Rediscover your wildside! This new workout trend will see you monkeying around in unfamiliar forms and positions inspired by the animal world. 

Bizarre? Yes. Serious fat-burning programme? Definitely. It will work your muscles hard, increase mobility and balance and boost your endurance.


Firstly, withhold any scepticism: this unusual workout is winning fans around the world. Invented by American Mike Fitch, it’s like a seamless flow of yoga, strength training, martial arts and gymnastics. Lots of the moves imitate the movements of animals, hence names like “travelling ape”, “scorpion rolls” and “stork seesaw”.


You will build functional strength, and get in some serious cardiovascular conditioning. Active stretching throughout the workout will also help chronically tight muscle flexibility and improve joint flexibility. This will make it less likely you will injure yourself doing other activities.  

Payoffs are mental as well as physical. Working on your hands and knees literally changes your perspective of the world and your how your body works. Mind-body connection is improved as the quadrupedal  (four-footed) movements help restore connection and stabilisation throughout the whole body.


Yes! It is suitable for all ages and abilities and you can vary the intensity according to your fitness aims. Animal flow is done in group sessions or as an individual workout. You can also blend it into other workouts such as circuits and HIIT.

Because there’s no equipment, Animal Flow is also a portable, travel-friendly workout. Great if you move around a lot, or want to add variety to your bodyweight exercises.

Ready to tap into your primal instincts?  Try these 3 moves to start you off:


Crab Reach

  • Sit on the floor with knees bent, palms on floor behind you and fingers pointing away from the body. Raise butt slightly off the floor and raise your right arm overhead as you lift hips high up, arching backwards. Lower hips and place your right hand back on the floor. Keep butt lifted. Repeat on left side. Do 2 sets of 12 reps, alternating each side.

Forward Travelling Beast

  • Get into an elevated crawl position (the ‘Beast’), with hands and feet on the floor and knees slightly raised. Step forward, moving opposite hand to opposite foot. Knees should remain hovering above the ground. Keep moving forward around 20 metres. Repeat for 3 sets or until you’re too worn out to continue.

Beast Reach

  • Crouch down and plant hands on the floor in front of you, head between arms. Extend legs and move torso forward in full plank position. Simultaneously bend right knee to outside of right elbow.

Reverse movement back to crouch position and repeat on left side. Do 2 sets of 12, alternating each side.


The Author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for PayasUgym. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.


Mike D.
13 October 2016

Mike D.

Loving the names, but never seen it in a gym anywhere yet.

Sasha B.
12 October 2016

Sasha B.

Now I like the sound of this! I think anything you can do without formal equipment has to be good for you. I hope this catches on and gets to my gym - I would love it.

Roger B.
11 October 2016

Roger B.

I have to say that I am still puzzling over the position in the picture - how do you do that?

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