Home Workouts! Bodyweight Flow to Challenge Balance, Mobility and Endurance

Motion

Bodyweight training can (and probably should) be the foundation of any home workout.

No matter where you go, what equipment is or isn’t available, bodyweight based exercise is a card that can be ALWAYS be played.

There many ways to design and organize a bodyweight workout.  

Varying the tempo, joint range of motion, training on one leg, changing levels, balancing, transitions between exercises are all ways to keep bodyweight training fresh and effective.

Today’s workout is non-traditional, imagine that. 

If Yoga, locomotion, and calisthenics got together, partied and made a baby, this flow would be the result.

Flow training is like a more dynamic form of Yoga.  

I find myself sharing a lot of slow-tempo movements and flow sequences on YouTube and Instagram.  

Subconsciously, it might be a knee-jerk reaction to counterbalance all of the high-intensity training videos out there.  

Removing momentum from movements can reveal strengths and weaknesses with regard to what positions and motions you own versus what you don’t.  

Here’s the bodyweight flow:

This flow is designed to be mirrored on the right and left side and can be performed as a warm-up or as the workout itself.  Changing legs on the single-leg squat will keep you alternating sides. 

If you choose to use it as a workout, set a timer and keep working for the duration non-stop.  

Aim for 20 minutes.  If you get 20 minutes, go to 25 minutes, 30 minutes, etc.  

You’ll be exhausted (in a positive way) moving like this for long periods, and it might be an eye-opening shift away from high-intensity training.  

Muscles will fatigue and heart rate will elevate, even though you’re moving slow and steady.  

This flow is low-impact on the joints but does require a decent amount of joint mobility. 

Focus on momentum free movement.  

Especially with the modified hip CARs (controlled articular rotations).  Do your best to ONLY articulate the hip joint without changing posture to do so.  Obviously, in the video, I’m moving elsewhere but the goal is to keep the movement at the hip.

CARs are incredible for joint health, especially the hips which are supposed super mobile, but oftentimes aren’t.

Most people lack mobility at key joints like the hip, which forces other joints to try and pick up the slack, but so commonly ends up creating greater issues (aches, pains, injury).  

MyDailyMobility.com is a really good follow along resource to keep up with daily mobility work.  The guys upload new workouts all the time.  Last time I checked they had 5 months’ worth of workouts for customers.

Similar to resistance training (muscle) and cardio (endurance), mobility must be practiced consistently for maintenance and improvement.

Use it or lose it.

[You can see me lose balance returning to the single-leg stance.  I could have reshot the video and uploaded a perfect rep, but I decided to keep the original because this flow will test your balance.]

After the single-leg deadlift (Warrior 3 to the Yoga peeps) descending to the floor gracefully is the next order of business.  While this flow is controlled, learning how to fall is a skill people could really benefit from, especially older folks.  

Lowering down to the floor stress your pushing muscles and core.  You’re basically hitting the brakes on the way down, and stepping on the gas to stand back up.  

Lastly, expect the final move to make you cramp at the hips.  It’s aggressive.  Squat down, lift the hovering leg as high as possible and REACH.  

Find the floor, transition through the middle and get deep into the Cossack squat.  

Flow completed.  

Stand up and start over.  

Movement sequences like this are perfect for a home workout.  

No equipment is needed, it’s just bodyweight, balance, expressing strength and mobility while flowing into and out of various body positions.  

🤔 Want to make this flow harder?  Add a weight vest,slow down the tempo ever more or speed up the tempo and move quicker.  

👉 Make sure to check out more M(EAUX)TION fitness content on Instagram and YouTube.  

Benefits of the Crab Reach Exercise

Motion

The Crab Reach is a great bodyweight exercise with a whole bunch of options of use before, during and after a workout.  

For a simple bodyweight move, this exercise offers a lot of benefits. 

Benefits of the Crab Reach

  • Posterior chain activation and hip extension
  • Active Thoracic Mobility
  • Anterior body stretch (hip flexors, quads, torso)
  • Shoulder stability/endurance emphasis in loaded shoulder
  • Trunk rotation
  • Right and Left Side 
  • Low-impact

Combat Sitting 

The Crab Reach is a great exercise to battle/off-set the negative effect of long duration sitting. 

It’s not “the cure”, the only tool or the “best” tool, but it’s a good one to implement on a regular basis.   

Reversing aches and pains caused by primarily long duration sitting requires dedication, discipline, and volume.  There is no quick fix.  

A quick hip flexor stretch, thoracic mobilization, and glute bridge are not going to cancel out 8+ hours of sitting in the same turtle-like, wound up position.  

Body restoration takes time, effort, consistency and volume.  Lots of repetitions, likely lots of time and an aggressive mindset.  Assuming you’re doing everything right, expect improvements over time.

Most people slump like a turtle while sitting.  Sitting like a slouchy turtle for 8-10 hours per day, 5 days per week isn’t good for our bodies.

We become the positions we use most.  

Fill in Gaps with Movement Training

Strength and conditioning built from traditional resistance training can benefit greatly from practicing multi-planar movements like the crab reach.   

Deadlifts are great.  Chin-ups are great.  Rows, push-ups and rotational core training are all great.

These are fundamental movements to build a strong body.  

But there are movement gaps leftover from each of these exercises.  

Once you’re on the floor crawling, transitioning between locomotion exercises, you find out pretty quick there’s a difference between squatting up and down with lots of weight on the bar and moving gracefully through space.  

It’s humbling. 

Exploring bodyweight oriented movement is a key piece of the fitness puzzle that will improve your movement IQ and create a well-functioning body.  

What’s a well-functioning body?

Strong (proportionate to what a person needs to thrive in daily life), mobile, confident in many different postures/positions/patterns, conditioned, free of aches and pains. 

Ground-based conditioning is a great way to backfill any gaps resistance training is not designed to address.  

Free-flowing, multi-planar fitness. 

Practicing postures and movement patterns less common to daily life. 

Improving strength, mobility and stability in uncommon movements make everyday exercises feel easy. 

Rotation

Looking at the average person’s exercise favorites, it’s usually a shortlist made up of linear resistance training and a sprinkling of cardio. 

Break out of the linear matrix. 

Every repetition of Crab Reach moves the body through a multi-planar, active range of motion.  

Through the range of motion, the body will extend and rotate.  

The twist is visible from the hip flexor, moving diagonally through the mid-section to the loaded shoulder.  

How to Use Crab Reach in Workouts

Ground-based bodyweight movement is extremely versatile.   

Keeping it simple, here are a few different options to integrate the crab reach into daily fitness:

  •  In the warm-up
  •  Filler exercise during a lifting session
  •  As part of a flow sequence

Crab Reach can be practiced in isolation or as a combination. 

I recommend practicing new movements in isolation to increase focus on technique. 

Practicing an exercise in isolation is better to understand the mechanics and demands is best. 

Isolating the exercise will give you the opportunity to focus on the mechanics of the movement and spatial awareness.

Warming Up with the Crab Reach

Movement flow exercises are perfect for pre-workout warm-ups. 

These movements are generally dynamic, full range of motion exercises that require movement into and out unique body positions, angles and tempo.  

Crab reach can serve as a valuable movement prep before exercises like deadlifts or kettlebell swings.

Crab Reach as Part of the Workout


Positioning the Crab Reach as part of a Tri-Set is a great way to isolate and practice the exercise while staying active/productive during a strength training session. 

Here’s an example a simple Tri-Set:

Exercise A) Front Squats

Exercise B) Chin-Ups

Exercise C)  Crab Reach

Crab Reach acts as a non-competing exercise with the front squats and chin-ups. 

Flow Training

Crab Reach can be used to create a simple bodyweight flow.

Start with two exercises separated by a switch to keep it simple.  Here’s an example:

The video above is an example of a simple movement sequence.

For an added challenge, increase the number of exercises in the sequence to 4, 5, 6 and beyond. 

Adding more exercises to create longer flows is great for the mind-body connection. 

The ultimate goal of movement training is improvisation, which is essentially moving without a plan.

Improvisational movement is an idea I plucked from Ido Portal’s movement hierarchy, which looks like this:

Isolation —> Integration —>  Improvisation

Read more about Ido Portal Method here.

Reps/Sets/Time 

In the beginning, keep the reps low.  

6-8 reps per side is a good place to start.

Focus on a slow and controlled tempo through the fullest range of motion you can make happen.

After you are feeling good about the mechanics, increase the volume. 

Don’t be shy about bumping up the reps to 15-20 reps per side.  Setting a timer can be a nice option.  

Not interested in counting reps?  

Set a timer and go.  Alternating right and lefts for 2-5 minute timed sets can free’s you up from having to count reps. 

Summary…

  • Bodyweight ground-based movements are effective for building strength, mobility, endurance, and movement IQ
  • Crab Reach is a versatile exercise that can be performed anywhere and anytime.  
  • Benefits of the Crab Reach include posterior chain activation, anterior body lengthening, thoracic mobility, body awareness in space.
  • The Crab Reach is great to include in warm-ups, during the workout or as flow training.  
  • The Crab Reach is an effective exercise to help mitigate aches/pains from sitting, restore function.

Want to Go Deeper? Check This Out…  

Vahva Fitness has created a fully streamable bodyweight-based movement program called Movement20XX.

The movement curriculum in Movement20XX is progressive, challenging, and scalable for beginners, intermediates and all the way up to people seeking movement mastery.   

Movement training is easily scaled to suit each person’s skill level.

Movement20XX is one of a small number of hand-picked online fitness programs I support.