Animal Walks are a variety of movements that you may have not performed since playing as a child. Also known as primal movements, these positions require bracing and stabilizing the body in a way that can help adults improve mobility and prevent injuries.
When people get better at stabilizing their body in new positions(especially under fatigue) benefits can be felt in other everyday activities, on the athletic field and of course in the gym.
The following Animal Walk flow works incredibly well for building useable strength with just your own bodyweight in a 5×10 yard area.
Workout: Animal Walks AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)
Duration: 10 Minutes
- A1 Side Traveling Beast Left 5 yards
- A2 Forward Bear Crawls 10 yards
- A3 Side Traveling Beast Right 5 yards
- A4 Backwards Crab Walk 10 yards
Side Traveling Beast-Lift your knees a few inches off the ground with weight on the toes. Lock your shoulders so that you aren’t sinking towards the ground. Stay low to the ground, taking small lateral steps with the opposite hand and opposite leg. Focus on keeping a stable spine and holding a neutral position throughout the torso.
Forward Bear Crawls-Perform on all fours, keeping your hips low to the ground. As you walk forward, bring each knee up towards the elbow on the same side. Focus on core stability to prevent excessively swinging the hips from side to side.
Backwards Crab Walk- Hands should be around shoulder width apart and shoulder mobility may dictate where your fingers should point. Most people will need to point their fingers to the side, but feel free to try different angles as you get comfortable.
Prevent the hips from sagging by squeezing the glutes and engaging your hamstrings.
Transitions between movements-Switching between one exercise to the next is also an opportunity to build strength and improve new movement patterns. This isn’t the time to get sloppy. Stabilize the core and keep a neutral spine as you work to efficiently flow from one exercise to the next.
Resting between rounds-maintaining good body positions while fatigued is very important. The ability to properly hold your position will dictate when & how long to rest. As you complete the Backwards Crab Walk(A4), you’ll need to make a quick decision to either complete another round or take a short break. Fighting through fatigue is needed for improvement, just make sure that its not at the expense of good form.
Progression-Make sure and track the amount of rounds completed during the 10 min workout. Perform this workout again 2-3 days later and try to increase the number of rounds. You should be able to improve for at least 4-6 workouts. When you plateau, switch things up and come back to Animal Walks again later in another training cycle.
Programming-This Animal Walk AMRAP can be performed as an extra workout or at the end of a weight training workout as a “finisher.”
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