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Develop Cat Like Agility with Animal Movements

Last week I asked my facebook members what they would like to work on in their training. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who included Agility as one of their answers.

Too many attend gyms, lift weights, get stronger and leaner and in doing so become locked into the movement patterns they train the most. It’s not just the gym population but runners, cyclists and even many martial artists.

People become locked into the movements that they train in the gym at the expense of all other natural movements. Hence we have cyclists who can’t run or jump. We’ve Judo/Jiu Jitsu players who walk around hunched over, we have strength athletes that can’t lift their arms over head and so on, so forth.

So to hear people recognising that agility is an important part of fitness makes my heart sing!

If you play a “chaotic” sport, such as rugby, Mixed Martial Arts and a few others that require constant changes in posture, changes in direction, height changes, speed & power generation in a variety of directions, then you’re probably going to be fairly agile already. But most sports are becoming more and more contrived, meaning the people that play them are becoming more and more locked into certain movement patterns which leads to losses in mobility and as a result agility.

And that’s those who play sports. What about those that simply lift for general fitness/aesthetics? I was at another friends gym a while ago and was surprised at her own lack of athletic movement even though her I highly rate her strength training routines and the aesthetic results they give.

But without an athletic outlet, you simply end up looking good while standing still.  For me, that’s just not good enough, we need to look good in motion. We need fluid, cat like movements, not stiff muscle bound actions.

And the best way to do this? With animal based bodyweight drills.

Animal movements have been a staple of traditional martial arts conditioning since day dot. And for good reason. Animals run, jump, crawl, roll and simply enjoy their bodies. Animals don’t “train” they play. And while, yes, we do need progressively programmed training, we must never forget to spend time playing.

Animal movements invite us to get on all fours and crawl, to roll, to spin, to jump and to flow. and while they are doing so they train the body to move in various directions, not just the saggital plane. They are joint mobility, they are asking for strength and power to be produced in unusual directions, re wiring the nervous system, developing coordination, endurance and with gentle persistence, agility.

During this Sundays bodyweight workshop I’ll be sharing a host of animal based drills taken from the Asian martial arts that ask you to roll, crawl and jump, forwards, backwards and with a little imagination can be combined into universal patterns. All while having a bit of fun.

There are still a few places available.

Event: Bodyweight Workshop – Equipment free strength & fitness from the martial arts and more. Location: Wild Geese, Magennis Place, Pearse St, D2 Times: 1000 – 1600 Cost: €50pp To Book: email



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