Home Gym Workouts! 31 Exercises to Stay Fit and Other Fitness Things

Motion

Coronavirus is here, gyms are closing because they are a well-known cesspool for germs, and I just happen to be a home gym advocate.

This is a perfect storm.  

A match made in heaven to serve the good people of the planet earth little tidbit on how to workout at home.

You know what else is a match made in heaven?  Kettlebell swings and SkiErg.  

M(EAUX)TION specializes in teaching people how to transition exercise habits away from public gyms into the home setting.

I’m not trying to put any gyms out of business, because there’s enough pie to go around.

Statistically, we are as unhealthy as we’ve ever been, which is confusing because we’ve had access to better technology, effective transportation, and information indicating the importance of engaging in daily activity.  

Richard Simmons did a better job at getting people moving in the 80’s.

Not moving enough is destroying us, slowly.  

Anyways, I cancelled my gym membership 12+ years ago and haven’t looked back.  

Many others have done the same thing, taking back their time, saving money and building superior fitness.

Today, I provide strategies on how to go about select gym equipment, identify space and engage in quality home fitness (for the long-term) is my expertise and passion.

The exercise video below was created a while back with zero anticipation it would be shared as a home workout solution during a worldwide pandemic.

My YouTube channel has hundreds of videos just like it.

For as long as the Coronavirus keeps us quarantined and socially distanced from each other, I’ll be pumping out effective exercises, workouts, and links to other resources.  

(There are some incredible online fitness programs out there, created by relatively unknown brilliant people.)

Strength, mobility, cardio, movement flow, etc.  All of it matters and contributes to a well-rounded fitness regimen.  

Some of these ideas and methods you may recognize, others you won’t.

For instance, are you familiar with lizard crawling?

Most people aren’t yet it’s crazy good exercise.

The lizard crawl is an incredible locomotion pattern that blends strength, mobility and fluid movement.

Some days, I feel a solid dose of lizard crawling is superior to push-ups.

Totally unfair to push-ups to play favorites, but the lizard crawl will blast your chest, arms, and core in one shot.  Lots of boxes checked ✔️ .

How about ground-based conditioning?

My friends over at Vahva Fitness created an entire movement program called Movement 20XX focused on ground-based movement techniques.  

It’s great program designed for bodyweight only ground-based movement.  Perfect for home.  

Anyways… guess what?

You and I have nowhere to go for the next couple of weeks and my fingers are antsy to publish more home fitness content.

Now is the time to explore how incredibly effective and efficient home workouts can be.  Whether you’re training barebones minimalist or you’ve got some equipment to enhance the workouts, it doesn’t matter.  

We can work around any limitations and space constraints.  

You might be canceling your gym membership 😃

Let’s turn 🍋  into lemonade folks.  

My Two Cents on Coronavirus

Don’t be an idiot.  Is someone in your social circle or family noticeably acting like an idiot?  Tell them to get it together.

What classifies being an “idiot”?  Not following the basic directions of local and national government.

We need to take care of each other right now.

How do we do that?

First, take a deep breath, curb the panic, stop hoarding toilet paper, follow directions, limit contact with others, enjoy your family, do your part and let’s get back to normal living as quickly as possible.

 

Most of these exercises are bodyweight-based, so they are extremely accessible and green lighted for small spaces.

Stop thinking about what you can’t do, and switch into the opportunistic mode of thinking.

Get your daily dose of fitness in while Coronavirus has us stuck at home.

 

14 Exercise Total Body Warm-Up Routine

Motion

Before the workout, there is a warm-up.  

Warm-ups are an INCREDIBLE 15-20 minutes to make mobility gains, nourish joints, rep out isolated movements/activation drills, playfully engage in movement sequence or explore other movements that peak one’s curiosity.  

I used to dread warming up before workouts, as most people probably do.  

Warming up seemed like a barrier to the productive section of the workout.  

A period of time where I’d swing my arms around a little bit, bounce on your toes, a few neck rolls, get my hype playlist dialed in and throw a few shadow punches.

This used to be me.  

I’d drudge through a smattering of hand-selected, mindless dynamic stretches, mini band walks to “wake up” the glutes, and finish strong by mobilizing the ankles and T-Spine.  

I elevated my heart rate, initiated a sweat and feel focused, so the warm-up boxes must all have checkmarks ✅, right?  

In my mind, the answer to that question was, “Boxes check, good to go.  Moving on to the sexy part of the workout.  Exertion.”

Re-Establish the Purpose of the Warm-Up

People generally think of warm-ups as a stimulus to awaken and prime the body for more aggressive exercise, be it resistance training or cardio conditioning.  

This isn’t the wrong way to view things by any means.  Elevating the heart rate and increased body temperature is still important.

But the warm-up can serve as a vehicle to make incremental (valuable) gains in other areas.  Mobility, movement transitions, balance, coordination, etc.  

The problem, rather a common perception, is that investing time in a progressive warm-up seems like a waste of time.  

No muscle pump?  It must be a waste of time.

Lungs not burning?  Surely time is being wasted.

“Let’s get this over boring-ass sh*t over with so I can start making my gaaaiiinnnzzzz”.

For clarification, “Gainz” generally describes the usuals for most people:

  •  Fat loss 
  •  Muscle or strength gain
  •  Losing weight 
  •  General fitness improvement
  •  Big bouncing pecs, softball-sized biceps, and curvy butts, etc. 

I think we can do better with our pre-workout warm-up routines. 

We can do this by integrating joint mobility training, moving limbs through disadvantaged or strict patterns of motion, movement exploration/play, flow sequencing, transitions, etc.  

Today, it’s really hard to see where my warm-up stops and the workout begins.

The days of twirling arm and leg swings are long gone.  I’ve traded them for slow and controlled mobility drills, where I attempt to express the true joint range of motion I have ownership over, and fighting to earn and expand that gradually.

Rather than flailing my arms around in circles for 10 reps and calling it good, I’ll crush a tennis ball and draw the largest possible circle with my fist (from front to back) doing my best to stay avoid moving body parts to draw that circle.   

These mobility drills involve articulating joints through a maximum controlled range motion.  It’s simple, but not easy.  Each repetition is painfully slow.  You can find a lot of these drills on my YouTube page.  

Functional Range Conditioning refers to these joint nourishing exercises as CARs (controlled articular rotations).  

I also like to get on the floor and move.  

Twisting, turning, reaching, flexing/extending, squatting, lunging, blending pushing movements and rotation movements, crawling, changing levels, tossing, throwing, etc.

5-10 minutes are allocated to getting lost in bodyweight-based groundwork.

Some workouts, I’ll include a wood plyo box or other pieces of equipment, but moving with bodyweight through an open space remains the foundation.

Here are a few other things I like to practice during the warm-up:

  • Mobility techniques
    • Kinstretch
    • Gymnastics drills
    • Spinal Waves
    • Wood dowel training 
  • Improvised ground-based movement
  • Exploring new exercises, methods, and techniques
    • Macebell training
    • Weck Method drills (Coiling, RMT rope drills, etc)
    • Hybrid kettelbell exercises
      • Turkish Get Up variations
      • Swing variations
      • Hand-to-hand exercises 
    • New Bodyweight Movements
      • Sissy Squats
      • Dragon Squats
      • Task-Based Challenges
      • Legless Rope Climbs
      • Parallette Bar drills 

Total Body Pre-Workout Preparation

A while back, I uploaded a YouTube video demonstrating 14 different warm-up exercises to prepare the entire body for a workout. 

Here is the video…

Exercise order:

1.  Shoulder CARs

2.  Spine CARs

3.  Hip CARs

4.  Dowel Assisted Sissy Squats

5.  90/90 Series (transfers, lift offs, hovers, etc)

6.  Prone Swimmers Hovers

7.  Bodyweight Squats

8.  Bodyweight Lunges

9.  Bodyweight Push-Ups

10.  Side Kick Throughs

11.  Crab Reach

12.  Back Bridge

13.  Scorpion Reach

14.  Cossack Squat w/ Horse Stance Pause

Take notice of all of the joint articulations, slow tempo movement of arms and legs through challenging patterns, bodyweight exercises and movement combinations. 

It’s all there. 

Basic joint mobility work, ground-based conditioning, and exploratory movement training can really have a significant impact on your movement capacity, joint health, and performance.  

In time, movements that once plagued you or simply felt impossible, begin to feel very achievable.  Joints feel buttery.  Your body is changing.  Adapting to the stimulus. 

If you’re training 4-5 days per week, sectioning off 15-20 minutes to warm up with a few of the exercises featured in the video can add 60+ minutes of unique training to your regularly scheduled workout regimen. 

This adds up.  

Daily, the full-body approach to warming up is my personal preference.  Even if the day’s workout is mostly upper body, I still deliver a stimulus to the hips, knees and ankle joints.  

Conducting total body maintenance has made my body feel better at 35 years old then I did when I was supposedly at my “peak physical condition” in college.  

Nothing against people who opt for upper and lower body splits, but I prefer a daily micro-dose of joint articulations and full range movement.  

Find what works best for you.

It might not be what works best for me… and that is ok.  

How long should a warm-up be?

Working through 14 exercises generally takes 15-20 minutes, depending on reps and tempo per exercise.    

Should it always take 15-20 minutes?  

No.  Starting out, expect it to take longer because you won’t know what the hell you’re doing.  

Time will decrease as you become more familiar and waste less time setting up.      

All this being said, the more volume with most of these exercises, the merrier.  

How many reps per exercise?

In the video, I demonstrate 2-3 reps per exercise.  

I reduced the reps to keep the video moving along and lower the boredom factor.  Plus, uploading a 20+ minute video to YouTube can be full of problems.

Increase the reps to 8-10 per side for each exercise. 

Progress through all 14 exercises, one after the other, non-stop until the end. 

Of course, pause and rest as needed, but don’t waste too much time.  

Keep the show moving. 

Reminder… 

This warm-up shows 14 different exercises.  

Only 14.  There’s a mountain of other effective warm-up exercises not shown in this video.  

I simply wanted to share an example of a total body warm-up routine. 

There are many other incredible mobility drills, activations, locomotion exercises and ground-based movements not included in the video.

A total body warm-up can be organized a thousand different ways.  

Should all warm-ups look like this?

They don’t have to.  

Some days my pre-workout build-up consists of jumping rope for a few minutes paired up with crawling.  Other days I’m in the mood for ground flow, swinging kettlebells, rolling around on the floor, wall assisted handstands, etc.  

I like to mix it up.  

It doesn’t always follow this 14 exercise recipe.

On days where I am engaging in a long slow cardio session, I’ll climb on my air bike and ride.  No warm-up at all.  

The message of this post is to audit your current warm-up routine and observe if you’re breezing through a below-average pre-workout warm routine.  

Are you undervaluing warm-up time?  Is there room for improvement?

I’d bet there is.  

I used to overlook my warm-ups, and I’d guess a lot are doing the same.  

Time is a valuable commodity and goal achievement is important.  

Warming up with greater purpose can help to accelerate the time it takes to reach physical goals, keep your body feeling good and leverage your time in the gym.     

 

 

Cheers to getting after the warm-up, 

Kyle 

 

Movement Flow Exercises| Scorpion

Animal Flow

Movement Flow is perfect for home workouts because it’s bodyweight based and doesn’t require much space to execute.

Several months ago after careful thought, I decided to end a long running partnership with Animal Flow.

Animal Flow was my experience with equipment free, ground based movement training.

I learned a lot about the benefits of crawling, transitional movement and the value of being able to move my body well in space without weights.

Why leave Animal Flow behind?  Besides customer service at Animal Flow being non-existent and brutal, Animal Flow evolved into choreographed dance routines, which is not my taste.

Searching for an effective online movement platform yielded several results, with the my top pick being Movement 20XX from Vahva Fitness.

Movement 20XX is a ground based, movement flow oriented, bodyweight focused movement system.  It checks all of the boxes I wanted to see checked from this style of movement system.  

Crawling, flow, transitions and other unique locomotion patterns.  It’s all there.

Movement flow can be categorized somewhere between the Yoga and traditional resistance training.

Yoga, resistance training and movement flow can (and should) coexist with each other.  

Practicing each method enhances everything else.  It does not have to be one or the other.  Mix them all together.

[Personal trainers, strength coaches and average Joe’s who are solely fixated resistance training and other linear forms of exercise, REALLY lack movement capacity.  I know this because I used to be the same.  Steady practice began to undo years of linear training]

Movement flow is like a more dynamic version of Yoga and while breaking the linear structure of lifting weights. 

Beginner or a elite movers, at home, the gym or traveling, it doesn’t matter much when the movements are scalable, bodyweight based and require little space to do.

After that long lead in, let’s get to the main meal.  

This article is focused on the scorpion exercise.  

What follows is a detailed description of the scorpion exercise technique, benefits,  combinations and ideas on how to use it in warm ups and workouts.    

Scorpion

The Benefits of the Scorpion exercise

  Lengthening of the hamstrings and lats

  Opening up and activating the hips

  Thoracic spine extension and rotation

  Shoulder performance

  Rotational core training

  Uniquely challenging multi-planar movement

  Ground based, bodyweight based, equipment free, minimal space requirements

The last two bulleted points might be the best.

There is a style of physical exercise that exists between slow Yoga, hardcore weight lifting and high intensity interval training.

Ground based movement exposes your flaws.

If you’re a die hard Yogi, you‘ll be humbled by the difference between holding poses and moving into and out of unique body positions.  Adding a dynamic movement to a steady Yoga practice will freshen things up.

If you’re a “lift weights” kind of person, you will, without a doubt realize how linear most exercises are as compared to twisting, turning, balancing, arching, and constant positional changes characteristic of ground based conditioning.  To be blunt, expect to feel stiff.

People new to ground based movement training are going to trip over themselves for a while.  The body mechanics are new, the spatial awareness is new, the timing, tension, breathing, range of motion, etc… is new.  

Eat the dirt for a little while, practice consistently and you’ll improve.  

Here we go.

Scorpion Movement Technique

Bottom Position

The bottom position of Scorpion involves some trunk flexion and a bit of rotation.  The spine flexes while the anterior core “hollows”. 

Cues:

  Eyes toward the hands

  Shoulders over the hands

  Round the back slightly to make room for the knee coming across

Slide the knee across the midline of the body to the opposite side elbow.  “Kiss” the knee cap to the elbow followed by a reversal of the motion to initiate the upward phase of Scorpion.

* Tip:  Remove momentum from the cross-body knee touch.  Move slow and with control.  If you cannot touch the knee to the opposite side elbow without compensating, that’s fine!  Work the range of motion that you’re able to control.  

 **Warning: core cramping possible… crossing knee through the midline to the opposite side elbow is TOUGH.  Don’t be shocked if you cramp up here. 

Top Position

At the top of the Scorpion, the body moves into trunk extension and rotation. 

Cues:

–   Head between the arms

–   Keep anchored leg as straight as possible

–   “Reach” with the elevated foot, squeeze this glute

–   Relax the jaw and neck (breathe)

After touching the knee to the opposite side elbow, reverse the motion back through and up, leading with the foot.  Move into a modified Downward Dog as the free leg adducts and opens at the hip.

Say what?   

Here’s what I’m talking about…

What you should FEEL during Scorpion…

Moving is a multi-sensory experience.  You hear, see and feel with every movement.  

Knowing what to feel can speed up the learning curve with new movements and also give feedback that you’re doing the movement correctly. 

Bottom position of Scorpion

  •  Shoulder and chest burn from static support in the high plank position.  
  •  Intense core contraction while sliding opposite knee to opposite elbow.
  •  Again, 👆👆👆

Top position of Scorpion:

  •  Elevated glute working hard with a stretch of the hip flexors of that same leg.  
  •  Backside stretch running down the anchored leg from glute to the heel.  
  •  Side body stretch from the rotation (mainly the lats) 

Personally, my lats (hips to arm pits) get a big stretch while practicing scorpion. 

Incorporating Scorpion into Workouts

As part of a Warm Up

Dynamic ground- based movements are PERFECT for warming up before more aggressive loading from resistance training or elevating heart rates during cardio conditioning work.  

Here’s an example workout structure: 

1.  Foam Roll + Active mobility training

2.  Ground Based Conditioning (movement flow)

3.  Resistance Training

4.  Cardio

5.  Cool-down

This is a very simple and effective workout template.  

Spend 15-20 minutes working through foam rolling mobility and movement flow.  Keep it brief and focused.  

As part of a Lift or Cardio Circuit

Scorpion can be a great filler exercise when paired with lifts (chin ups, squats, deadlifts, lunges, pressing, etc).  

Filler exercises don’t take away from your main lifts while being more productive with rest periods.  It’s active rest.  

Here’s an example of a strength focused tri-set with the Scorpion as a filler exercise:

A1)  Chin Up

A2)  Front Squat

A3)  Alternating Scorpion

Chin ups and front squats for strength, Scorpion for ground movement. 

As part of a cardio circuit

3-5 rounds of:

10 Kettlebell Swings

10 Push Ups

10 Alternating Jumping Split Squats

10 Rows

3-5 per side Scorpions

In this workout, the Scorpions will be performed under fatigue. 

If you’re not ready for Scorpions under fatigue just yet, opt for practicing while fresh.  

As part of a movement flow

Set a timer and flow around a room using nothing but bodyweight movements you’ve got some familiarity with.

I’ve work improvised flow sessions for as long as 20-25+ minutes.

Start with simple crawling exercises integrated with switches and transitions.


Add in push-ups, planks, squats, lunges, bending, reaching, twisting.  

What kind of push-ups?  Regular ones or check out this push-up variation video.

It’s all fair game.  MOVE!  Explore the space.  

Flow work can be organized or improvised.

Beginners should consider practicing exercise in isolation.  Get the feel.  

Stringing a few exercises together to make a sequence can provide an added challenge.  Sequences introduce transitions.  

Either way, a simple movement flow session can be a welcomed departure from weightlifting.  It’s freeing, challenging and nourishing experience for the mind and body.  

Discard the idea that every workout needs to be a redline work efforts separated by rest.    

Move around just for the sake of moving around.  Explore.  Transition into and out many different positions (reaching, twisting, crawling, bending, jumping, holding, etc)

A little nourishing total body movement training on an off-day can leave you feeling refreshed and better prepared for the next intense training session. 

Unique, Multi-Planar Movement Kicks Ass

Most movement flow exercises are multi-joint and multi-planar. 

These ground based movements aren’t as simple as curling or pressing weight up and down for reps, until the “burn” is felt.  

There’s most certainly a period of acclimation.  Practice will improve body awareness in space, strength, joint mobility and efficiency.  

Body awareness in space is a big benefit to ground based movement training.  Expanding and refining your body’s movement skillset is a fantastic pursuit.  

A person’s ability to confidently interact with the ground (ever-changing terrain, body positions, etc) throughout life is a valuable skill to have.

Natural movement training.  

A lot of common gym exercises lack rotation, twisting and turning.  Lunges, squats, kettlebell swings, over head pressing, push ups and vertical pulling exercises such as pull ups and chin ups are all great exercises, but they lack rotation.

Rotation is a key element of human movement.  

Exercises like the Scorpion move the entire body through a unique range of motion, challenging the core, hips and shoulders.

If you’ve tried the scorpion while reading or after reading this article, I recommend checking out the entire catalog of ground movements in Movement20XX.

 

 

Cheers to you, 

Kyle 

Movement Training for Beginners

Animal Flow, Motion

Movement training for beginners is MAGIC.

While the physical challenge is new, gains generally come quick.  The early

It’s my experience that the best approach to (if there is one) casting a wide net to capture and practice many different movement training techniques, ideas and methods

Mixing the better elements of yoga, gymnastics, locomotion/crawling, natural movement methods and bodyweight efforts.

Examples of Beginner Movement Patterns

  •  Crawling
  •  Reaching
  •  Twisting
  •  Balancing
  •  Rolling
  •  Climbing
  •  Jumping
  •  Movement Sequences
  •  Improvised Movement

 

Beginner Movement Training

First, “movement” can mean a million different things.

Sneezing, walking, scratching an itch and scraping ice off your car’s windshield is all “movement”.

Movement will be described for the purpose of improving physical fitness.

I’d like to share ideas for the beginner who’s looking to upgrade their workout beyond lifting weights, sets/reps/rest, racing the clock, WODs and treadmills.

Ground based conditioning, or ground based movement is how I categorize equipment free bodyweight training.  I’m not looking to pioneer any new classification of exercise by describing it this way, they simply make sense to me.

So when I refer to a piece of the workout pie as ground based conditioning, I immediately think of crawling.

Crawling is an essential part of early human development, but revisiting basic and progressively difficult crawling patterns yields many benefits as an adult.

As a Dad, I watched my daughter move through the following progression:

Helpless laying 👉 Helpless sitting upright 👉 Quadruped Rocking 👉 Crawling 👉 Standing with assistance 👉 Walking with assistance 👉 Walking independently

Obviously this is a jargon-free description of her development, and each phase overlapped the other, but in general, this was her path to independence bipedal locomotion.

One interesting thing about my daughters timeline, is even though she’s hauling ass a round the house at 18 months of age, if she trips and falls, it’s a guaranteed face plant.

And there are quite a few stumbles, face plants and tears these days.

This leads me to believe the next phase of her movement development will likely be variations of gait (skipping, running, etc) and improving her ability to catcher herself during a fall.

As a guy who writes about physical fitness, movement, etc…

… one of the most incredible experiences is having an front row seat to a baby learning how to use their body from the very beginning.

It pried my eyes wide open and gave me a whole new appreciation for the process that we adults have overcomplicated.

Ground-based movement training is missing from the average person’s workout regimen, and it’s a key element.  

Ground based training is natural movement.  Free of gadgets.  Just you and your body moving through space as efficiently as possible.

Squatting on uneven surfaces, with a staggered stance.  Pressing up from the floor, stepping through to initiate walking.  Rotation.  A lot of workout plans do not address rotation, or limit rotational training to anti-rotation exercises to improve force absorption qualities.

You’ve got to be able to PRODUCE and ABSORB force.

Injuries.  People often get hurt when the stress to a given structure is beyond the structures tolerance.

Progressively expanding movement training by introducing palatable patterns and positions can help reduce injuries.

Supplementing resistance based exercise and natural bodyweight movement with a progressive mobility focused regimen just might be gold standard in injury prevention.

With this concoction, you’re gaining strength, movement IQ and useable range of motion of the joints.

Movement Training For Life

On one hand, I believe in general physical conditioning versus attempting to mimic the exact movements of daily living.

On the other hand, conditioning the body for common everyday movements makes a ton of sense.

Exertion is daily life often doesn’t look like the average gym routine.

There are no symmetric barbells, chalked up kettlebells or dumbbells waiting to be lifted and move.

Real world movement is less predictable.

We fall into and out of weird positions, often requires a on-the-go improvised movements and body positions in environments with uneven surfaces and odd shaped objects.

This is not to say barbells, kettlebells and dumbbells are bad.  There are FANTASTIC tools to leverage.  But at some point, you’re no longer in the gym, you’re no longer pistoning a barbell up and down for robotic reps.

And how about that gym perfect, flat backed, technically sound bodyweight squat?

1 out of every 50-60 squat looking movements in my life looks resembles an air squat.

Squatting in my life looks like something else entirely.  A hybrid combination of movements and transitions.

Maybe you’ve got to navigate moving from the floor to standing without the use of your arms.

The imperfections and contortions that exist in everyday real world movement start to become more and more obvious once you know what you’re looking for.

Interestingly, years of pounding on movement patterns didn’t make me a more efficient mover in the real world.  I mean, to some extent it did, but I started to encounter a lot of different scenarios where I felt weak, uncoordinated and immobile.

We cannot train for every quirky experience in life, but I strongly believe supplementing resistance and cardio training with movement rich tasks, challenges and ground based conditioning would help a lot of people increase their

I find myself squatting out of mechanical alignment, twisting, bending, reaching, rolling, lifting and moving objects with a technique that most gym fanatics would consider unacceptable.

Picking up heavy, awkward shaped, slippery sh*t from the garage requires a creative approach, which is rarely addressed in a structured workout.

Fully flexing the lumbar spine while assuming a modified lunge stance, driving off the forefoot while my feet slide inside of my Crocs.

This is life.

 

Sometimes I’m moving by fusing 2-3 of those patterns at one time.

When it’s time to perform in life, it’s time to perform.  Sometimes we get to step up to a heavy object, get situated and lift similar to our gym lifts.  Most times, this is not the case.

Much of movement in daily life is reaction-based, rarely planned and happens quickly.  There’s no time to externally rotate the hands, pull the shoulder blades down and back, tuck the rib cage, etc.

Real-life movement is unpredictable, deviating from “flat neutral spines”, perfect posture and ideal foot placement.

It’s life.

The human body is designed to move.  

Ground-based movement drills improve a person’s movement capacity and address a lot of these in-between life moments that a barbell squat or deadlift simply doesn’t.  

Improving your ability to interact with the ground, using nothing but bodyweight will help you as a mover, and probably make your traditional lifts that much better. 

And to be completely honest, engaging in movement-based training is as fun as it is challenging.

One great benefit of practicing movement based drills is how quickly a person builds confidence in unique and unfamiliar body positions.

We knowingly (and unknowingly) avoid activities we know our body isn’t suited for.  After a few months of movement training, this starts to shift.  You begin to look at daily tasks differently.  Situations you used to avoid become worthy challenges you’ll meet head-on with a new-found confidence in your abilities.

Twisting and rotational movements are absent from most workouts.

Walk into a membership-based gym and 95% of the people exercising are going to be grinding away on cardio machines, bicep curls, and bench press.

Why Don’t Fitness Magazines Write About Movement

Linear fitness activities are constantly promoted by mainstream fitness media.

We’ve got to bring this to light.

The fitness articles being written in Men’s and Women’s Health are nearly exactly the same as the articles that were written when a young and impressionable subscriber back in 2002.

Why?

Well, a big reason is consumers keep gobbling up the minutiae.

“Oh, no wonder I’m not 5% body fat.  The new training tip on the sidebar of the latest issue of Men’s Health says adding 2 additional reps to my favorite arm blaster circuit I’ve been working 2 days a week for the last 2 years will change everything”.

The writers at Men’s Health are not great movers.  They’re muscular, free of acne, great hair, STIFF and one-dimensional.

Picture perfect bilateral squats and not a prayer with any other movement outside of that.

I USED TO BE THAT GUY, SO I CAN IDENTIFY THESE PEOPLE WATCHING THEM MOVE.

Fitness magazines have also done a superb job at convincing people they need to to “look” a certain way.

The aesthetic industry is alive and well.

Write a creative yet informative article about movement training and how it can build a resilient, strong, lean and athletic body is challenging.

These magazines know what most guys and gals want:  minutiae over the best or newest techniques to build muscle, lose fat and get lean.

I’d shred my chest and core by ramping up the volume of lizard crawl versus laying lifeless on a bench while pressing weight up and down… ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.

Rotation is a basic human movement action and training it consistently can provide some noticeable benefit with regard to performance and postural integrity.  It’s quite common to have people comment on their spine feeling “locked up” or “stiff”.

Insufficient mobility at the mid-back region can cause excessive motion at the lower back, as the lower back tries to pick up the slack to make everyday movements possible.

Rotational drills are great for training mid-back mobility while opening up the hip flexors and activating the powerful glute muscles.  The stretch from the hip to the shoulder is incredible.  

Injecting multi-planar and multi-joint exercises into a workout regimen can (and will)_ bridge the gap that many traditional compound lifts simply do not address.  

More examples… 

Movement 20XX exercises and sequences can be scaled for beginners and progressed for elite movers alike.  

Sequences are a series of pre-planned movements fused together.  Like a movement sentence.

Using Ido Portal’s movement classification system, Movement 20XX programming can be used in Isolation, Integration or Improvisation.  

Isolation:  Resistance Training, bodyweight strength, reps/sets, etc.

Integration:  Combining strength, flow and locomotion elements into movement pre-planned movement sequences.

Improvisation:  Moving freely about a space without a plan.

Learn more about Ido Portal here.

If you’ve never engaged in quality ground-based movement training, start by practicing drills in isolation.  Eero does a great job advocating this, but it’s worth mentioning in this post.  

Training patterns in isolation is best for learning movement mechanics and allowing the body to adapt properly.  The range of motion of each exercise can be modified to suit what you can comfortably handle at this moment and will improve with time and consistent practice.  

The human body is a brilliant adaptation machine.   

Most of my early ground-based movement flow practice involved spending focused time on 1 or maybe 2 movements in isolation.  I like to work new exercises with a “do less but do it better” type approach.    

As my movement efficiency improved, I began to string together 2, 3 even 4 exercises in a row, flowing and transitioning between each for reps or time.     

 

Every exercise has progressions leading up to mastery.  I cannot stress this enough.  Movements can be progressed for YEARS.  

Interested in getting a cardio conditioning effect from the workout?  Great.  Increase the tempo of each exercise or add time to the work set.  Flowing around a room for 8-10 minutes will elevate your heart rate as much as traditional cardio.  With the added benefit of training more movement patterns and improvisation to increase the brain’s processing speed.  

Crawling is great for loading the upper extremities, core, and sequencing.  Extremely slow tempo crawling remains one of the most eye-opening physical challenges for people.   

10-15 minutes of ground-based movement training will leave you exhausted, particularly if you’re new to it and inefficient.  

Are you going to be sore all over from this?  Yes.  Expect soreness in the days that follow.  

Newbies to ground-based movement training should consider implementing such training after the warm-up, but before resistance training in the day’s workout.  

Movement 20XX

Movement 20XX

Movement 20XX is a program I’ve become a huge fan of across the last year.

Eero Westerberg and I have a lot of similar ideas and approaches to building physical freedom, exploring different avenues of exercise and how to integrate those methods into a pre-existing regimen.

Practice these skills when the body is fresh.  

Training total body ground movements can improve all other areas of fitness.

For more information about Movement 20XX and how it can take your workouts to another level, check out the Movement 20XX website.

Watch for more posts sharing exercises, combinations, and flow!

 

 

Cheers,

Kyle

Basics of Movement 20XX| The A-B-C’s of Crawling Exercises

Motion

Movement 20XX is a brilliantly designed bodyweight fitness program that will build a  beginner’s body using appropriate exercise progressions, or challenge an experience mover looking to develop movement mastery. 

Created by Eero Westerberg, Movement 20XX is a bodyweight ground-based movement training system that integrates different training methodologies into one unique workout experience.  

With a closer look, you’ll notice elements of yoga, ground-based locomotion, and various gymnastics drills fused into one flexible training system.

Crawling is a key element of Movement 20XX.

The best fitness online programs coach up exercises in a simple and concise way, but also provide regressions and progressions to those exercises.  

With this approach, beginners can master the fundamentals and climb the ladder, while people who are higher up on the skill ladder can pursue mastery.

Everyone benefits.

Natural (bodyweight-based) movement training is a absent from most workout programs.

Preserving (ideally improving) the ability to handle our bodies in any environment, free of fancy weights and machines, moving through space/climbing/crawling/balancing/navigating…

… keeps younger for longer.

Ground Based Crawling

There are 3 basic locomotion patterns I’d like to share today:  ape, forward crawl and the crab walk.

All of these movements are bodyweight based and considered to be fundamental patterns.  

Ape will likely give people the most headaches with regard to challenge.  Smoothing out this pattern requires significant upper body strength and integration.  

Forward crawling will be the most recognizable pattern for a lot of people.   is going to be the most recognizable as it’s a basic crawling pattern.

Crab Walk is a supine (chest facing up) version of traditional crawling shared above.  

 

Ape

Forward Crawl

Crab Walk

Adding Crawling and Locomotion to Workouts

I started slow with crawling.  Not because I wanted to, because I had to.  

Even the basic patterns crushed me for short distances.  

#humblepie

Over the course of a few months, I increased the crawling frequency from 1-2 times per week (mainly during warm-ups), to  daily practice for longer distances and durations.  

I’ve posted several videos on the Meauxtion YouTube page demonstrating 5+minutes of traveling forms/crawling.  

5+ minutes may seem like a long time to be crawling without rest… and you’re right… it is. 

Ideas For Use…

When I’m looking to challenge my core and upper extremities with some loading but still engage in movement, crawling serves a valuable purpose.  

I train in the morning 99% of the time.

On days when I wake up and feel residual fatigue or muscle soreness from the previous day’s resistance training or metabolic conditioning workouts, I reach for ground based only sessions. 

It’s gentle on the joints and muscles, challenging to navigate and provides a sufficient training effect.  

While moving, I adjust the tempo of the movements (fast and slow) and also integrate each pattern into sequences.  

Ramping up tempo of the crawl will elevate heart rate quickly and create a decent little cardio training effect.

For beginners, crawling is learned best using a slow and controlled tempo.  

Slow and controlled practice allows for a better motor pattern education.  You’ll develop a better understanding of the mechanics and physical demands of each movement.  

Why Crawl?

Ground-based crawling and other locomotion patterns are both fun and challenging.  

You may find (as I did) that these patterns bring restore life into your workout regimen.  

Isolated resistance training day in and day out can get extremely monotonous. 

One secret to maintaining a healthy long-term relationship with your fitness is to keep training fresh.  

Choose activities that require increased physical AND mental engagement.  

Most of us don’t have the will power or capacity to sustain a workout regimen it despises.  You’ll fizzle out over time.

Make sure to find a workout structure that’s results oriented, challenging, yet ENJOYABLE. 

I love a good physical challenge, and these bodyweight ground-based movement patterns provide it every single time.

Engaging in more locomotion-based exercises reminded me it’s possible to finish a workout exhausted but REFRESHED, not beaten into a pulp.  

A 20-25 yard lizard crawl is both exhausting and humbling.  For me personally, diving deeper into crawl work was a splash of cold water to the face.  

Bodyweight training is an anytime, anywhere with zero equipment and limited space method of building fitness.  

Small, odd shaped, cluttered spaces become ideal areas to workout when bodyweight training is the focus.   

👉 For more info, check out the Movement 20XX

 

Related blog posts:

 

 

Kyle

 

Alternatives to Ido Portal Method

Ido Portal
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“Coming soon” since 2013…

I’ve been checking the Ido Portal Method website for 7 years hoping the “store” page would populate with a few online products.  

Take my money Ido Portal, take my money.

7 straight years of, “Coming Soon”.

I’m confident saying Ido Portal is not going to write a book or create a digital product.

Ido has mentioned in interviews he doesn’t want to chain his work to the “foreverness” of a book.  

Plus Ido Portal Method training philosophy is constantly evolving and expanding, so he’d likely have to compose a 10,000-page book on movement training, which would receive weekly edits for all eternity. 

Like others who wanted to know more about The Ido Portal Method, I started to compile notes from his old blogs, YouTube videos, and interviews.  The idea was to collect enough information, sort it out and begin piecing together a program for myself.

But at some point, I’d burned out.  

I started researching alternatives.  Something that could bring me close to the Ido Portal Method style of training, without wrecking my bank account (more on that below).

While the Ido Portal Method has brand name recognition (with movement training), I knew there had to be other training systems comparable to, possibly even better.

Initial search results confirmed that there were some amazing alternatives.  

The Bones of Ido Portal Method

Weeks of sorting through older content on Ido’s first blog, YouTube videos, and other media was time-consuming and painful.  

But, it gave me valuable insight into his movement philosophy.  

Deconstructing his training methods, it becomes clear Ido Portal Method is a carefully organized hybrid system.

A collection of many different disciplines and methods:

  •  Ground-Based Conditioning  
  •  Gymnastics
  •  Traditional Resistance Training
  •  Mobility 

Categorizing the main elements provided clarity on what to look for during my alternative program search.

Again, looking through the magnifying glass, one will find elements of gymnastics, locomotion, Yoga, traditional resistance training, dance, Capoeira along with mobility training from Functional Range Conditioning (FRC).

Most of these methods are bodyweight-based.  However, Ido does utilize barbells, dumbbells and other tools to train strength or loaded stretching.

“Expensive Machines, Cheap Bodies”, is a classic theme inside Ido’s camp.

While I disagree with going cold turkey on all gym gadgets, I do understand Ido’s point of view.  People get lured into thinking they need fancy fitness machines to get into shape, build strength, etc.

You don’t.

Equipment manufacturers do not care if you buy their products only to love it when a customer buys a product, only to use it for drying wet laundry.  They have your money, you have clutter.

The potency and power of a simple gym set up can be humbling.  A pair of gymnastics rings, an overhead pull up bar, a space to crawl/roll and a willingness to train hard more than enough to make huge gains.

The Rise of Locomotion

Ido Portal did not invent locomotion, crawling and floor flow sequences.

I know this will be difficult for some people to read, but humans crawl as babies during early development and flow-oriented training has been around for generations.

He can be credited with being one of the first to post locomotion work on YouTube.

Crawling/locomotion, bridging and various “Floreio” elements is a great way to expand workouts away from linear exercises.  It’s easy to see the Capoeira influence.

Locomotion exercises can be progressed similarly to traditional exercises, giving beginners an opportunity to practice regressions while offering advanced trainees some really difficult patterns.

Along the way, isolated locomotion work is fused with other movements to create sequences.

Movement 20XX (a digital program from Vahva Fitness described below) was one of the first programs I found to be teaching a similar ground-based conditioning/locomotion curriculum at a FRACTION OF THE COST.

Newsflash:  Online coaching with Ido Portal Method is expensive as shit.

How do you quantify “expensive as shit”?

Expensive as shit = $1,000-$2,000 for 3 months (3-4 hrs per day, 6 days per week)

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Price tag 6 years ago, best believe it’s higher now. 

It’s unlikely you’ll be coached by Ido Portal himself, but rather one of his students.  Plus, they reserve the right to fire you with zero refund.

People can justify and afford to spend $150 on a program.  Especially one with zero compromises in content and coaching, and likely a superior delivery with stream quality and support.

Across 12 months, that’s $15 per month.  Very doable.  

Spotlighted below are a few training systems worth exploring:

Movement 20XX

Movement 20XX

Movement 20XX is a bodyweight based training system that uses ground-based conditioning exercises and combinations to create pre-planned flows and movement sequences.  

Natural movement training.

Students start out by training movements in isolation, gaining strength, stability and fluidity prior to transitioning into movement sequences, and eventually improvised flow work. 

Movement 20XX blends many different movement disciplines, cherry-picking the best elements from Parkour, Yoga, bodyweight training, etc.

I started working on beginner locomotion years ago.  Doing so changed everything about my movement quality, capacity and confidence.  

It also started a shift in how I viewed the “working out” and fitness.   

The first few weeks of crawling was no joke.  It was humbling and I sucked.  But in time, my body adapted to the demands, graduating from stiff and immobile… to pliable, dynamic and strong.

My early attempts at the lizard crawl were ugly.

It’s a tough pattern.  The body position and range of motion were foreign, and the timing of the hand/foot movements was a challenge to manage.  Getting into the low position was challenging (trademark of the lizard crawl), much less moving anywhere.

I reluctantly swallowed my pride and started training as a true beginner.  The basics of crawling became my daily practice.

With practice, progression and adaptation, the Lizard Crawl became one of my favorite locomotion patterns, and still is to this day.

I experiment with a lot of hybrid variations of the lizard crawl now, along with integrating it into conditioning circuits.  Nothing like sucking wind while crawling 1 inch off the floor.  Whew.

Locomotion exercises are primarily quadrupedal (4 points of contact with arms and legs) and move the body through a natural (yet uncommon) range of motion, reconnecting the upper and lower extremities, challenge the torso muscles, timing, etc.  

I include a variety of crawling patterns in nearly all of my workouts.  

Currently, I use crawling patterns inside of pre-workout warm-ups (daily tune-up) on strength-focused days, as part of work capacity circuits or with bodyweight based flow sessions.  

The bodyweight based flow sessions are fun and equally challenging for the body and mind.  The premise is simple.  I move around a room without a plan for 10, 15, 20+  minutes.  

Here’s an example flow…

 

A lot of crawling and locomotion patterns I integrated from Ido Portal Method (skimming the blogs and social media) are being taught by Eero Westerberg in Movement20XX, which is why the program made the list as a valid alternative to Ido Portal online coaching.

Movement 20XX was designed to be effective when used remotely, which makes it great for training at home or while traveling.  The program design is progressive and structurally sound.  

 

Global Bodyweight Training

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Strength is a critical component of becoming a better mover.  

Dare I say… strength might be the most important of them all.

Strength comes in many forms.  Strength doesn’t always have to be associated with bench pressing 3x your bodyweight, deadlifting a truck or heaving a 300lb atlas stone onto a platform.

A full range of motion single arm push up is a demonstration of pure strength.

As I get older, I care less and less about quantifying my performance with numbers (weight on the barbell, etc).

What I do care about, is how my body feels the other 23 hours a day (when I’m not training) and also what I’m able to with my body in both known and unknown situations where I need to be able to perform.

There’s some truth to the old saying, “Nice body, what can you do with it?”

Bodyweight Athlete curriculum introduces and educates people on the power of leveraging bodyweight based strength training.  

When I found Global Bodyweight Training, the first thing I noticed was how closely the curriculum matched what I had designed for myself.  It was nearly a carbon copy.

I’d recently decided to trim the fat with regard to exercise selection and variation, choosing to pursue higher-level bodyweight patterns like single-arm push-ups, single-leg squat variations, handstand positioned pressing, L-Sits, etc.

Progressive bodyweight training requires plenty of body tension, attention to detail and refinement of technique.

Bodyweight Athlete is a structurally sound training program for anyone interested in experiencing the potency of bodyweight training.  

The best part about bodyweight training is it can be taken ANYWHERE.  

You’re never without an opportunity to workout.

Bodyweight-based patterns included in the curriculum:

  • Muscle Ups
  • Handstand Push-Ups
  • Single Arm Push-Ups
  • Single Arm Body Rows
  • Pistol Squats
  • Handstands
  • L-Sits
  • Human Flag 
  • Back Levers

The exercise progressions listed can be scaled for any level fitness, from beginner or elite level movers.

 

Carefully selected exercises and well-timed progression of those exercises are extremely powerful.

The human body is an adaptation machine.  In order to continue making progress, you’ve got to increase the challenge somewhere.  Increasing the challenge can mean adding load, complexity, volume, time under tension, etc.

Quality programs are designed to condition the body progressively and safely.  You want to boost performance while limiting the chance of injury during training.

Regarding injuries, always remember there is life outside of the gym.  If you’re destroying your body while working out, life is going suck.  Dealing with daily aches and pains, dysfunction and injury is no way to live.

Keep the needle moving… safely.  Your gym work should enhance your life, not take away from it.

Bodyweight Athlete emphasizes joint mobility work, core conditioning, self-myofascial release, and breathwork.  These are lesser-known elements (yet important) of a comprehensive approach to building a body.  

It’s easy to become fixated on the sexy part of the program… the exercises.

Building a high performing body is a multi-faceted approach.

Mobility, establishing and expanding your useable range of motion, is CRITICAL.

I’ll go ahead and say mobility training IS strength training.

Keeping joints buttery and strong contributes to adding useable strength to your frame and also avoiding doctor’s visits for preventable joint conditions later in life.  

Core training.  Lots of people have gone deaf to the importance of training the core.  It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why, but I think it could be because people are wasting their time with most core-focused exercises.  

In fitness, the pendulum always seems to swing too far in one direction (with concepts, machines, techniques, etc) and people get hyper-focused on things for a little while before the novelty eventually fades.

I think this is sort of what happened with core training.

Just like low load/high volume bodyweight exercises (1000 bodyweight squat workouts) do very little for increasing raw strength, limited range of motion crunches and sloppy toe-to-bar work also do little to contribute to developing a functional core.  

(Oh. My. God.  He said “functional”.  Send me a better word and I’ll edit it out)

Take a single arm push up.  If your mid-section is weak, you’ll know within the first 6 inches of the descent.  Low back with fold, ribs will flare, compensatory movement becomes the default operating system.

Approach your core training like you’d approach building other patterns (squat, deadlift, pulling, pushing, etc) and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Core conditioning still matters.

Check out Global Bodyweight Training

Strength and Movement Training

Everyone will read and digest this article differently (seeing value or maybe not seeing as much value) and I understand that we all have different financial budgets for investing in programs.  

That being said, I do believe that combining the strength work from The Bodyweight Athlete with the ground-based conditioning elements (crawling, locomotion, etc) taught in Movement20XX is an extremely powerful approach to take.  

You’re getting the best of both worlds.  Strength and natural movement training.

Train elements from each in the same workout, or, alternate every workout.

I’ve used both approaches and found each to be equally effective and enjoyable.

Either way, you’re going to make great progress.

Follow a system

Find a training system and follow it.

I’ve provided a few options for you to look into, please do.

Skipping around from program to program, using bits and pieces of various techniques doesn’t deliver the same results when compared to digging in and following every detail from a full training system.  

Building fitness and movement capacity is a multi-faceted endeavor.  

There’s plenty to consider and monitor. 

Strength, mobility, movement training, traditional resistance training all play a significant role in creating a strong, well-conditioned, injury resistant, dynamic body.

It’s a lot to think about, it’s not easy, but in time you’ll begin to gain an understanding of how to building a body.  The path to improvement should be simple, not complex.

Avoid the minutiae of complex training systems.  Both of the programs above are structured with clear communication, free of B.S. and straight to the point.

Keep it simple.  Work hard, stay consistent, bust your ass when you’re training and remember to give your body rest when necessary.

The best advice I can offer is to limit the “paralysis by analysis” and exhaustive research.

Yes, do your own homework and self-educate, observe which programs are worth trying out, but ultimately remember to settle on 1 or 2 get into the gym to do the work.

Nobody ever  “thought” themselves into a better moving body with less body fat.

At some point, you must get your hands dirty and move, even if you’re god awful.  If you’re new to this stuff, lord knows, you might be god awful.

Keep at it and your body will begin to adapt.  You’ll move with improved grace, balance, strength, and confidence.

In the beginning, nobody knows what the hell they are doing.  Not Ido Portal, not me, no one.

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If you’d like to see what I’m up to, check the Meauxtion YouTube channel or Instagram to see what my daily training looks like from a home gym. 

 

Cheers to your success,

Kyle

Basics of The Ido Portal Training Method

Ido Portal

 

Ido Portal

{Photo Credit:  www.idoportal.com}

Ido Portal Method training is taking off like rocket and growing in popularity every single day.  There’s no shortage of Ido Portal movement videos on YouTube and commentary from bloggers and podcasters regarding his views on the health and wellness industry.

[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 a deep background in strength and conditioning.  It’s traditional in every sense of the word.  Probably too traditional in fact.  It’s taken years to drop my guard on these traditional ways and open up to other movement training philosophies.  Old habits truly die hard.  

Very quickly, I realized Ido Portal Method was a different approach to “fitness”.

Ido Portal Method wasn’t pigeon-holed to doing things one way.  It was like an open platform of movement, capable of changing shape and direction, always seeking a higher standard.

The information I was taking in was unlike anything I’d seen before. 

Since my initial exposure, I’ve begun the process of digesting and translating Ido’s information.  This article represents some of that digestion and translation. 

The shift in my movement I.Q. has been profound, despite not committing 100% to his programming.  I’ve integrated many of Ido Portal style “beginner” movement drills into my own workouts with great success.  

I’ve also played around with my own variations of locomotion patterns.IMG_4167 

Above is a snapshot of a “feeler” lizard crawl exercise.  The goal of this exercise was to feel out the demands of the lizard crawl, from a strength, mobility and stability perspective.  

It’s been humbling, frustrating and exciting to explore new realms of movement.

Here’s my interpretation of the “movement culture”.

Ido Portal Training Methodology…

If you’re looking to get the summarized view (“movement” is a hard topic to summarize) of what drives Ido Portal’s movement methodology, it’s generally accepted to resemble something like the following:

Isolation—>  Integration—> Improvisation

Step 1:  Isolation

Step 2:  Integration

Step 3: Improvisation

However, of what I currently comprehend about Ido’s training philosophies, the transition from isolation to integration to improvisation serves as the fundamental backbone of the movement system.

It’s a higher standard and a logical progression.  

Here are some details on each phase…

Isolation

In the Ido Portal Method, Isolation based movement is essential to forward progress.  

Strength is a prerequisite.  You must continually work to become stronger.

Ido Portal Method Isolation = movement patterns.

Movement patterns include variations of:  squats, deadlifts, vertical pulling and pressing, horizontal pulling and pressing, glute-ham raises, rotational exercises, core training, olympic lifting, stabilization drills, kettlebells work, etc… all fall into the Isolation column.

Most of you will be familiar with these exercises.  

There’s also a heavy emphasis on high tension bodyweight-based strength training exercises in the Ido Portal exercise catalog.  

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.  Both are time-tested, proven strength building strategies essential to physical development. 

I do not believe traditional strength training (barbells, kettlebells, etc) is superior to bodyweight based training (gymnastics rings, single arm/leg, etc)

Both can serve a valuable purpose in a training program.

Increasing one’s athletic capacities with Isolation style training is the path to being able to piece together movement sequences, and eventually improvised movement flow. 

Fitness is evolving quickly.  Today’s baseline movement standards and practices are much higher than they were 2 or 3 years ago.  

Taboo training methods such as rope climbing, moving odd-objects, locomotion, spinal waves and bodyweight-based training are now in the spotlight.  

Multi-planar strength and movement freedom.

The lightbulb moment and humbling part for me was realizing that the lowest rung of Ido’s movement classification system is what are commonly viewed as the highest rung of the ladder for most anyone else.  HIGHER STANDARDS! 

There’s a realm of physical training that exists beyond fixating on sets, reps, weight lifted, and racing the clock to set new P.R.’s.  

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.   

 Flow

Ido Portal Method combines the best of many movement disciplines.

Integration

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

A squat, is no longer just a squat.  A squat fuses itself into a seamless flow with another movement pattern, no gaps between the two.  Through progression, more and more movement patterns are strung together.  A series of movement patterns formulating a “sentence” of movement.  

  • Sidenote:  Many will notice a heavy Capoeira influence in Ido’s teachings.

Here’s a video example:

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.  

Baseline movement standards have risen.  “Fitness” 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

Instagram is loaded with people who’ve discovered the movement culture.  

Another example of 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.  A lot of it is quadrupedal, performed with hand and feet in contact with the floor. 

Again, I’m talking about scenario where it’s bodyweight versus gravity using various dynamic patterns (crawling, twisting, turning, balancing, etc).  Many of these patterns are animal-like.

On first exposure, people are often quickly humbled by the amount of mobilityvand strength needed for locomotion patterns.  You’ll be sore in the days after.

I’ve found variations of the Lizard Crawl to bridge the gap between “lifting weights” and putting those gains toward challenging movement patterns.

While crawling, there’s a feeling of connectedness, awareness, task oriented challenge.  I don’t get the same feeling from squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, etc.

Improvisation…

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.  This isn’t to say significant progress won’t be made, but like anything worthwhile, practice is king.  Gains may come fast, than slow, than fast, than halted, etc.   

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 for a long, long time.  

In interviews, Ido has mentioned several times he thinks there is a dimension to be explored beyond Improvisation.  Where do we go after improvisation?  Ido wasn’t quite sure, but the feeling is that something else exists.

Levitation? 🙂

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 must 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 (Isolation exercises, squats, pulling, etc) is fundamental to progress.  Further down in this article I’ve shared two training programs that will bring a person very close the foundational work needed to progress through the Ido Portal Method.  

At the end of the day, a stronger, more stable, more mobile, more resilient body makes for a more useful human.  A life lived through movement can be an exhilarating life.  

Training Programs Similar to Ido Portal Method

Several years ago, I started looking for alternatives to the Ido Portal Method because nothing was being offered through Ido’s web store link.  It seemed like there were plans to create a product, but ultimately it never came to be.  

Here are a few programs I highly recommend:

  • Movement 20XX
  • Global Bodyweight Training
  • MyDailyMobility

Each program provides a different benefit.  Yet used in combination, they help each accelerate results. 

Movement 20XX  is the program for learning and practicing ground-based movement, locomotion patterns (lizard crawl, etc), building movement sequences and graduating to improvised flow work.  Movement 20XX is the best option in the ground based conditioning department.

Global Bodyweight Training teaches the potency of properly administered bodyweight strength training techniques.  Strength is critical for performance and long-term health.  Pistol squats, one arm push ups, handstands, l-sits, body levers, upper body pulling, etc.  The most effective movements are detailed in GBT.  

MyMobilityDaily is a mobility based training system designed expand joint range of motion and create OWNERSHIP (strength, stability and control) over the range of motion.  Building strength at end range is CRITICAL.  The follow along techniques in MDM create full ownership over your joints. Effective mobility training is the most mis-understood area of fitness.  Gym goers perform leg swings, T-Spine drills and static stretches for years without any results.  

The guys at MDM are teaching techniques from Functional Range Conditioning, which is the single best thing to happen to the fitness industry.  

Starting in on a quality mobility training regimen is life changing. 

I’ll have a full write up on why MDM is a game changer.

Here’s bit more about Movement 20XX and Global Bodyweight Training…

Movement 20XX

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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 consists mainly of quadrupedal ground-based exercises like crawling (Lizard Crawl, etc), switches, transitions, etc… and you’ll find a ton of floor work inside of
Movement 20XX.  

Integrating Movement 20XX into my own workout regimen has been a game changer.  

Flow training broke the monotony of traditional lifting and brought me back to natural movement, free of equipment, just me, my thoughts, my bodyweight and the floor.  

It restored the creative side of moving and put the spotlight on my lack of body awareness in space, mobility and strength.  

Depending on how I structure elements of Movement 20XX for the day, it’s also been great for strength-endurance work.  

Movement 20XX is loaded with smart exercise progressions.  

Novice or advanced, it doesn’t matter. Movement 20XX provides exercise progressions for all movement levels, all of the way up to movement mastery.    

Movement 20XX introduction to ground based movement begins with pre-planned movement sequences, very similar to Ido Portal Method.

Crawling patterns, switches and transitions are all worked in isolation first, integrated into flowing sequences, and later fused into improvised flow workouts.

Similar to Ido Portal Method, Movement 20XX combines ideas from many different movement disciplines to create a hybrid system of movement.  

The tempo of exercises and workouts can be manipulated to elicit a cardio-strength training effect or a dynamic yoga-like experience.

I’ve played around with adjusting the tempo, exercise variations and even brought Movement 20XX based exercises into cardio based work capacity circuits for conditioning.   

My Experience with Movement 20XX

I stumbled onto Movement20XX not long after finding The Ido Portal Method.  

At the time, I wanted to know what was beyond lift weights, adding weight, etc.  

Crawling patterns peaked my interest, but I wasn’t sure where to start or how to implement crawling into my workouts.

Natural, bodyweight-based ground conditioning seemed like a logical approach to filling in the gaps missed from traditional resistance training.  

Founder of Vahva Fitness and creator of Movement 20XX, Eero Westerberg, has great movement capacity and was demonstrating a lot of these ground based techniques on his YouTube channel.  

This led me to Movement 20XX.

Since then, I’ve cherry-picked many different exercises and movement sequences from Movement 20XX.  

I started with the basics.  

The first few months of ground work left me frustrated and sore.  

I was a pretty athletic guy, but felt uncoordinated, lost in space and flustered with the sloppiness of my movement.  

My spinal control was terrible.  Years of “bracing”, “neutral spine” and stability training had left me SUPER STIFF.  In time, this improved.  

Comparing older videos to more recent videos, it’s amazing to see the difference.  

It’s liberating (and fatiguing) to move around an open space for 20-30 minutes, varying the movement patterns, sequences and tempo.  

👉 Learn more Movement 20XX, here’s the official website: Movement 20XX

Global Bodyweight Training:  

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Strength is the foundation of movement and control over one’s bodyweight.

Bodyweight Athlete is a bodyweight based strength program designed to build premiere movement patterns, such as horizontal pushing, horizontal pulling, vertical pushing, single leg squats and progressive core training.

Bodyweight Athlete covers the following:

  • 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

Improving performance in any or all of the movements listed above has great transfer into ground flow training and eventually, improvised work.  

Earning higher level movement requires an constant pursuit of strength in basic bodyweight movement patterns.  Pressing, pulling, squatting, core strength and stability, etc.  Single arm and single leg work.  

Once I realized how potent effective bodyweight training can be, it changed my opinions on what it means to be “strong” and have bodyweight control.    

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

   

The human body is adaptation machine. 

You‘ll struggle with many of these bodyweight movements early on.  

In the beginning, only the eccentric phase of single arm push ups might manageable.  

With consistent practice and adaptation, full range single arm push ups become a reality.  

Same goes for lower body and core drills.  The human body is an adaptation machine if you keep introducing progressive stress.  

Proper progression, consistent practice and willingness to put forth effort will transform your performance.

Strength (like many athletic qualities) is built with…

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

Smart progressions are extremely powerful.  Combining smart exercise progressions with simple accessory work like mobility, stability and flexibility training… strength gains can be made safely and quickly.  

Improving the basics of Isolation is often a missing link to building movement capacity.

Gaining strength in isolated chunks is essential to improving movement capacity.  

GBT’s flagship training program,  “Bodyweight Athlete” costs $150.  

Considering the time you’ll likely waste trying to piece meal your own program or the cost per hour of hiring an in-person coach, that $150 investment quickly becomes quite inexpensive.

Bottomline…

Find a program and follow the details.  When movements, reps, sets, flows start to feel easy, move on to the next progression.  Celebrate your progress but don’t celebrate for too long.  Set your sights on the next challenge

Don’t be afraid to film yourself.  Take before and after videos to see the progress.  There are few things more motivating than to to see your movement (and your body) change.  It’s a highly personal experience and very rewarding.  You put in the work and you receive the reward.  

Speed bumps and stalls in progress are temporary.  Deliver the training stimulus, recover, adapt, attack the training stimulus once again.   

There will be days and weeks where you feel like you’re not gaining any ground on your goals.  These are the moments are when you strap in and train harder/smarter, with increased focus and intent.  Discipline.  

Above all else, keep moving and moving often. 

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If you’ve enjoyed the material here, make sure you check out other M(eaux)tion content:

Cheers to the Basics of The Ido Portal Training Method…

KG

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