Three animal movements for strength and mobility

Today, my buddy Ryan from GMB Fitness is back with part 2 of his strength and mobility series. See part 1 here.

Mother and bull bear together in a bright roomWhat if you could take a few minutes a day using nothing but your body weight to build functional upper body strength, train your core, and improve your mobility? hip? No equipment required, and no gym membership either.

It sounds too good to be true, but you can. We’ll show you the exact animal movements you need and how to do them. We will be covering three specific exercises: Bear, Monkey and Frogger. They’re all similar in that they contribute to total-body strength, control, and mobility, but they serve you in different ways.

Try these three animal movements for strong shoulders, a stable core, and flexible hips

Why do you have to walk on your arms and legs like an animal? For starters, it’s surprisingly good for you.

This form of movement is called motion because you are moving your body through space. Walking is a good example of movement. We use animal movements because of the stimulation it provides to the whole body and because it is different from anything you do during the day.

For most of the day, you’re in a typical upright position with your head at the top of your body. When you lie down on all fours, you are actively coming out of this position and into a novel position where you lie on your back with your head down on the ground.

For example, take a look at Ryan’s head position here as the Bear:

Ryan shows the bull bear with his arms and legs with his hips pointing towards the ceiling.

Swings help load your shoulders and provide traction to the spine. That allows some decompression of the spine and neck. Once you start moving on purpose, you’ll notice a reduction in the tension we all tend to keep in our backs and necks.

Another positive aspect of lying on your back is that the changing position of the body allows for changes in circulatory and respiratory responses that counteract many of the things we sit on every day.

When you do these moves regularly, you’ll build a strong back and upper shoulders, helping to transition into activities that require any upper body strength. You will also strengthen your core and improve your stability as you are forced to balance yourself while doing these exercises.

Here’s exactly how to execute each of the animal’s movements.

Getting Started with Bear Walks

Show the bear walk.

How to do with Bear:

  • Lie down on all fours (hands and feet), arms straight and knees slightly bent.
  • Now start moving by lifting your right arm and left leg, pushing them forward.
  • Repeat the same action with the left hand and right foot, walking forward. You can maintain this pattern forward or backward.

Bears load on your shoulders and upper back, allowing you to build strength as you feel comfortable with the movement. It also helps you lengthen your spine and allows for some decompression of the spine in an inverted position.

Another benefit is hamstring and calf flexibility that will come from doing the movement more often. As you walk back and forth, you’ll work on your core stabilization system to maintain balance and not fall.

The next movement that makes sense to move on from here is Frogger.

More Power, More Mobility with Frogger

Ryan performs the frozen man.

How to make Frogger:

  • Squat with your arms out in front of you.
  • Reach out and place your palm flat on the ground.
  • Shift your body weight forward onto your hands (think of pulling your body toward your hands instead of pushing with your feet).
  • Move forward by pulling your body with your arms and body, then jump like a frog to return to the starting position.

Frogger, similar to Bear, is good for the shoulders and upper back because you’re stabilizing your body weight with your hands. But because it gets you into a deep squat, you’re simultaneously developing hip strength and mobility.

Once you get comfortable with Frogger, Monkey is another good game for you to try.

Test your muscle strength and upper body with Monkey

Ryan shows off the monkey.

How to make monkey:

  • Start in a squat and then reach your arms to the right. You want one hand on the outside of your right foot and the other on the inside.
  • Lean over to your right hand, shifting your weight to the side. Think about pulling yourself to the right.
  • With the weight on your hands, lift your hips while lifting your left leg and jump back into the squat you started.

Repeat the movement in the opposite direction. Like the Bear and the Frogger, the Monkey is strengthening your spine and encouraging core stability as you move from side to side. It’s also good for your shoulders and wrists as you balance with your hands throughout the movement. Due to the squat position, you will also exercise hip strength and mobility.

Watch the full action on YouTube

The best way to do these moves is to set a timer between 2 and 5 minutes for each movement and do them as many times as you can safely and in good form. You are free to rest as much as you like. We really want you to focus on getting comfortable with the movements and doing them the best you can. We care more about quality of representation rather than breaking form and doing as much as we can in that amount of time.

Moving Animals make you strong, mobile and athletic

Depending on your primary form of training, the way you use animal movements may vary. You can use them as part of a warm-up before starting your gym sessions, or you can do them as a standalone workout at home.

At GMB, we use these animal movements as a way to build strength, mobility and build total body control for more effective athletic performance.

For more animal-based mobility, check out GMB’s free 15 Minute Mobility Booster. You can use it as a warm-up or a way to de-stress and relax after a long day.

After a training accident that ended his competitive gymnastics career, Ryan moved to Japan and competed in various martial arts until another injury caused him to reevaluate his priorities. their own in life. As a Head Coach at GMB Fitness, his mission is to show everyone that you can define your fitness as a sustainable and enjoyable part of your life. You can follow Google My Business on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.


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