3 Advanced Movement Applications

May 7, 2021 by VAHVA Fitness

Teacher Eero Westerberg demonstrating 3 advanced movement applications. Many of these are explosive and powerful. Not for beginners.

In this video and article you will learn 3 advanced movement applications. And when we say they are advanced – they are really advanced.

But fear not, we are also providing instructions regarding how to progress to this level and what easier variations you can work on prior to trying these advanced movement exercises.

Two of the movements are extraordinarily difficult in their final form but the Quadruped Shuffle a lot of people can start practicing if they are at a medium level of fitness.

But now, let's get to it. Below you can find lots of very detailed instructions to these 3 movements from the teacher Eero Westerberg. Enjoy!

1. LIZARD DASH

lizard dash movement

There’s already a lot to master in the regular lizard crawl which is an advanced feat by itself. It will test your body’s ability to move fluently on the ground.

For many, a regular abdominal plank is a challenge. Imagine the same while moving forward as close to the floor as possible while your torso is tilting from side to side with the movement of your arms.

Now imagine doing the same in an explosive manner.

We’re talking about simultaneous control of the triceps, supportive scapula muscles, obliques, rectus abdominis, hip rotators, quads, forearms and more. 

Many of these muscle fibres you will work very intensely during the crawl, while others have a more subtle role which you may start to understand only later in the mastery process.

The explosive Lizard Dash is a continuum from the controlled lizard crawl which obviously needs to be mastered first. Our Movement 20XX offers the tools to achieve this.

In the regular crawl, you articulate every step carefully. You’re constantly connected to the ground. The work of the muscles is continuous and throughout every single step. This is crucial for building the underlying mobility and body control.

The Lizard Dash breaks this rhythm by turning every step essentially into one short exhale. The basic lizard position becomes a loaded spring where with rapid thrusts you complete each step. 

The role of the initiation is emphasized and you may notice your leg muscles working harder because these leg muscles can produce a lot of force to push your body forward.

Your chest, shoulders, arms and core will still get developed to a high level since they need to absorb the impact of this movement and keep you supported and springy.

You will be utilizing the strength and structure you’ve built with the regular crawl. You will be challenging this structure further by placing it under greater stress through explosive movements.

With the Lizard Dash, you can expect to build a whole different level of power to your ground movements and have the ability to produce tremendous force from challenging positions.

2. QUADRUPED SHUFFLE

cat shuffle

The Quadruped Shuffle is an excellent conditioning movement that develops agility and powerful core rotation.

The entry requirements are not as demanding as for the Lizard Dash but you should be fluent in the cat walk and cat position before attempting this one. We have a 90 seconds challenge for the cat position here.

Quadruped Shuffle begins from the cat position from where you move forward by taking short steps. With every step, you kick to the opposite side. To do this you must twist from your core.

The rotation of the core is the key for this movement. It creates special development in the muscles responsible for the rotation – obliques. 

Obliques have many important functions in the body and they can produce a major amount of force in many athletic movements like punching or swinging a bat.

These muscles also create "the complete look" for your abdominals producing the sharp definition to the sides of your midsection.

The challenge of this movement comes from the speed because you need to switch the rotation from side to side very rapidly. We’re keeping the body compact and the movements short and rapid to maximize the speed. 

This will stimulate the obliques very hard along with the six-pack muscle, rectus abdominis, which is also forced to work to support this movement.

Keep everything, tight, short and quick. This will also challenge your cardio and it's a great exercise to develop strength endurance in the core and shoulders.

3. FLEA HOP

flea hop exercise

Flea Hop is a two-leg jump variation where you bounce high into the pike position.

The Flea Hop is a special jump because it will not only build elasticity and explosiveness to the lower body but also to the core. When I started practicing  this movement my abdominals were sore for nearly a week from just one session.

To fold your body into the pike during the jump takes tremendous abdominal compression force. You need to pull the whole length and weight of your legs toward your chest with incredible speed – this is not a small task.

For some, rounding the spine with speed may seem somewhat risky but you must understand that this is not a movement you work on to build yourself up. It's an advanced application, not a foundational exercise.

This is a movement that allows you to build your explosiveness and power further after you’ve already developed sufficient levels of mobility, flexibility and strength in the required parts of your body.

In any case, this movement can be done safely and effectively with correct preparation.

You first need to work on the regular pike stretch and then start building up your strength and control in this forward folded posture. A good exercise to develop this you can find from our 100% free Adayofmobility.com mobility class.

Another good exercise is the Jefferson Curl with light weights. Movement drills such as the bear walk also stretch your posterior chain very nicely.

To build up the core, regular crunches, sit-ups and leg raises should be practiced first. To add explosiveness, jackknifes replicate the compression required for the Flea Hop quite perfectly. This and the other drills for explosive power we cover in Athlete 20XX.

In regards to leg development, the Flea Hop emphasizes the front thighs because it starts from a position similar to a toe squat where the knee joints are strongly flexed. This recruits the quadriceps more compared to many hip-dominant flat-footed jumping patterns.

How to start? Prepare your body diligently and start with smaller jumps to gain the full benefits of this advanced drill.

See Human Movement in Full Color

Eero Westerberg

Movement training makes it very evident that everything in your body needs to be connected and work seamlessly together.

You may be able to perform difficult one-dimensional lifts but if your core and extremities are not integrated with one another, you won’t be able to move effectively or efficiently. 

Many small things have to play together so our bodies can produce efficient and safe movement. Movement training can help our body to carry us with ease through our whole lives.

When we observe the fitness landscape, movement training is one of the areas that is the most neglected among general gym-goers. Yoga is a great substitute but it's still only a substitute.

Your body was designed to move and move in versatile movement patterns. It's necessary to train the body in more structured and methodological ways but your body and mind also demand complexity and variability for health and growth.

You want a body where each individual part is integrated into the harmony of the whole which is not the case in the modern fitness culture. 

You want to be able to move and let the body express itself without tightness, restrictions and hindering weaknesses. 

Life doesn't have to be black and white. Movement training allows you to experience the world in full color because it opens up the doors you originally thought were closed or just hidden. 

A teacher is merely the key and the guide, the student is responsible for following the path and opening the door.

Stay strong.


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samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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