"Animal Flow," the hit new fitness workout recently featured on TV's "Good Morning America" will soon debut at Equinox South Beach.
I was privileged to participate in a special preview of this new Equinox Signature class, which was personally conducted by Mike Fitch, the creator of "Animal Flow" gave just before he headed to Manhattan to unveil the class on national TV. My own experience of animal flow, which included scuttling about the floor like a crab, was an excellent introduction to this new form of exercise that is inspired by the way animals maneuver in the wild.
Animal Flow is a full-body discipline that burns calories while building strength and fostering flexibility, and all without the use of weights, which Fitch, a veteran fitness trainer and former body builder, gave up three years ago in favor of developing this rigorous, but fluid, weight-free program.
The program has been so well-received that it is being rolled out through Equinox's network of luxury fitness centers.
After the class, Fitch gave me the scoop on Animal Flow:
Q: How did you come to create Animal Flow?
After spending more than 15 years pounding out the weights, twelve of them as a personal trainer and teaching others proper lifting techniques, I was ready for a serious change. I decided to go in the opposite direction and only study bodyweight disciplines. (Exercises that depend solely on the weight of a person's body.) These include gymnastics, parkour (a holistic training technique using movement developed from obstacle course training), circus arts, hand balancing and even breakdancing. It was the combination of all these disciplines that inspired Animal Flow.
Q: What makes Animal Flow unique?
Although animal movements are nothing new (they've been used for thousands of years), it's the combination of the other "flow" movements that makes this program unique.
Q: How so?
Animal Flow teaches people how to use their entire body through multiple planes of motion, creating a seamless transfer of movements that increase power, strength, stability and flexibility. Also, in the majority of Animal Flow movements, both hands and feet are in contact with the ground, meaning every muscle is active and working together. More muscles being used equals more oxygen (cardio) and more calories burned (fat burning).
Q: Why do you refer to Animal Flow as a "practice," like they do in yoga, and not as a workout?
Like I tell everyone in my workshops, it only took me about three months to create the Animal Flow program but it's taken me everyday since to learn it and I'll continue to be a student of the program. Each movement seems basic, but the effects on the body are incredibly complex. You may be able to learn some of the movements in just a few classes, but there's so much room to improve and really "own" them. The Animal Flow can be a lifelong practice. I know it will be for me!
Based on my experience, I agree that it does take time and dedication to master the movements, but just learning them provides a unique - and fun - experience. I'm looking forward to adding Animal Flow to my own Equinox South Beach regimen.
Animal Flow classes begin in Equinox South Beach in November. The classes are already offered in the Equinox fitness clubs in Aventura and Coral Gables.
More info: Equinox South Beach