Basics of The Ido Portal Training Method

Ido Portal

Ido Portal

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Ido Portal Method training is taking off like rocket and growing in popularity every single day.  

There’s a moutain of Ido Portal movement videos and articles all over the internet describing his techniques and teaching. 

[I do not speak for Ido Portal in any way.  Ido is a man with his own original thoughts and ideas.  Anything I write or discuss on this blog is my interpretation of information he’s published on his social media page, his old blog, Youtube interviews and various other sources.]

My background…

I have an extensive background in strength and conditioning, but it’s traditional in every sense of the word.  

It took years for me break away from deadlifts, squats, pushing, pulling, and core work… and expand into movement training.

Old habits die hard, but eventually, I dove head first into movement training.  

Gradually, I rebuilt my body, peeling away layers of stiffness, improving range of motion, coordination and newfound strength.

Thousands of people have done the same, many through the information in this article.

It’s amazing to see the feedback of those who’ve decided to take actionable steps toward building up their movement arsenal. 

The first time I encountered Ido Portal Method, I knew I was watching something different.  This was a much different approach to building fitness.  The training tactics were unlike anything I’d seen. 

Crawling, sprawling, twisting/turning, reaching, flowing, strength movements paired with Capoeira, gymnastics, hand balancing, dance, gymnastics, etc.

Ido Portal Method was like an open platform for many differnet styles of movement.  

Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, it changes shape, moves in a different direction.  

Since my initial exposure, I’ve spent a significant amount of time reading, watching, practicing and digesting Ido’s methodology.

This article is my translation of the basics of the Ido Portal Method. 


Ido Portal Training Methodology…

If you’re looking to get the summarized view of what drives Ido Portal’s movement methodology, the formula looks something like this:

Isolation—> Integration—> Improvisation

Step 1:  Isolation

Step 2:  Integration

Step 3: Improvisation

What I currently comprehend, the movement paradigm is a series of transitioning from phases.  

Isolation to integration to improvisation.

Ido Portal Method raised the bar with movement standards.

Most systems teach isolation (do this squat, then do this deadlift, then run up that hill, then do a pull-up) and stop there.   

Ido Portal Method takes it a step further.

Here are details on each phase.


In the Ido Portal Method, Isolation based movement is essential for making progress.  

This is the base of the hierarchy.

Strength is a prerequisite for movement.

Being strong enhances movement capacity because you OWN every position.  

Isolation = building strength with movement patterns.

Movement patterns:  

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Lunges
  • Carrying
  • Crawling
  • Vertical Pulling
  • Vertical Pressing
  • Horizontal Pulling
  • Horizontal Pressing
  • Bent Arm and Straight Arm Upper Body Training
  • Glute-ham raises
  • Rotational patterns
  • Core training
  • Power Training (cleans, snatches, jerks, kettlebell swings, etc)
  • Stabilization drills

This is isolation.

You might be familiar with these exercises.  

There’s also a heavy emphasis on high tension bodyweight-based strength training exercises.

Body levers, hanging and climbing, dips, muscle ups, parallette work such as L-Sits, and Tuck Planches, single leg squats, single arm pressing, handstand push-ups and various locomotion patterns (crawling, rolling, etc.)

Gymnastics strength training.

Mixing traditional strength training with body-weight based exercise is a potent combination.  

These are time-tested, proven strength builders essential to physical development. 

Improving athleticism with Isolation style training opens doors to building movement sequences (performing several movements in a row) and evnetually fully improvised movement flow.   

Multi-planar strength and movement freedom.

The bottom rung of Ido’s movement classification system is often the highest rung for other training systems.  


There’s a realm of physical expression that exists beyond getting fixated on sets, reps, putting more weight on the bar, numbers numbers numbers, or racing the clock to set new P.R.’s in a WOD.  

Handstands, leg-less rope climbing, ground-based movement flow training packed with locomotion patterns and bodyweight movement patterns are here.  

Our bodies are designed to move freely.   


Ido Portal Method combines the best of many movement disciplines.


Integration is the point where movement sentences are formed from the words (isolation).  

A squat, is no longer just a squat.  

A squat is a stepping stone to another movement, and another, and another.  

The practice is evolves into a seamless flow, moving about.

More movements are integrated, creating series of movement patterns formulating a “sentence” of movement.  

  • Sidenote: There’s a heavy Capoeira influence. 

The ground conditioning (locomotion patterns, Capoiera, etc) combined with gymnastics/bodyweight/traditional strength training, fused with flexibility and mobility work is NOT NEW, but since it’s being repackaged and people are seeing incredible results, it’s definitely creating a paradigm shift in fitness.  

“Fitness” is less about who can build the best looking body or lift the most weight (both respectable pursuits), it’s about moving and how your body can perform when confronted with the known and unknown.

The shift is on and people are taking notice.

Nike has…

Ido Portal Nike

More Integration…

Integration builds on the physical preparation from isolation training.  

Pre-planned movement sequences make up part of the Integration phase.  This is similar to a dancer demonstrating a choreographed routine.  Just because the routine has been practiced for months doesn’t make it any easier to execute.  

I’ve watched the “Locomotion Research” video 50+ times.  Watching someone move like water is inspiring.  The movement sequences demonstrated in the video are deceptively difficult.  

Ground-based locomotion is a multi-planar movement requiring a level of body awareness, joint range of motion and on again/off again body tension most people rarely practice.  

Many of these dynamic patterns are animal-like.

People are often humbled by the amount of mobility and strength needed for locomotion patterns.

After the first few sessions, locomotion practice will leave you sore.  

The Lizard Crawl bridges the gap between “lifting weights” and putting those gains toward challenging movement patterns.

Crawling is difficult.  

If you’re not yet crawling, get into it.

Crawling patterns are effective for building coordination, spatial awareness, strength and movement capacity.  


Ido has commented on numerous podcasts that improvised movement represents the highest form of human movement.  I couldn’t agree more.

Dominating isolation exercises makes the transition to integration significantly easier.  

With consistent practice of Isolation and Integration, one will arrive at the final progression of Ido’s movement philosophy… improvisation.

World-class gymnasts (pound for pound the strongest people on the planet) are rarely expressing improvised movement.  Competition routines are all pre-planned, practiced and choreographed prior.  

Improvisation is the combination of isolation and integration.  You’re essentially making it up as you go, or “flowing”.  Though it will likely take years of dedicated practice, improvised movement flows are achievable.  

This is where progression becomes important.  

Flowing like Ido Portal doesn’t happen overnight.  

Practice is king.  

I’ll spend less time describing the Improvisation phase of the Ido Portal Method because most folks need to focus on nailing down the elements of Isolation and Integration.  

In interviews, Ido has mentioned several times he thinks there is a dimension to be explored beyond Improvisation.  

Isolation and Integration Progress

The Ido Portal Method represents an incredible shift with how we view and define fitness.  

Humans are made to move (climb, run, jump, roll, carry, etc) and I think there is an emerging sector of people who want to experience the thrill of moving in this way.  

It’s important to clarify that traditional physical fitness modalities aren’t obsolete.  Nor should they be.  

A person should spend a great deal of time gaining ground in the Isolation phase, grooving technique, building strength, improving joint control throughout a range of motion.  

Hammering away on the basics (squats, pulling, pressing, etc) is fundamental to progress.  

The goal is to build strength, stability, mobility (the missing link of fitness), conditioning and constantly expand movement capacity.  

Conditioning is also important, and should never be overlooked.  

Train Like Ido Portal Method without the Pricetag

Several years ago, I started looking for alternatives to the Ido Portal Method for several reasons.

  1.  Ido Portal doesn’t offer programs through his website.
  2.  Training privately with Ido and his team is EXPENSIVE ($2500+)

Like many of you, I couldn’t afford $2500 for a workout program, no matter how spectacular. 

I started researching alternative programs with the belief that similar results could be achieved while investing less money.

With enough research, I found what I was looking for, and what I felt other people could benefit from as well.

Here are two amazing programs to check out:

  • Movement20XX
  • The Movement Athlete

Combining all of these programs creates a comprehensive training system.

Strength, movement training and mobility.   

Movement 20XX  teaches ground-based movement, locomotion patterns (lizard crawl, etc),movement sequences and improvised flow work. 

The Movement Athlete will build strength using bodyweight exercises.  Strength is critical for performance and long-term health.  Pistol squats, one arm push ups, handstands, l-sits, body levers, upper body pulling, etc.  

Here’s a little more about each program. 

Movement 20XX

Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 11.12.03 AM

Movement 20XX is a ground-based bodyweight training system that teaches many of the locomotion patterns and flow work found in Ido Portal Method.   

Locomotion mainly consists of quadrupedal ground-based exercises like crawling (lizard Crawl, etc), switches, transitions, etc.

Integrating Movement 20XX into my own workout regimen has been awesome.  

I started by supplementing my traditional resistance training workouts with a few basic crawling exercises, and built up from there.  

Over time I strung together exercises to create repeatable movement sequences.  

Movement 20XX integrates the best elements from different movement disciplines to create a hybrid system of movement training.  

Crawling, transitions, switches, flow, etc. 

I started Movement 20XX with a stiff spine, poor hip and shoulder mobility, tight hamstrings, and mediocre movement capacity.  

After about 4 weeks of dedicated movement practice, my body acclimated to the mechanics and demands of the patterns.

Using the curriculum from Movement20XX, I made more movement gains in 2 months then I had in the previous 5 years.  

Interestingly, my traditional lifts saw boosts in performance.  Deadlift, squat, pull-ups and pressing all improved, felt smoother, etc.

If you want to explore movement, this is the program to get. 

👉 Learn more: Movement20XX

The Movement Athlete  

The Movement Athlete

Strength is critical for improving movement performance.

If you get nothing else from this article, please, remember that. 

Movement Athlete Academy is a bodyweight-based strength program designed to improve performance in high powered movement patterns:

  • Muscle Ups
  • Handstand Push Ups
  • Single Arm Push Ups
  • Single Arm Body Rows
  • Pistol Squats
  • Handstands
  • L-Sits
  • Human Flags (aka: body levers)
  • Back Levers

Sadly I used to think bodyweight training was dumb.  If I wasn’t lifting weights, I was wasting time in the gym.

When I committed myself building effective bodyweight movements, my strength increased, everywhere.

The human body is adaptation machine. 


Movement Athlete Academy is a smart training system, built on the principles of:

  • Smart exercise progression.
  • Progressive overload.
  • Progressive exercise complexity and volume.
  • Rest and Recovery.

The workout design, exercise progressions and step-by-step tutorials make Bodyweight Athlete a great bodyweight-based program to invest in.    


Find a program and follow the details.  

Invest the money in learning effective training techniques, commit yourself to the curriculum and you’ll get phenomenal results.

Stay Tuned 

If you’ve enjoyed this post, check out:

Cheers to the Basics of The Ido Portal Training Method…



17 thoughts on “Basics of The Ido Portal Training Method

      1. I write for both reasons. It is fun for me to get my thoughts out and receive feedback from people that the info resonates.

        I do see this as a building for a career. I am fascinated with the power of the internet and establishing an business that leverages the internet is a direction that I would like to go, for sure.

        Sorry for the delay in my response.

  1. Hey, just a quick shout out. I stumbled over your post while looking for more stuff about Ido Portal. Props to the layout of your blog. It’s zen-tidy and the format makes it easy for the gaze to flow from paragraph, almost like a well structured e-book. And thanks for your insights. I also hope to join one of Ido Portal’s workshops one day. Ideally in Thailand. 😀

    1. Lory,

      Thanks for swinging by. Ido is a great teacher and I believe that the movement industry needs him. The more ideas, the better for all of us. Let me know if you ever attend one of Ido’s camps, I would be interested to hear more about the information and movement submersion that he provides his attendees.

      Thanks again…


  2. Great article! There are also movement communities and facilities all around the world! Not too many, but you pay a monthly fee and get trained by idos mentor ship students.

  3. Kyle, thank you for all this information! Do you know of any groups that train in Wisconsin? I am close to Milwaukee: @DADSDAILYLIFT do you train in a group?

    1. Absolutely, my pleasure. I personally do not know of any group training like this in the Milwaukee area. I have a hard time believing the don’t exist, I just am not aware of any at this time. There is a guy I follow on Instagram who’s in the Milwaukee area (I think). I’ll see if I can find his name and share with you.

  4. Hey Kyle,
    Amazing article, super helpful and organized. I was just curious if you recommend all three simultaneously, or not. If not, which would you start with for a complete fitness beginner? I used to be super active in HIIT training and competitive dancing, however, it’s been four years since I stopped both for health reasons and I am interested in building up my fitness again. Albeit, in a slow movement focused way.

    1. Hey Ally! Thanks for reaching out and sharing your story. Since it’s been a while for you, I would suggested easing back into the fitness thing slowly. Start with the mobility program and movement program I shared in the post. Strength is certainly important, but adding too much at one time might be overwhelming. I think you’ll be happy with the results from doing consistent mobility and movement training. In time, add the bodyweight strength training.

  5. Can you please send me newsletters in regard to animal flow programs and classes?
    I just turned 60 and I want to begin this type of training, but don’t really know where to begin.

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