Primal Move Workout #4 - Putting It All Together
Welcome to my four part video series of Primal Move workouts. Primal Move is an approach to human movement that prioritizes basic, natural movement. Through movements we learned as a baby we can help our bodies gain flexibility, repair and prevent injury, and build strength and skills. You can read more about it in my article about what primal movement is and why you need it.
If you missed the other segments:
Like the previous workout this workout revolves around mirroring and interaction. My partner’s job is to do what I do as I do it, as if looking into a mirror. There are many ways we can cue this to happen from visual cues to audible ones and it is an open-ended process that is restricted only by your imagination. The game we are going to use in this workout is the same game as last time – Ant – however we are going to change it a little by having one partner have their eyes closed and be directed by the other partner. Knowing this means we don’t need to do the early parts of the workout with eyes closed.
- The first movements are made up of the Primal Flow Evaluation – our self-assessment of our body to find out what our restrictions are for today. Starting with ankle mobility checks of plantar and dorsi flexion as well as rotation in both directions for ten reps each.
- We then move to a supine position and check for neck mobility. Perform five reps each way. One of the things I find about checking the neck in this position rather than from an upright one is that I have better movement here. Working on it in a lying position allows me to actually extend my range so that when I return to standing it should be improved.
- The next movement is a bent leg scissor movement similar to the FMS Active Straight Leg Raise test. The hamstrings and hip flexors both play key roles in many movements and while we are keen to add range of movement we also want to see symmetrical movement. Perform five reps each leg.
- The next move – Archer – is another leg raise variation but includes a little movement laterally. Personally I find this a challenging movement as I spend a lot of time doing straight-line work from running, cycling and kettlebells so spending some time on a drill that opens my hips out is beneficial. Again, five reps each leg.
- We then come up to sitting and move into Figure 4. Repeating Figure 4 switches five times on each leg and repeat that sequence in the Figure 4 Lunge position too.
- We transfer straight into a quadruped position and then creep on the spot (remember, creeping is crawling but with the knees on the ground) touching our opposite shoulder on each rep. Perform five each side. This is a great way to introduce crawling to people. Some will lack the strength in the arms, or find the position uncomfortable on the wrists and creeping allows less weight to be on the arms.
- Moving into crawling on the spot we repeat the same pattern touching the opposite shoulder. Again, five reps each side.
- Return to the floor and perform five cobra stretches exhaling on the way up and relaxing the body to allow full extension. Make sure the arms reach full lock. Don’t worry if your hips come off the ground just make sure your arms go fully straight.
- Return to the prone position on the ground and perform five S waves on each side checking for shoulder mobility. If going by the FMS guides your hands should be able to get within one and a half hand spans of each other. You can see that Shannon can nearly touch her hands together while mine are quite far apart – I’ve got some work to do!
- Staying prone we go into an easy rolling patter, the Sweep Roll. Sweep one arm around in front of you in a bag arc following it with your eyes. As it goes past your centre line continue using that movement to roll you over to your back as well as giving a gentle push with the opposite hand. Cup the sweeping hand around your head so that your elbow is now pointing at the roof. To return look through the hole created by that arm and reach out with your other hand for a far away object. Resist the temptation to throw your arm over and use momentum, instead gently reach and use that to roll your body over. Perform three reps each way.
- We then move into our game. To begin Shannon has her eyes closed and is responding to my verbal cues. It’s important to make sure that if you are the one giving directions that you give them correctly. Remember that they are facing the opposite direction so your left is their right, forward for you is backwards for them and so on. We added to the challenge by agreeing that if a person moves the wrong way and the towel drops they would do a push up as punishment. You’ll see that once we get into the corner we swap roles and Shannon is now in charge and I have my eyes closed. She gives me a direction and then moves the wrong way causing the towel to drop and has to do a push up.
- Finally we finish with a quick bout of low-level plyometric work to get the body ready for harder and faster training in our main session.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and have started integrating some of the crawling, rolling and PFE work into your sessions and you’re finding out how much fun it can be. For more details on Primal Charge courses you can go to primalmove.com or for North America Dragon Door will be running workshops.
If you missed the other segments: