some of these movements – such as the Bear Jack – actually require quite a bit of coordination, dexterity and power to pull off. Even simpler animal movements like the Crane Pose (in which you stand on one leg and raise your other leg up to knee level) help with overall coordination, balance and stability.
Crawling - a quadrupedal movement where you rely on all four limbs for movement has significant benefits for the brain because of that coordination challenge.
These animal workouts are good for the brain as well as the body.
#6 - ANIMAL MOVES CAN IMPROVE CARDIO Conditioning
Try these animal moves and combine them into a 30-minute, vigorous intensity circuit workout. Instead of moving from weight machine to weight machine, you are moving to different states of animal movement patterns - a circuit - in your gym, your local park or even your living room. Great for the heart and lungs and for your motivation too.
After a few seconds of doing a Bear Crawl, for example, you might transition into doing a Rabbit Walk, then on to a Kangaroo Jump. This helps to boost your overall conditioning, keeps things engaging and allows you to move at your own pace and rest as required too.
RELATED: Have fun with fitness
#7 - ANIMAL MOVES CAN OFFER FUN Partner Workouts
And, if you’re really looking to take your workouts or even better your playouts to the next level, you could incorporate a partner into your routine and challenge each other to a Tug of War. Or level up the fun with partner games like a Primal Play Tag.
In this case two certainly can be better than one and increases motivation from the added challenge, cooperation and competition.
#8 - ANIMAL MOVES HELP YOU TO Train Animal, BUT Be Human
The best part about adding animal moves to your overall fitness routine is that they are designed to be safe and suitable for your body. That might strike you as being counter-intuitive, but just try getting into an animal-inspired pose and transition to another.
We evolved to move this way even if our modern, adult, 21st Century bodies find it uncomfortable at first to do so. Keep going, and you’ll see how natural it starts to feel after awhile.
#9 - ANIMAL MOVES CAN BE DONE ANYPLACE, ANYWHERE
You don’t need access to the gym, or any special equipment. You just need a location with enough room to move, indoors or out with your body as the equipment. It’s the best piece of workout equipment you own!
#10 - ANIMAL MOVES HELP YOU TO Have Fun With Fitness
So if you are looking for a fun, innovative and natural way to get into better shape, consider adding animal moves to your workout routine. They are a great way to improve your health by boosting strength, coordination, flexibility and balance.