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What is Animal Flow and is it better than mobility?

What is Animal Flow and is it better than mobility?

August 31, 2023 3 min read

What is Animal Flow and is it better than mobility?

Any good training routine combines elements of strength training, cardio, and mobility. Animal Flow is an interesting approach to mobility work that calls on ancient movement patterns that take the body back to nature.


What is Animal Flow?

Animal Flow, as the name suggests, is a flowing practice of movement combinations that take the body through specific shapes named after animals. Why animals? Animal Flow is built on the ethos that animals instinctively know how to move, and that the human animal has lost this innate knowledge over time. By getting back to animalistic ways of flowing movement, we can help our bodies be naturally strong, mobile, and free from injury.


Is Animal Flow the same as gymnastics or yoga?

Animal Flow could be categorised as mobility work, but it’s definitely not the same as yoga. Yoga and Animal Flow both have their own theories, philosophies, and movements or shapes. Like yoga, Animal Flow is much more than stretching or mobility. It’s a great way to build strength, look after the joints, and build a fun movement practice.


Why is Animal Flow good for you?

Any form of mobility work is good for you – especially if you do calisthenics or bodyweight training. Animal Flow is particularly good because it moves your own bodyweight through all natural patterns and angles. The emphasis on flowing movement gives our bodies a welcome release from the static, sedentary nature of modern lifestyles.

Mobility – the range of movements in Animal Flow encourage joint mobility and flexibility as your body explores different planes of motion.

Strength – as you flow between movements, you will engage multiple muscle groups, making Animal Flow a full body workout.

Core - Animal Flow movements engage the core muscles, building stability that supports the rest of the body.

Neuromuscular co-ordination – the fluid transitions between movements challenges your brain-body connection to build coordination, agility, and proprioception.

Mind/body – like calisthenics, Animal Flow isn't just about physical gains. It’s mindful and playful, making it great for stress management.


What to expect in an Animal Flow session

You can do Animal Flow in a class setting with a qualified instructor, or try it out yourself with Animal Flow videos online. The movements are broken down into stages and can be progressed from beginner to advanced.

All Animal Flow movements cover six key areas: wrist mobility, activation positions, form specific stretches, travelling forms, switches, and transitions, and flows which link the animal-based forms together using transitions.


Does Animal Flow go well with calisthenics?

We think Animal Flow and calisthenics make an amazing combination. They share a lot of similarities and complement each other well. Calisthenics and Animal Flow both work on principles of using bodyweight to move the body through natural movements and angles. And both practices honour the body’s innate need to move, flow, and play.


How are Animal Flow and calisthenics similar? 

Animal Flow gets its inspiration from various disciplines, including gymnastics and breakdancing. It combines primal movements in sequences that increase strength and mobility. Like calisthenics, Animal Flow aims to get you moving with grace and precision as you co-ordinate different shapes. And by using multi-planar transitions, both Animal Flow and calisthenics improve strength, mobility, and core stability.

Functional strength - Animal Flow and calisthenics encourage real-world strength using natural body mechanics.

Dynamic movement – the dynamic movements of calisthenics work well with Animal Flow to create a beautiful flow of strength.

Versatility - Animal Flow and calisthenics both offer a range of movements that will keep your routine fun and motivating.

Can you do Animal Flow and calisthenics together?

You can definitely do Animal Flow and calisthenics as part of your training routine. You could use Animal Flow as part of your warm up and mobility for calisthenics, or as a separate session to work on joint health and bodyweight strength. By combining the primal movement patterns of animals with the functional strength of calisthenics, you’ll get a well-rounded workout just as nature intended. Do you do Animal Flow? We’d love to hear from you.

Check out the Gravity Fitness store for best-selling calisthenics equipment to support your fitness journey your way – however, whenever, and wherever you choose.