Benefits of Movement 20XX| Ground-Based Locomotion Training

Animal Flow, Motion

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Movement 20XX is an innovative, gap bridging movement system built around fundamental bodyweight exercise, organized in a readymade package.  

The movement system is comprised of a wide range of exercise progressions to get a beginner flowing in their first workout, leading up to advanced movement mastery.

Movement 20XX exercises and workouts are designed to help people improve strength, flexibility, body control and coordination.

The most impressive aspect of Movement 20XX is how well the movements and transitions fit together to create an artistic, fluid practice. 

Ground-based conditioning is a missing element in a lot of workout regimens and can help reboot the body’s natural ability to move well.

It’s just you and some empty space on the floor, which is both daunting and liberating.  

The brilliance of Movement 20XX is it’s a collection of many different movement disciplines.  

Instead of being pigeon-holed to training with one movement methodology, Movement 20XX  teaches key elements from yoga, martial arts, parkour, break dancing and gymnastics to name a few.

The emphasis on teaching locomotion patterns like the lizard crawl is awesome.

Expanding movement capacity and improving movement I.Q. through natural ground-based movements is as functional as it gets. 

Locomotion patterns make up 1 of 6 components in the Animal Flow training system. 

What is Locomotion?

Locomotion exercises often mimic the movements of animals. Basic crawling variations are an example.  Crawling is a full-body conditioning pattern. 

Each moving form has an emphasis on contralateral movement, which means the movement occurs across the body’s midline.

The opposite hand and foot are going to move together. Contralateral movements are great for building body awareness and coordination.

Locomotion, in laymen’s terms, means moving from one place to another. Walking, skipping, running, pushing a heavy sled, farmer walks are all variations of locomotion.

A large majority of locomotion patterns are performed in a quadrupedal position, with hands pressed against the floor supporting body weight under the shoulder, knees flexed near 90 degrees and only the balls of the feet supporting the lower body. 

Benefits of Movement 20XX locomotion exercises?

Humans are bipedal creatures.

We move most efficiently in an upright position using our legs to propel us through space.

Practicing locomotion patterns with the body and head in unique positions other than upright walking position (head on shoulders, eyes forward, arms hanging at the sides, etc) challenges the body to re-orient itself to those uncommon positions.

Quadrupedal, animal-like movement patterns expand our movement capacities, making our body a more complete piece of machinery.

Sure, one could argue that life happens on two-feet and that’s partially true.

However, there are many moments in life where we must be able to move into (and out of) positions outside of normal vertical standing

Supplementing a training regimen with ground-based conditioning trains a person to be more capable of handling known and unknown tasks.  

It’s hard to predict when you’ll need to be strong in a quadruped position, right?

When you need it, you need it.

A great goal of any fitness program should be to create a higher level of movement efficiency across a broader range of positions.  

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Locomotion movements provide a gentle loading for the upper extremities and demand the core musculature sort out new stimuli (cross-crawling).  

Yes, locomotion work is going to light up your core.

Other benefits of locomotion training:

  • Establish neuromuscular links throughout the kinetic exercise chain.
  • Movements are multi-planar, preparing the body for different planes of motion.
    • Up and down
    • Side to Side
    • Transverse (rotational)
  • Flexibility through movement and the opening of fascial lines and slings.
  • Full articulation of joints to reinforce mobility.
  • Reconnecting the brain-body activity with contra-lateral movements.
  • Exposure of asymmetries and energy leaks as you move closer to the ground (versus standing).

Ground flow drills are not boring, which is a really unscientific yet powerful reason to start exploring the practice.

If your current workout regimen has you bored out of your mind, you better switch it up quickly.  People who get bored often stop exercising all together.  It’s very predictable.   

Let’s take look at each of the three basic forms taught in Animal Flow…

Side-to-Side Locomotion

Side-to-side (lateral) locomotion is a challenge technique-wise.


Timing, force absorption, core compression, and flexibility are all equally important 

This same pattern can be executed forward and backward.

Quadrupedal Crawling

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Crawling is a fantastic activity for the pre-workout warm-up, or as a main component of the workout.

This dynamic quadrupedal activity reinforces and builds reflexive strength along with connecting the left side of the brain with the right side.

Small space? No worries.

Crawling is an adaptable exercise that can fit whatever size space you are training in.

In my old basement gym, I had less than 10 feet in any one direction.  Adapt to small spaces by making more trips down and back.  For folks who are stuck in hotel rooms while traveling, crawling is PERFECT.

8-10 feet of space is all you need to crawl.

Crawling can be modified to suit a wide variety of training stimuli and goals. Ramp up the tempo to elicit a cardio training effect or slow it down for movement control.

Beginners should practice crawling slow and controlled to establish a familiarization with technique. 

Crawling can be performed in high and low positions, forward and backward, side to side.

Supine Crab Crawl

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Supine crawling, sometimes referred to as the “Crab Crawl” positions the front of the body toward the ceiling with arms supporting behind the back and inches in front of the glutes.

This crawling variation engages the backside muscles of the legs to a higher degree while challenging shoulder extension.

The Crab Crawl is a unique exercise because of the way it engages the lats, traps and external shoulder rotators, opens up the anterior chain while simultaneously activating.  

How to Add Locomotion Drills to Your Workout

Locomotion exercises can be used as warm-up drills, recovery from the previous day’s training stress, included in a circuit or practiced as part of a long duration flow.

Natural bodyweight movement can be practiced anytime, in virtually any environment. 

Personally, I prefer a “less but better” training philosophy.

Starting out, I practiced basic locomotion patterns for 10-15 minutes before any resistance training or cardio work, using brutally slow tempos to gain an understanding of mechanics and build motor control and timing.

 

Slow movement training reveals movement deficits.

As mentioned earlier in this post, crawling can be used for cardio conditioning.  Increase the tempo and intensity.  Move faster.  Or, crawl for a longer duration.  Maintain quality of movement, however.  

Change of direction, body position, loading the upper extremities, tension, crawling, sprawling will jack up your heart rate as fast as any other form of cardio. All without any equipment.

Movement 20XX

Movement 20XX

Movement 20XX is the program I recommend for those who want to begin exploring ground-based training.

Eero Westerberg has done a fantastic job creating a comprehensive movement platform that really delivers significant benefits to customers.

Movement 20XX is packed with basic (similar to what I shared today) and advanced exercises and technique tutorials for those exercises, leading to flow training.

Flow training is highly challenging and fun.

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YouTube and Instagram are also great resources for constantly updated exercise progressions and variations, flow training and how I’m integrating techniques to create hybrid workouts.  

 

Cheers, 

Kyle 

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