If you’ve ever watched an animal in the wild – or even just on Netflix – you’ll see how fascinating their movements are. Graceful, natural, instinctive. You’ll never see a tiger groan about his aching back when he stands up, or a deer with ‘text neck’: a modern ailment caused by looking down at our smartphones all day.
Our friends in the animal kingdom move fluidly, exactly the way they were designed to. Humans have the unique ability to replicate these movements, connecting mind to muscle with playful physical training.
Animal athletics reverse the clock and take us back to childhood. By working out on the ground, the body will relive the period when our nervous, muscular and skeletal systems were developing and we learned our first fundamental movements. These patterns are the same as many animal moves, such as crawling like a crab, sliding like a crocodile, or clinging to our mothers like monkeys.
Benefits: Crawling on the ground without using your knees is in pretty much every animal-inspired exercise routine. That’s because it forces your body to develop better locomotion, orientation, flexibility, coordination and fluidity. Get it all by doing this regularly:
Benefits: It’s another total-body exercise, but the crab walk particularly works wonders on your glutes. Here’s how to do them:
Benefits: Targeting your glutes, hips and abdominals, the donkey kick is not only a wonderfully toning animal-inspired exercise – it’s brilliant fun, too.
Benefits: This animal-inspired exercise is a great stability builder and helps strengthen your core, glutes, chest and deltoids. You’ll get an excellent hamstring stretch to increase flexibility too. Don’t worry, it isn’t a functional fitness version of ‘The Worm’ breakdancing move we all know and love. Here’s the much less cringe-inducing version…