When most of us think about the words “strength training,” we envision an exercise being done with resistance, like dumbbells or barbells. Squats and shoulder presses are examples. In the fitness community, we call exercises like these that are done with an external load “absolute exercises.”
On the contrary, “relative strength” training is training that uses one’s bodyweight only. You might think of push-ups and sit-ups as examples of relative strength training. And like most absolute exercises they tend to put the body in more linear positions.
Now while I use both methods of training to support your goals, I feel that both methods don’t allow enough multiplanar movement. Multiplanar movements are more cylindrical in nature and involve twisting and turning like ballet.
And the best way that I have found to accomplish this sort of training outside of sports like baseball, basketball and football is called, “Animal Flow.”
Animal Flow is ground based, bodyweight training that includes reactionary components like vision and audio. If you have ever done a bear crawl or crab walk you have done Animal Flow. But what you might not have realized is these are not the only “animal” movements out there.
Check out the video below of me calling out a “flow” to a client. Pay attention to how she must look, listen and be totally “present” to execute the moves. And how her body moves in circles more so than straight lines. Now imagine doing this for an hour. It’s harder than it looks! Enjoy the 1-minute video!