This article looks at the advantages and disadvantages of primal movement workouts, helping you determine if they’re worth a try.
You’ll also find tips on how to get started, an overview of the most popular types of primal movement exercise, and discover the seven patterns of movement that form the core of this fitness activity.
Between work and family, there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done, so I’m always looking for ways to save time, and I know I’m not the only one.
Why bother washing dishes when a dishwasher can do it for you, right? Why spend time vacuuming carpets when a robot cleaner can handle it? And the list goes on – – –
While these conveniences save time, our bodies are designed for movement, and this is where primal movement workouts can come into play!
Also referred to as natural movement workouts, they’ve gained popularity among fitness enthusiasts looking for something different.
During these workouts, multiple muscle groups are often engaged simultaneously through movements that have become less common.
Examples include ground-based movements such as crawling and rolling, which require strength and coordination!
There are also animal-inspired movements, like bear crawls or crab walks, that challenge agility and balance.
Our long-ago ancestors routinely performed these movements to survive when hunting for food, gathering resources to construct shelters, and fashioning weapons for self-defense.
Keep reading to explore how integrating natural movement workouts can elevate your fitness levels in 2023.
Who can benefit from these workouts?
Natural body movement exercises are customizable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.
They are highly beneficial for those seeking a connection with their bodies as the workouts combine elements from disciplines such as dance, yoga, and martial arts.
NB: Before embarking on any fitness routine, it is advisable to consult with a professional if you are new to exercise or have been inactive for some time.
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How frequently should you engage in these workouts?
Strive for 2 to 3 sessions of Primal movement workouts per week. If desired, you can increase this as your fitness improves.
Will these workouts aid in weight loss?
While not specifically for weight loss purposes, regular natural movement exercise sessions combined with a healthy, balanced diet can help contribute to it.
Many of the exercises involve strength moves and cardio, a combination that promotes fat loss and muscle gain.
What does participation in Primal Movement Workouts entail?
As referenced above, this distinctive exercise system revolves around replicating movements once essential for survival.
The 7 fundamental movement patterns consist of squatting, lunging, bending, twisting, pushing, pulling, and walking. This may involve crawling, walking, running, jumping, crouching, climbing, or lifting weights, though not all in each session.
You can use your body weight alone or incorporate fitness equipment such as resistance bands, kettlebells, or medicine balls.
Examples of primal movement exercises include Bear Crawls, Lunges, Squats, and Planks.
Read on to discover the advantages and disadvantages of natural movement workouts, read on.
Benefits of Primal Movement Exercise
Whether you are a beginner, an athlete, or someone in between, primal movement exercises can benefit you.
A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research demonstrated that primal movement workouts can significantly enhance performance and fitness.
Workouts impact physical fitness by:
– Enhancing Strength and Stability
Multiple muscles are engaged simultaneously during natural movement exercises, increasing strength.
Many movements require you to engage your core muscles while simultaneously moving your arms and legs. As a result, your core and other major muscle groups will become stronger and more stable when you perform this practice regularly.
– Improving Flexibility and Mobility
Flexibility and mobility can be improved by consistently incorporating dynamic stretching into your routine.
In addition to increasing the range of motion in your joints and muscles, dynamic stretching improves stability and flexibility, strengthening your muscles and mobility and improving your posture.
Moving through a full range of motion becomes easier as your muscles gently stretch and elongate in different directions and planes.
Regular primal movements can also help lubricate the joints, increase synovial fluid production, and reduce joint stiffness.
– Balance and Coordination
Multiple planes of movement are involved in primal movements, including forward, backward, side-to-side, and rotational movements.
With regular practice, it will become easier to move in a controlled and efficient manner.
– Boosting Agility
By doing natural movement exercises, you can enhance your ability to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction quickly and efficiently.
Exercises like these involve explosive, plyometric motions that can improve acceleration and deceleration speed. The ability to change speed quickly is essential for agility.
– Improving Reaction Time
The ability to react quickly is essential in many sports and in life in general. Primal workouts will improve your ability to respond rapidly to environmental changes and adjust your stance as necessary.
– Improving Functional Fitness
During primal exercises, the body must move similarly to the way it does during everyday activities. As a result, bending, lifting, and reaching for things becomes easier.
– Enhancing the Mind-Body Connection
Primal movements need focus and concentration, engaging the brain-body connection as the body constantly adjusts to accommodate the various positions and directions.
When done regularly, over time, proprioception improves, this being the body’s ability to coordinate movement while remaining balanced and stable.
Drawbacks of Primal Movement
While primal movement workouts have many benefits, there are also some potential risks and side effects to consider before participating, including the following:
– Injury potential due to poor technique
As with any exercise, you should stick to the correct form and alignment to help prevent injury.
– Muscle stress
Muscle strains are possible since primal movements emphasize strength training with bodyweight exercises.
Taking breaks between sessions is essential to prevent exhaustion and injuries from stress on muscles and joints.
Natural Movement Workout Video
Circuit Training Primal Movement Workout Video
Types of Primal Movement Workouts
Primal movement workouts may include aspects of HIIT, bodyweight training, and CrossFit.
HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercises followed by brief recovery periods. It improves cardiovascular endurance, burns calories, and boosts the metabolism.
Bodyweight exercises can be incorporated into primal movement workouts to build strength, endurance, and flexibility.
CrossFit is a challenging workout combining elements of weightlifting, cardiovascular exercises, bodyweight movements, and more.
It promotes functional fitness by improving strength, endurance, agility, and flexibility.Keep reading for more primal movement workouts and what they involve.
MovNat (short for Movement Natural) emphasizes natural movements like crawling, climbing, balancing, and lifting.
It may also incorporate strength exercises, balance practices, and mobility drills using body weight alone or fitness bands,
It offers a way to reconnect with everyday movements like running and jumping, helping to increase strength, coordination, and agility.
Regular sessions can enhance mobility, stability, dynamic flexibility, and coordination and help develop practical skills useful for day-to-day life.
The workouts can also improve balance and overall athleticism.
Animal Flow is a bodyweight-based primal workout inspired by fluid animal movements combining elements of gymnastics, calisthenics, and yoga.
The workout’s six main components involve:
- Slithering (crawling).
- Swiveling (ground-based)./li>
- Switching (transitions).
- Activating (balance drills).
- Flowing (complementary exercises).
- Dynamic strength (explosive).
Workouts hone functional movement by incorporating the core muscles, improving strength and balance, promoting a higher power output, and improving muscle control.
They also enhance mobility, flexibility, and body control and build coordination, power, mobility, and agility.
Ido Portal gets its name from its creator, an Israeli movement coach.
While the workouts don’t align with a specific discipline, as with primal movement workouts, they incorporate elements of gymnastics, dance, martial arts, yoga, and more.
Movements include jumping, climbing, crawling, and rolling to improve strength, mobility, coordination, and functional fitness.
MovNat founder Erwan Le Corre developed Primal 7, which focuses on natural movement patterns to restore efficient body movement.
A versatile, adaptable workout, it can be done almost anywhere using bodyweight alone or resistance bands.
Primal 7 exercises work on mobility, flexibility, functional strength, balance, cardio, and endurance. They target major muscle groups while improving posture, coordination, and control.
Parkour involves efficient and quick movements through various obstacles using jumps, vaults, and climbs. It best suits outdoor settings but can be adapted to other environments.
This discipline improves strength, agility, balance, and spatial awareness.
Strongman training involves lifting and carrying heavy objects, flipping tires, dragging sleds, and other strength-based exercises.
This type of workout builds raw strength, power, and functional muscle mass.
Primal Blueprint Fitness:
Developed by Mark Sisson, Primal Blueprint Fitness incorporates low-level aerobic activities (such as walking and hiking), weightlifting, and sprinting.
It emphasizes primal movements for overall fitness, fat-burning, and cardiovascular health.
How to Start a Primal Movement Exercise Program
- Set clear goals
Determine what you would like to achieve, be that to improve your flexibility or increase your strength or overall fitness.
A clear goal will enable you to find the best program to try first and help you stay motivated.
Familiarize yourself with foundational movements like crawling, squatting, jumping, climbing, and balancing.
- Start slow
Begin with basic variations. Doing so will allow your body to adapt and reduce injury risk.
- Incorporate variety
Mix different forms of primal movements to challenge your body and mind.
- Listen to your body
Be aware of how your body responds. to the workout, modifying it if it feels uncomfortable or causes pain.
- Progress at your own pace
As you become more comfortable, gradually increase the difficulty or duration of your sessions. Focus on your improvement, not others.
If need be, find a supportive community or certified trainer for guidance, or check out the free online resources.
Primal Movement Workouts Summary
Movement and exercise have been part of us since we became a species, initially out of necessity rather than for its health benefits. The reality is they provide multiple advantages, both for the body and mind.
Using our bodies to survive in the wild is no longer the norm for most of us, but we can still benefit from the primal movements this involves.
Such movements are incredibly efficient for strengthening muscles and increasing flexibility and mobility due to engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
They also improve balance, coordination, and stability, stimulating the neuromuscular connection, improving functional activities, increasing agility, and improving posture.
Understand any contraindications related to medical issues and limitations, and plan and pace yourself to get the most benefit from your primal movement workouts and minimize the possibility of injury.