Being limber and mobile is something many bodyweight athletes struggle with, especially when it comes to maintaining flow and rhythm in movement.
The importance of keeping the flow and moving the body properly during workouts cannot be understated. As a bodyweight trainer, mastering movement can improve the quality of your workouts, making you stronger, faster and more limber simultaneously.
And that is precisely what Animal Flow 2.0 aims to teach you. Animal Flow 2.0 distils the essence of callisthenics and bodyweight training and uses it to help you move much more freely.
So, is Animal Flow 2.0 worth committing to? Then read this review to understand its benefits, as well as if it is worth the effort.
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Table of Contents
Animal Flow 2.0: What’s It About?
The fitness program was developed and evolved by Mike Fitch, a fitness educator, who used elements of bodyweight training and callisthenics with other disciplines. These disciplines are free-flowing and form-focused, such as parkour, gymnastics, balancing exercises, martial arts and more.
This program shares similarities with yoga, in that both exercise types have a focus on movement. Mike Fitch devoted a greater focus on ground-based movements that are performed in a sequential manner.
Animal Flow movements can be mixed together in various ways for a personalised workout, as per the trainee’s preference. And by utilising each of the different disciplines, your whole body builds strength, speed, flexibility and coordination through regular training.
Animal Flow has had two iterations, and the version being discussed in this review is Animal Flow 2.0. The difference between the first and second iterations is mainly in the way the program is structured.
Version 2.0 improves upon the instructions provided in the first version, ensuring that the included exercises and sample flows are easy to understand. Moreover, videos included in version 2.0 can both be downloaded and streamed online to watch and follow along during workouts.
And for those who prefer guided listening over watching, Animal Flow 2.0 is available as an audio-only file. You can follow the flows using the audio cues provided in the audio file.
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The Exercises Of Animal Flow 2.0
Mike designed Animal Flow with six components that make up the main movements and combinations of the program. The idea is to perform a full-body training routine using a “primal” movement, bodyweight training and motion-focused exercises.
The six components of Animal Flow are:
1. Wrist Mobilisations
Wrist mobilisations are meant to develop wrist strength and flexibility, which is essential to the success of Animal Flow. Trainees must use their arms to develop stability and coordination, something that isn’t possible without proper wrist strength.
The rest of the program requires you to build strength in your wrists, making it a foundational workout.
Activations seek to get the blood flowing through the muscles to “wake” them up properly before progressing to other components of Animal Flow. Essentially, this workout component is a warm-up for the body before going through the remaining movements.
Beast, Ape, and Crab are the activation poses used in Animal Flow 2.0 as quadrupedal movement training.
3. Form-Specific Stretches
The workout emphasises heavily on motion, which means that this component is one of the more important ones. Form-specific stretches take you several steps closer to developing the desired mobility.
The trainee is required to move through a sequence of stretching movements to improve balance and flexibility, targeting fast-twitch muscles in particular. Additionally, the trainee will see increased mobility and functional strength as they go through the movements.
4. Travelling Forms
Described as the “ABCs” of animal movements, travelling forms is yet another core component of the program. This is where the “Animal” part of “Animal Flow” starts to show prominently.
The trainee mimics the movements of certain animals like crabs, apes or a beast to develop a human-animal core. Doing so also benefits the trainee’s performance, which benefits them during all stages of the workouts.
5. Switches And Transitions
The penultimate component of Animal Flow, switches and transitions is the largest component of the program. These movements are performed in a dynamic sequence with movements that are performed sequentially or in a group.
Not only do switches and transitions act as activators, but they are also quite challenging to perform in Animal Flow.
Flows mark the final component of the program, and they are largely about customised workout sequences rather than guided movements. This can resemble a carefully-choreographed dance as you continue to master movement combinations.
At the end of the day, Animal Flow is meant to provide athletes with an endless number of movement combinations. This structure is beneficial for keeping the trainees engaged, mindful and motivated to keep improving their form and mobility through practice.
Should You Commit To Animal Flow 2.0?
As a trainee of the Animal Flow, you will see these primary benefits: performance improvements, reduced injuries, greater flexibility, and functional fitness.
The various combinations of movements used in the training program improve the active range of your joints, which can help improve performance. Thus, basic movements become much simpler to perform, and consequently, other training methods become much easier.
As discussed earlier, Animal Flow borrows several elements from other training methods, such as bodyweight training, callisthenics and mobility programs. This affects both the effectiveness of the program, as well as the injury risks encountered during workouts. The more flexible you become, the lower your risk of encountering injuries while performing exercises.
And lastly, the program puts a special emphasis on mobility, which helps develop functional fitness and endurance. Your ability to perform day-to-day tasks improves, as does your athletic ability. This is something that is often overlooked during weight lifting training, unfortunately.
If you’re prioritising overall health over building muscle, Animal Flow 2.0 can be an option to consider. The program needs no additional equipment, and you are only required to make a one-time purchase of the videos.
The emphasis on proper movement and form through dynamic movement combinations makes Animal Flow 2.0 worth looking at. Animal Flow 2.0 provides you with additional workout resources and detailed samples to help you ease into the workout.
It can be incorporated into your schedule quite easily to improve overall fitness, whether you’re a total beginner or a seasoned veteran. And if functional strength building, coordination and stability are your focus, the program can help you improve them even further.
At the end of the day, it depends on what you want from the workout program.
Founder of www.calisthenics-101.co.uk. Training calisthenics since 2012.
Currently working on: 30 second one-arm handstand, muscle-up 360, straddle planche.