Animal movement/primal play

There are two quadruped movements(bear and leopard) and two bipedal movements (bunny and ape)in the video.

Some movement patterns mimicking animals, that you can practise daily. Some basic ideas to keep in mind when you try stuff like this. Will be more fun if done with the whole family, instead of turning it into another goal oriented activity like the rest of your training.

  • Go easy. You’re probably not used to this kind of movement. Don’t get carried away and go full intensity from the beginning
  • Go slow. The more slow and controlled your movement, the safer it will be.
  • Use partial range in the beginning
  • Use smaller steps for better control.
  • Obviously, if you’re in pain during the movement, you’re doing too much
  • Soreness in the bulk of the muscles is expected for the first few days after starting a new movement
  • Sharp pain in the joints isn’t.
  • If you’re practicing regularly daily, the pain should go away in a week. If not, abandon plan and look for another movement
  • If you’ve already got injuries, do this under supervision, or at your own risk
  • Do not keep repeating the exercise till you’re exhausted. You’ll need to take frequent breaks. Walk around after you finish one rep. Come back and repeat. If possible do another movement and cycle through the different variants
  • You’ll get the most benefit if you interrupt your sitting throughout the day with one rep of these. Instead of jamming all your reps together in one session. You can do it in this way because most of you are working from home, nowadays.
  • If you are already doing some resistance training, use these as finishers.
  • If you are presently having back pain, don’t start this movement till you’re pain free
  • All of these movements are best done barefoot on a firm or hard surface.
  • Sand is not recommended unless you’re an advanced practitioner with great balance and ankle stability
  • Children will enjoy this and will be able to do most of this with ease as they’ve had less time in their life spent sitting in chairs, compared to adults.
  • Movements on all fours are more beneficial and less risky.

Leopard πŸ† crawl

  • Back is completely flat.
  • Like a table
  • Imagine a glass of water there.
  • Try not to spill it
  • Gives you core control
  • Teaches you to hold your spine rigid while all 4 limbs move
  • Great tool to educate your body on stabilising your spine
  • Therefore good for back pain prevention
  • Great for shoulder health
  • Generally a very safe exercise
  • If you have chronic neck pain, it’ll be ok to look down. If you have a healthy neck looking straight ahead while moving forward is recommended
  • Smoothness is key. If you’re jarring your joint with every step, it’ll be counter productive.
  • Target rep duration 30 seconds
  • Target rep range 5-8
  • Rest 2 minutes of walking between each rep

Bear 🐻 crawl

  • Hip dominant crawl
  • Bottom stuck high in the air
  • Higher the better
  • Avoid rounding the back
  • Think of it as moving forward while in the downward dog position
  • Knee should be as straight as possible
  • Works the shoulder and abs
  • Challenges hamstring flexibility
  • Challenges core strength. Particularly anterior chain
  • Face is looking more downward than in the leopard crawl
  • Try to make the movement rhythmic, but it’ll nowhere near as graceful as the leopard crawl. Just try
  • Target rep duration 30 seconds
  • Target rep range 5-8
  • Rest 2 minutes of walking between each rep

Bunny 🐰 hop/ Kangaroo 🦘 hop

  • Quad dominant
  • Best avoided by people who have known knee and ankle issues
  • Best avoided by people who have low back pain.
  • Upright body
  • Knee goes into deep bend
  • Nothing makes your thighs burn more painfully than this exercise
  • Learn to rock forward from your heels onto your forefoot to conserve energy and use the elasticity of your thighs, legs and feet, to move.
  • Can use an arm drive to make the movement easier and more graceful
  • Is great for the quadriceps, calves, feet
  • Great for balance
  • Great for core control if you’re sitting upright during the hop. You’ll lose benefits if you drop down into a full squat
  • Great for cardio if done for long durations, but the risk of lim injury climbs as duration increases
  • Target rep duration 30 seconds
  • Target rep range 5-8
  • Rest 2 minutes of walking between each rep

Ape 🦍 walk

  • Looks similar to the military punishment called “Duck πŸ¦† walk”
  • But this one has a more upright stance of the torso
  • Needs full range mobility in the hips, flexion, internal rotation to extension external rotation while stabilising the upper body on top of the pelvis
  • Works the knees too
  • The slower you go, the tougher it is
  • Bonus points if your footsteps are silent
  • Best avoided by people who have known hip, knees and ankle issues
  • Target rep duration 30 seconds
  • Target rep range 5-8
  • Rest 2 minutes of walking between each rep

Please post in comments what you think about the video, the blog post, and the movement patterns in general. As always, looking for feedback

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