Equinox’s new Animal Flow class blends dynamic bodyweight movement—in other words, no equipment required—with modern athletic training to sculpt your whole body in an entirely fresh, new way. Think cross training goes primal. “After a lifetime of lifting weights and 12 years in the fitness industry, I had a ton of muscle but lacked the ability to move,” says Animal Flow creator Mike Fitch. “I completely switched to bodyweight-only disciplines and discovered the true meaning of movement and its link to the longevity of our bodies. The end result, Animal Flow, is a program that works the entire body, increasing flexibility, stability, strength and endurance—and most importantly, it’s fun!”
Curious? We thought so. Take a look at these animal-inspired moves. Just be sure to do a five-minute warm-up before test driving them to mobilize the wrists as well as the shoulders, spine, hips and knees.
2The Crab Reach
This move is both a great stretch and an exercise that opens up all of the muscles in the front of the body, while activating (or flexing) all of the muscles in the back of the body, including the hamstrings, glutes and extensors of the back. For many people, this simple move—reaching your arm over your head and lifting your hips while in the “crab” position—is their favorite stretch of all time, according to Fitch.
3The Scorpion Reach
This is another great stretch and muscle activator that’s similar to a yoga-type posture. This full-body move starts with all four limbs on the ground, and then you bring one leg up and over the body in a beautiful arc. The stretch reaches through the entire upper body, back, hip and legs, and the whole body is engaged in stabilizing during the movement.
4The Forward Traveling Crab
This is the complementary movement to the Traveling Beast and challenges the exact opposite muscles. These two movements together work every muscle in the body.
5The Forward Traveling Beast
This is a full-body crawling movement, starting with all four limbs on the ground and then lifting alternating knees just a few inches above the ground. The movement looks simple but really challenges the upper body, trunk and legs. It’s also a good cardiovascular exercise since you use so many muscles at the same time, according to Fitch.
6The Lateral Traveling Ape
Move by lifting your hips and swinging your legs sideways while your hands are planted on the ground, and then shift your weight to repeat the movement. This fluid move is a killer exercise to open up the inside of the legs, hips and hamstrings, while also working the shoulders, arms, trunk and legs.