Imagine moving like a lion—stealthily stalking his prey—crouching like a tiger, crawling like a crab, squatting like an ape, jumping like a frog, and dabbling like a monkey—the fitness world constantly comes up with hypnotic exercise forms. These excite, engage and hook even the indolent to get you off your butt, bash your belly, build a solid core and sculpt a flexible and functional body. Here again are two distinct workouts which feel like you are playing. These workouts lend themselves to be practiced anywhere—in a yoga studio, dance hall, gym, park, or even in the comfort of your home.
While Animal Flow uses the body of the participant, gravity and the ground alone; another regime, called Pound—a cardio jam session and workout— uses light drumsticks called ‘Ripstix’ to exercise. “Animal Flow aims to connect us back to our own bodies, through our contact with the ground. By mimicking movements that some animals commonly make, we can improve the function and performance of humans,” says master instructor Richard Scrivener of Global Bodyweight Training.
He trains Indian instructors in Animal Flow through International Sports and Fitness Academy that organises international fitness certifications and workshops across India.Besides aping animal movements, the workout form also has elements of gymnastics, yoga, hand-balancing, locomotion, and break dance.
“Being a full body integrated workout, Animal Flow aims to enhance mobility, stability, body awareness, strength, fluid motion and control. It also enhances posture, joint health and functional fitness,” explains Richard. He adds, “The exercise system engages multiple joints and tissues of the nervous, myofascial and skeletal systems. It restores and encourages movement where movement should be present as in the case of ankles, hips shoulders. Besides, it helps build stability into regions of the body that should be strong and stable—knees, trunk, spine and so on.”
While Animal Flow is for the animal-spirited, the Pound workout is for those who wish to rock it to the bang of a booming drum; while burning calories and toning up the muscles. “This workout form is a combination of cardio, mixed martial arts, strength training, pilates, plyometrics, yoga, zumba and so on. We play upbeat African music and train with plates, bars and drums,” shares Priti, a trainer with Rubinus Gym, Mumbai.
Pound position works at the shoulders, biceps, triceps, forearms, and back, she says, adding, “You not only sweat it out, but it also acts as a stress-buster.” This regiment is effective in helping in bashing your belly fat, cinching your waistline, trimming your thigh size, and strengthening your core.“This rigorous exercise is great for losing weight. My session is for 45 minutes, and in each session you can burn 500 to 800 calories and many of my clients have succeeded in shedding several pounds in three months,” Priti signs off.
Do the Animal Walk
■ Because they’re equipment-free, Animal Flow exercises offer a portable, travel-friendly workout you can do anywhere
■ The movements are also versatile. They can serve as standalone stretches in your warm-up or be worked into supersets with strength exercises
■ There are lots of spinal movements inbuilt into the exercise regime—which other we almost never do
■ It encourages flow and creativity. The goal isn’t to do the movements as fast as possible and simply tire yourself out.