What are animal walk exercises? I don’t know if that is really the name for these exercises, but lets call them that. Animal walks, as the name implies, are exercise movements where we move our bodies in a forward and backward direction, imitating the movement of an animal. Usually these exercises require only body weight, and involves moving on all fours. These exercises not only look fun(ny), they are also quite fun to do. They can also be challenging, more challenging and effective than running on a treadmill because
- they require a load of flexibility, balance and strength, mobility and endurance (the 5 pillars of fitness).
- They also make great full body workout, building up every single muscle in the core.
The Work of Ido Portal
This is an update to this post. I stumbled upon Ido Portal’s work, which exemplifies everything I believe in with regard to getting fit. Mobility is often the element that gets forgotten, but it is so important. We have to move to live. Portal’s philosophy is:
- Where do we come from? We are designed to move.
- Human patterns: Hanging, inverting, squatting, sitting, lifting, lunging, running, standing, pushing, pulling, twisting.
- Don’t specialize. Specializing costs. When we are stuck in a pattern, we get stuck.
- Squat is a basic resting position. We have to learn to squat.
- Do Handstands! We have to learn that.
- Move or lose mobility. ” You are as old as your spine”.
- Don’t be afraid of going out of alignment. We have to learn to cope with non-alignment, within reason.
Watch his animal walk video for beginners — it is hardly beginner level, I can assure you!
Included are these: Walking while swinging into a handstand, Duck walk, Bridge walk, Horse walk, Lizard Walk and Ostritch walk.
Animal Walks Exercises
(Click on the images to watch the workout videos.) Aligator Push-ups (do this back and forth): On all fours, put one hand and the opposite leg forward, push-up, and repeat with the other hand. Watch Video:
Inchworm Exercise: Watch Video:
The Bear Crawl Exercise: See Video:
The Dragon Crawl Workout:
Watch Video: The Crab Walk Exercise: Watch Video:
The Amarillo Exercise:
Here is a video to show us how beautiful these exercise look and how we can do progressions to make them even more challenging!
So what is the real benefit of these animal movement exercise? The answer is : Mobility. Animal movements, require you to engage complete sets of muscles. Try them, and you’ll feel the stretch and bend. These exercise will train your body to move on and off the floor — a movement most of us lose from sitting on chairs all day. Is it an anti-aging workout? It is a fantastic anti-aging workout. Why? Because when people get old, they can’t move properly.