If you haven’t heard of the latest primal fitness trend to come out from the states, Animal Flow is a new fitness program that combines ground-based movements with elements from bodyweight-training.
I caught up with three talented Aussie’s from the fitness industry, Eva-Lotta Baad Peach, Tim Ivimey and Guillaume Tual. With different levels of fitness backgrounds and experience, they all joined the workshops to become certified Animal Flow trainers.
Take a look at their video.
Improve how you move with this dynamic, body-weight workout.
Firm up and build strength, awaken mobility and balance, and boost your endurance. “Release your inner animal by mimicking certain primal movements” says Mike Fitch, the creator.
On location, on the greens near Mrs Macquarie’s Chair crawly creatures were at play. What seems like fluid movement that combines, gymnastics, slow-motion core exercises and animal movements on all fours on the ground.
Surprising the seamless flow reminds me of some yoga sequences, breathing and holding a stance before taking the next stance. Creating synergy throughout the body. Don’t get me wrong, it is surprisingly challenging.
“Quadrupedal movements present a full-body task,” says Eva. They “encourage the shoulders to work with the hips as well as the muscles that stabilize and move the spine”.
Tim and Gee both agree that “strength and condition certainly have their place, by increasing the range-of-motion every muscle in your body is firing at sequence”
Because Animal Flow is equipment-free, this type of exercise provides personal trainers the flexibility to be mobile, a travel-friendly workout you can do in any open space, whether it’s your backyard or your favourite gym.
The movements are versatile that your bodyweight can move to a high-intensity workout, or dynamic warm-up session. During their training session it almost felt like they were mouthing off Kung Fu moves for a fight: Crab Reach, Scorpion Reach, Underswitch, Lateral-Travelling Ape. This is what they are talking about:
Assume the Crab Reach position – targets hips, back and posture
- Sit on floor with knees bent, feet flat, and place palms on floor behind you, fingers pointing away from body. Lift butt 1 or 2 inches off floor.
- Raise right arm overhead as you lift hips off floor as high as possible, arching your back.
- Lower hips toward floor and place right hand down, keeping butt lifted. Repeat with left arm.
The Sideways-Traveling Ape – targets shoulders, abs, hips, and quads.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and toes out; crouch down, placing palms on floor to right of body (left hand by right foot).
- Keeping palms planted throughout, jump feet to right; land with left foot between hands, left knee bent, and right leg straight. Shift hips to right to reset position (left leg straightens and right knee bends), and place palms on floor outside of right foot to complete 1 rep.
- Gorilla pounding is optional.
The Underswitch reminds me of a capoeira movement. Start in the Crab position (same as start of Crab Reach), simultaneously lift opposing limbs (right arm, left leg), using your core to rotate your body right around and land in beast position. You can keep repeating this both ways going from Crab to Beast position and vice versa.
The movements are about restoring connection and stabilization throughout the entire body. Over time, your strength and mobility will increase, and so will the amount of work you can do. Classes are available at some gyms, but only qualified personal trainers are able to practice Animal Flow.
Meet the trainers
Eva made a life changing decision early 2008 and left a successful, long hospitality career behind to pursue one of her dreams of becoming a Personal Trainer. Since then she has continued to do many various workshops and courses to always further her skills. In 2013, Eva also completed her Certificate IV in Massage Therapy and is currently completing her Diploma in Massage Therapy. Earlier this year (Feb, 2015).
Eva attended the first Animal Flow workshop held in Australia and was privileged to be taught by the creator, Mike Fitch and was amongst the first 9 Personal Trainers to become an Animal Flow instructor in Australia and is also the only Animal Flow instructor in The Hills Shire Council, Sydney. Eva is highly passionate about helping her clients re-connect with their body and mind. She believes in believing and accept yourself for who you are, live a fulfilling life, try new things and challenge your limits.
Guillaume has always had a passion for sports, playing professional basketball in France in his twenties and working in the ski industry for over 10 years. He has been running his own outdoor Personal Training business for the past 5 years and recently also started training at Fitness First Platinum George St.
His philosophy revolves around training the body as a whole, in its full functionality so you can be fit and efficient in your everyday movements. As one of the first certified Animal Flow instructor in Australia, Gee has been combining his rehabilitation experience with this new skill to help his clients reach their new potential.
“Train, Play, Recover”
Mobile: +61 422 908 338
Train Play Recover PT
Tim is a junior in the world of Animal Flow, however enjoying every bit of it. Having only been in the fitness industry for 2 years, he prides himself in learning everything that he possibly can to better himself. In addition to Animal Flow, Tim is also a Level 2 TRX trainer and Punchfit trainer, looking to expand into the realm of Kettlebells and battling ropes. Tim is the proud owner of Train Play Recover, a small business based in the Sutherland Shire, which offers services in Sports Massage Therapy and Personal Training.