There’s a new workout trend coming our way, and you can thank the animals for this one. Primal animal workouts are exercises based on the movement patterns of different animals and their forms. The purpose of these workouts is to use your own body weight as strength training rather than actual weights. Some of the animals the movements are based off of include gorillas, panthers, crabs and even ostriches. It’s basically the paleo version of a workout only instead of eating the animals you’re acting like them.
If you were to take one of these classes at a gym, you can expect to find yourself on all fours throughout the entire class and most likely drenched in sweat – actually smelling like an animal by the time you leave. Kira Stokes, a personal trainer for Reebok Sports Club in New York, teaches a primal class but it only lasts 30 minutes due to the intensity. According to Stokes, this advanced workout requires great upper body and core strength. Some of those who’ve taken Stokes’ class have said they can literally feel themselves getting stronger.
What makes it so difficult? Well for starters, these exercises engage all muscles at once. They combine the movements of pushing, pulling, crawling, jumping and gliding all while you’re on all fours. They connect all of the stabilization systems in order to establish synergies throughout the body. There’s also the fact that our bodies are simply not used to moving in these ways.
“It brings us back to fundamental movement patterns that we could do as children but have lost through the years,” says vice president for personal training at Equinox, David Harris on equinox.com.
Believe it or not, there’s quite a few benefits from acting like an animal. One of these improvements is (human) posture – being able to stand taller and have more of an all around balanced body. Harris says, “By increasing the range-of-motion around your scapula and shoulder capsule, your posture set will improve and your proportions will change.” More benefits include increases in flexibility, strength, endurance, power and balance. Oh and don’t forget about that toned frame you’ll be walking out the class doors with.
If you live in New York City, you might just get a follow up primal lesson during your cab ride home. Look for Kira Stokes on Taxi TV!
Stoked Primal hits Taxi Cab TV! Ck out my recent ABC segment in cabs everywhere…yes, for once I’m telling you… fb.me/2xcnWWjTg
— Kira Stokes (@kirastokesfit) January 29, 2013