You know when you’ve found an awesome workout, but have no idea how to describe it to someone else? Yep, that’s how I feel about Animal Flow®.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Free Try Out Class for Animal Flow® r, and I’ve spent the whole week trying to work out the perfect way to describe it. Still don’t have it! So here’s going to be my best attempt to try and convey the wonderfulness that is an Animal Flow® workout.
In our welcome email to the Try Out class, Bree (our instructor for the day) passed on this description:
What is Animal Flow®?
“Animal Flow® is designed to make exercise and movement fun, but it is also firmly based in science. The creator of Animal Flow®, Mike Fitch has expertly created this program of movements, that through an integration of underlying concepts such as kinetic chains, integrated functional movement, biomechanics of quadrupedal exercises and other bodyweight-only movements, can fit into any fitness training program. Animal Flow® includes a wide range of exercises and movement combinations and they are grouped into six components, with each designed to elicit specific results. Throughout your training program these six components can be mixed and matched in many ways and you can incorporate one, many or all into your training.”
The only thing I can think to add to this description is it felt like a mix between capoeira, yoga, and contemporary dance. It seems to have elements similar to each, but it’s an entirely difference beast in its entirety.
But here’s how the Try Out Class went!
After a fun warm up (very much needed on a Perth winter morning), we got into a large circle to dive into the meat of the class. Our instructor Bree, started us off with a few locomotion type of movements (forward, backwards, and side to side) and a quick explanation of how to do wrist mobilizations and shake out of wrists in-between exercises. Animal Flow® does have movements and positions that load the wrists quite a bit (i.e. the quadrupedal exercises mentioned in the above description) which is very different to most of the training I’m currently doing. Needless to say, the stretching exercises were very much needed as I think the only other time my wrist have been put under this much bodyweight load was during my brief stint of learning breaking (break dancing). So be prepared to work your joints, not just your muscles and mind!
Since this was just a “try it out” type of class, we only got a small sampling of what Animal Flow® is. But it was a great taste! Bree explained that we were going to learn a piece of a larger flow that would be taught in a beginner’s course called the Kingdom Flow. She then demonstrated that flow and it was awesome! Similar to yoga, each position flows from one to another but with the addition of transitional movements (like an underswitch) it looked more like a dance. There was such power and rhythm in the flow that it’s hard to describe but I couldn’t wait to learn a little section of it!
With the limited time we had, we focused more on global concepts then the nuances of the positions and transitions. (These would be taught in the beginner’s class when you would be able to deep dive more into each.) We started in Static Crab and then as Bree instructed each position, we slowly putting a mini flow together. Similar to a square dance (aka very specific language used to instruct movement) Bree then moved into calling each movement as we kept repeating the flow and adding to it. Our mini flow was challenging (so much wrist loading!) but equally satisfying to start exploring new positions and new ways to move. I can very much see why increased mobility and greater flexibility are quoted as benefits from doing Animal Flow®. I could see my hips opening up more, my wrists getting stronger in a flexed position and my posture improving from regular practice. The more we practiced during the session, the more I could see how Animal Flow® would be a spectacular addition to many training regimes. Plus, it’s fun! Who doesn’t want to feel like they are dancing instead of doing a traditional workout? So good!
Overall, I would highly recommend Animal Flow® to anyone looking to improve mobility, kinetics awareness, flexibility and coordination. It is different than a lot of other training systems but that’s what I think makes it so much fun and effective as a compliment to so many other styles of training. It fills in the gaps that other traditional styles of workouts may miss. So go get it done and try it!
To find out more about Animal Flow®, check out their website. For those in Perth looking to give Animal Flow® a try, check out Bree’s Facebook Page as she is offering a full Intro to Animal Flow® starting July 16!
Thanks to Bree for answering all my Animal Flow® questions and offering this Try Out Class!
What workout should I try next?