What is Animal Flow®?
Animal Flow is an innovative fitness program that combines quadrupedal and ground-based movement with elements from various bodyweight-training disciplines to create a fun, challenging workout emphasizing multi-planar, fluid movement. Animal Flow can be utilized as a stand-alone workout or as a group class format, and can be integrated into existing fitness routines by utilizing various components for dynamic warm-ups, interval training, circuit training, and skills building.
What comprises the program?
Animal Flow includes a wide range of exercises and movement combinations that are grouped into six components, each designed to elicit specific results. The six components can be mixed and matched in many ways, and you can incorporate one, some, or all of them in your workouts! The six components include:
Wrist Mobilizations include a range of simple exercises designed to increase the flexibility and strength of your wrists, which is particularly important for any practice where you are spending a lot of time on your hands.
Activations are static holds we perform to connect the body before we start our practice. Examples include: Static Beast Hold, Static Crab Hold, and Limb Lifts
Form Specific Stretches are full body stretches that start in an animal form and then move through a wide range of motion. This increases your mobility and flexibility throughout the entire body. Examples include the Ape Reach, Beast Reach, Crab Reach and Scorpion Reach.
Traveling Forms are exercises that mimic the movements of animals. You’ll start with the “ABCs” – Ape, Beast and Crab – to get you going on these full body conditioning moves. The traveling forms are essentially how we move like animals to improve the function of the human animal.
Switches and Transitions are dynamic movements that we perform one after the other, creating the “flow” of Animal Flow. You can transfer from one form to another, or repeat the same one as drill. Examples include the many variations for Underswitches, Side Kickthroughs, Front Kickthroughs, and Scorpions.
Flow: Your Flow is where the real magic happens. You’ll combine the Animal Flow moves by linking them together in a fluid sequence, seamlessly transferring energy from one move to the next. Flows may be a choreographed sequence practiced over multiple sessions, or may be created freestyle!
What type of results can I expect?
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all levels will realize significant benefits from Animal Flow including increased mobility, flexibility, stability, power, endurance, skill and neuromuscular communication.
Who is Mike Fitch?
Mike is a career fitness coach, nutritional consultant and post rehab specialist with 17 years of experience as a fitness professional. His training style reflects his background in a diverse range of fitness disciplines, fusing together training styles such as Olympic lifts, kettle bell training, sports-specific and speed-agility training, and specialized training for post-rehab and corrective exercise clients.
Mike spent years sharing his knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics with his personal training clients and fellow trainers. And, after years of helping his personal training clients achieve amazing results through an integrated mix of fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle coaching, he launched Global Bodyweight Training in 2010.
What is Global Bodyweight Training?
Global Bodyweight Training (GBT) is a website and community created for the bodyweight athlete. The GBT team believes that bodyweight training is for everyone – from business professionals to breakdancers to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters to average gym-goers. The GBT website is a wealth of exercise tutorials, videos, and resources to empower visitors with the knowledge that their own body and gravity can improve their fitness, build their physique, and perfect their skills.
Did Mike Fitch invent these animal movement exercises?
Mike will be the first tell you that he isn’t the inventor of animal movement exercise – in fact, it’s just the opposite. Rather, he’s been a student of it, and bodyweight training in general, and is now sharing what he’s learned with others. His goal is to bring together all bodyweight enthusiasts in an attempt to build a tight community that supports and inspires each other. And animal movement training is a great way to do that!
Isn’t Animal Flow just like a lot of other programs?
Animal Flow draws upon many bodyweight training disciplines. You may recognize hand balancing in the static frogs; break dancing in the crocodile rolls; gymnastics in the rolling patterns; parkour training in the traveling apes; yoga like movements in the scorpion reaches. Martial artists, gymnasts, traceurs, b-boys, yogis – bodyweight athletes from all kinds of backgrounds all recognize part of their own training in Animal Flow movements. And putting movement into a “flow,” where the moves are linked in continuous flows of energy, is an age-old practice.
What makes Animal Flow unique is how these elements are synthesized in a new way. You’ll find that it certainly shares a basis with other movement-based programs, but that the technical details vary on the execution of the moves, and that many of our specific exercises are unique. We also take a different approach to teaching the format in a systematic, progressive way.
Where can I learn Animal Flow?
With our DVD, you can bring out your inner beast right in the comfort of your home – no equipment necessary. We offer step-by-step instructions for mastering the movements; then we’ll show you how to put it all together. You’ll soon be putting together your own creative combo moves in no time! Purchase now. You can also check out an Animal Flow class or find a Certified Animal Flow Instructor near you. Search directory now.
What are the Animal Flow workshops?
Our Animal Flow Workshops teach fitness professionals how to incorporate Animal Flow into their own training, and coaching practices. This includes personal trainers, group fitness instructors, physical education teachers, coaches, yoga instructors, MMA trainers, and even physical therapists. Completing the workshop is a requirement to become a Certified Animal Flow Instructor. Although only fitness professionals are eligible to become Certified Instructors, workshops are also open to fitness enthusiasts who just want to take their flow to the next level.
We now offer multiple levels of workshops, including the Level 1 Certification workshop, and the more advanced Level 2. More specialty workshops will be offered soon as well.
Animal Flow Level 1 is an intensive two-day workshop where you’ll master the moves, delve into the science behind Animal Flow, and learn how to effectively use the practice with your own clients. You’ll cover all 6 elements of Animal Flow, including the Traveling Forms (the “ABCs” of animal movements); Switches and Transitions; Wrist Mobility; Activations; Form Specific Stretches, and, of course, Flows. You’ll learn much more than just mastering the movements though – you’ll learn to better understand integrated movement and bodyweight training. Most importantly, you will learn how to move better, and the carry over will improve your performance (and your clients’ performance) no matter how you integrate Animal Flow into your training! See below for more details on program content.
Animal Flow Level 2 takes the practice to a higher level, by adding in new moves, incorporating hand balancing, learning more advanced flows, and exploring the effects of changes in tempo and duration. Prerequisite: Completion of Level 1.
Can I get Continuing Education Credits by taking an Animal Flow workshop?
Animal Flow Workshops are approved for CEUs/CPDs from the following accredited fitness associations:
- National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) – 1.0 CEU
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) – .9 CEU
- UK by Skills Active – 10 CPD Points for REPs
You may also be able to petition your own certifying agency to accept the course if it isn’t listed here.
How long are the workshops?
Workshops take place over two days, usually (but not always) on a Saturday and Sunday. Each day, includes 5 hours, with a short break in the middle.
Where and when do these workshops take place?
View the current calendar of upcoming workshops.
How do I register for a workshop?
On the workshop calendar, each workshop has a detailed page including the opportunity to reserve your space.
Are all workshops the same?
While we offer multiple levels of workshops, you can be assured that each course level is taught exactly the same, no matter where it takes place or which Master Instructor teaches it. Our Master Instructors undergo a long, rigorous training process before they begin teaching any of the Animal Flow workshops to ensure that every student experiences the same high-quality instruction and learns the same material. Learn more about our workshop levels.
Why should I become a Certified Animal Flow Instructor?
By becoming a Certified Animal Flow Instructor, you’ll join an elite family of fitness professionals who’ve demonstrated their ability to effectively incorporate Animal Flow into their individual or group training methods. Being certified requires much more than just mastering the program itself – you must also be able to successfully coach others. You’ll become proficient in the moves and understand how and why we use them. This will result in your ability to regress and progress each movement, and create and call out your own flows. Whether you use your training to offer an Animal Flow class, or incorporate it into personal training, or integrate it into a boot camp, you’ll be offering your clients a great fitness program. They’ll see results, have fun, and keep coming back!
Are there benefits of being a certified Animal Flow Instructor?
You bet there are! Click here for a complete list of benefits.
What are the requirements to becoming a Certified Animal Flow Instructor?
To become certified you must:
- Attend and complete a two-day workshop (check current calendar)
- Pass the demonstration exam within 1-3 months after completing the workshop (done in-person or submitted via video)
- Provide proof of your status as a fitness professional. Contact us if you aren’t sure if your qualifications are sufficient.
How do I maintain my certification?
You will maintain your status as a Certified Animal Flow Instructor in perpetuity, as long as you abide by the Instructor Code of Conduct when using the Animal Flow name and trademark and teaching the practice to others. The cost of becoming certified is included in your workshop registration.
Animal Flow Instructor Association – Basic Membership: Basic membership in the Animal Flow Instructor Association is complimentary for the first year. Membership includes listing in the International Animal Flow Instructor Directory and access to the Members Only section of the Animal Flow online resource library. After the first year, continued membership will cost a small annual fee. You do not need to maintain membership to continue your status as a Certified Animal Flow Instructor; however, membership is required to be listed in the directory and have access to the Members Only resource library.
Premier Membership: Starting in February 2015, Certified Instructors will have the opportunity to subscribe to a Premier Membership for an annual fee and gain access to additional specialty content. Premier Membership is strictly voluntarily.