This 20-Minute Body-Weight Workout Builds Strength and Improves Mobility

Animal Flow is a form of body-weight exercise that combines strength, yoga and mobility work.
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If you're searching for a workout that combines the flexibility of yoga with the strength challenge of body-weight exercises, Animal Flow might be just what you need to get in touch with your body's innate ability to move.

"Animal Flow was created by trainer Mike Fitch. It is a body-weight modality that imitates animalistic movement patterns," Hannah Eden, iFit trainer and certified Animal Flow instructor, tells LIVESTRONG.com. "There are a range of movements and combinations that are grouped into categories, and if practiced correctly, specific positions seamlessly flow from one to another."

Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we've got something for everyone.

The Benefits of Animal Flow Workouts

Because you'll be moving in all planes of motion and working a variety of muscle groups at once, Animal Flow workouts can help you improve your range of motion and strength, as well as increase your body awareness.

"The range of motion from yoga and mobility work in combination with the strength gained from resistance training are two key points to focus on when trying to practice Animal Flow," Eden says. "It requires strength and mobility to have utter control over your entire body and to flow fluidly. This is combining two worlds into one that makes us, overall, better movers."

You can easily incorporate Animal Flow into your workout routine as a dynamic warm-up before lifting weights or doing HIIT, Eden says. "I like to combine Animal Flow with heavy kettlebell work or high-intensity movements. It is an extra challenge to operate control when your heart rate is high and your body is fatigued."

Try This 20-Minute Animal Flow Workout

It might be hard to picture how Animal Flow looks like or how it works, so here's a 20-minute sequence from Eden that you can try at home. Complete the following exercises, which should take you 2 minutes, repeat 10 times total.

Move 1: Loaded Beast to Front Step

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Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part Legs
  1. Start on all fours with your shoulders over your hands and your hips over your knees, toes tucked under.
  2. Keeping your back flat and core tight, press through your hands and toes to lift your knees about 2 inches off the ground. This is the Beast position.
  3. Next, lower your hips toward your heels and extend your arms out in front of you, dropping your head between your shoulders and keeping your gaze between your knees. This is the Loaded Beast position.
  4. Then, project your body weight forward, lifting your right hand off the ground and stepping your right foot forward where your hand was. You'll be in a low runner's lunge position.
  5. At the same time, pull your right elbow back behind you. Be sure to keep your shoulders and hips squared and your chest high.
  6. Return to the Loaded Beast position and repeat on the left side.

Tip

In the Loaded Beast position, keep your knees low to the ground and avoid twisting your torso on the front step.

Move 2: Loaded Beast to Unload Beast Wave

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Activity Body-Weight Workout
Region Full Body
  1. Start on all fours, then press back into a Loaded Beast position by lowering your hips toward your heels and extending your arms out in front of you, chin tucked and ears between your biceps.
  2. Then, lift your hips toward the ceiling until there's a slight bend in your knees, as if there's a piece of string tied to your tailbone and someone is pulling it directly up.
  3. Slowly roll your weight forward like a wave, articulating your spine, until your shoulders go past your wrists, separating your shoulder blades and tucking your chin.
  4. Drop your hips and raise your chest, pinching your shoulder blades together, and look up at the ceiling.
  5. Reverse this movement pattern and repeat.

Move 3: Loaded Beast to Front Kick-Through

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Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part Abs
  1. Start in the Beast position with your shoulders stacked over your hands and your hips over your knees, toes tucked under. Lift your knees about two inches off the ground.
  2. Next, get into the Loaded Beast position by lowering your hips toward your heels and extending your arms out in front of you. Drop your head between your shoulders and keep your gaze between your knees.
  3. Then, project your body weight forward, lifting your right hand off the ground and stepping your right foot forward slightly wider than where your hand was. This creates a bigger gap between your left hand and right foot, so you have room for the Front Kick-Through.
  4. Once you have a wide front step, lift your left foot off the ground behind you and kick it through the gap you created between your left hand and right foot, extending it directly in front of you and finding external rotation in the left hip. Tuck your right arm in front of your body by your ribs.
  5. Reach your left leg out as far forward as you can while pointing your toe.
  6. Return to the Loaded Beast position and repeat on the other side.

Tip

Make sure you step wide enough so you can get your leg through the gap. When your leg is extended, you should have a 90-degree angle between your legs.

Move 4: Side Kick-Through

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Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part Abs
  1. Start in the Beast position with your shoulders stacked over your hands and your hips over your knees, toes tucked under. Lift your knees about two inches off the ground.
  2. Next, rotate your body toward your right side, pivoting your right foot and planting it on the ground so it's facing the right side.
  3. At the same time, lift your right hand off the ground as you pull your elbow back and high, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Your palm should be facing away from you. As you do this, kick your left leg out to the right and point your toes in the same direction.
  4. Once you have established the Side Kick-Through position, keep your extended leg low to the ground, forming a 90-degree angle between your legs.
  5. Reverse the movement pattern and repeat on the other side.

Tip

Don’t allow your hands and feet to creep away from each other; remember to always begin with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.

Move 5: Under Switch to Crab Reach

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Activity Body-Weight Workout
Region Full Body
  1. Start in the Beast position with your shoulders stacked over your hands and your hips over your knees, toes tucked under. Lift your knees about two inches off the ground.
  2. Next, lift your left foot and right hand off the ground while rotating your entire body clockwise 180 degrees, landing with your belly up.
  3. Place your left foot on the ground but keep your right hand lifted to get into a right side crab reach.
  4. Keep your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart with your left arm fully extended and your wrist, elbow and shoulder stacked. Keep your hips low to the ground with a slight forward tilt.
  5. Then, begin to open up your hips while framing your right hand to your head, fixing your gaze on your right fingertips and then on your left hand beneath you.
  6. Reverse the movement pattern and repeat on the other side.

Tip

When you lift your opposite hand and foot, remember to move that side underneath your body, hence the name under switch.