5 Advanced Dragon Movements for Health & Strength

August 21, 2022 by VAHVA Fitness

5 different animal movements that we call "dragon movements" because they are powerful forms of the lizard crawl. Get ready, these are something special.

Animal Movement Strength Training done right is one of the most versatile and multifaceted forms of training you will ever do.

Obviously, everyone starts from the basics and the first basic forms will be very simple and almost rigid but when you progress and utilize the Variability Method (of Movement 20XX Method), the movements become incredibly versatile and fluid.

With the balance of mobility and stability, and fluid movement, you will build a body that looks and performs on a different level compared to a body built with conventional gym training.

Your body is an incredible machine and you should strive towards unleashing all the potential you have. And we all have a lot more potential than we think and can dream of. 

Animal Movement Strength Training is one of the ways you can start unleashing your potential as a mover, mobilize every single joint of your body, built protective supportive strength and develop a monstrous amount of strength.

1. Wave Tail

wave tail movement movement 20xx

This dragon has elements from a fairly commonly known exercise called Hindu Push ups. You dive your head down like performing the push up but your hands are placed unevenly and only one leg is touching the ground.

With each dive you take a step forward and try to make your body move as a wave. The leg in the air is the tail that whips down as the last part of this whole body wave chain.

The more obvious benefit of the Wave Tail is the shoulder strengthening. Due to the wave like motion your entire shoulder area has to support you through a much larger range compared to just doing pike push ups or traditional push ups.

At times you also support your body with just one arm and you're sure to feel an intense sensation in your deltoids and triceps.

The specialty of this movement lies in the coordination.

To make your body behave like a fluid wave while moving forward low on the ground is a very challenging task. You need to be simultaneously aware of multiple different body parts and segments and to be able to move them in congruence.

Your spine will flex sideways, forward and backwards. In Qigong there's a concept called the “Dragon Body”. It refers to a soft and flexible body and this is exactly what great movement training can develop – a both robust and limber midsection, a body belonging to a true beast.

2. Ground Rumbler

eero westerberg animal movements

Are you ready to embody the nature of a rumbling, thundering and stomping dragon that crushes everything on its way?

In this Dragon, your torso should stay at one level without moving up and down with the steps. Place your arms wider like you were to perform a wide push up. With every step try to raise your elbow and heel high in the air and bring them down with forceful and sharp movement.

Although not so complex for coordination, the Ground Rumbler is an exhaustive movement because of its aggressive nature. Your arms are also constantly bent so you never get to rest them.

The transitory position between steps when you're on one arm and one leg will heavily engage your chest and shoulder's supportive structure. This is also impossible to perform without good core stability which you will notice very quickly. It's simply a monster of a movement

3. Wing Whipper

wing whipper m20xx

Here we have again one from the category of more fluid moving dragons. The Wing Whipper is perhaps the least tiresome of the dragons and focuses more on the limberness and flexibility of the spine and hips.

The starting position is an extremely low lunge position one leg fully extended back while the other is in the front bent as in a toe squat. The back is arched making this posture itself a great hip-flexor and abdominal stretch.

With every step your torso raises up allowing the back leg to come to the front under your body. This creates a fluid and continuous movement between arched and rounded spine.

Wing whipper is an excellent movement to mobilize the spine and stretch open the lower body with plenty of repetitions which also warm up and activate the muscles that are being lengthened. This dragon gets your body in the groove.

4. Crawl Crawler

lizard crawl movement 20xx

This one is very similar to the traditional Lizard Crawl which is the base of all Lizard and Dragon movements you see me doing. The Lizard Crawl is covered from the beginning to the end in the Movement 20XX method.

However, there's a small change which makes a huge difference. Instead of placing the entire palm down like you normally would, this crawl is performed supported on the fingers.

The regular Lizard Crawl is a very advanced and difficult movement already due to maintaining the position low on the ground which places great pressure on your upper body musculature.

The Claw Crawler just adds the strengthening of the fingers to the mix. What most do not understand is that activating the fingers also engages the wrist and forearm muscles and this in turn helps to activate the shoulders and so on.

You can try this even if you can't support yourself on the fingers. Just press your fingers on the ground while moving and it immediately increases your full body integrity.

Staying on the actual fingers is just on another level, just like this Dragon variation.

5. Leaping Reaper

leaping reaper movement vahva fitness

This is the most bestial variation of these dragon movements.

You should set yourself into a “dragon position” center of gravity low to the ground, one leg back, one leg loaded and bent on the side. Arms slightly wide and fingers tearing to the ground ready to pull and push your body into a fierce launch.

With every jump switch the leg position and try to land strong and supported ready for a new powerful jump. As you progress try to make the jumps more and more explosive.

This one really hits the central nervous system because of its explosiveness and short intense bursts. The actual jumping is initiated to a great extent by the leg that is bent and by the triceps muscles. But the entire upper body is at work when producing and handling this type of speed and momentum.

More than thinking about a specific technique you should imagine yourself hungry launching on a pray. This should give you all the intensity and raw power you need. Be careful not to scare your neighbor or fellow gym goers when attempting.

Start Moving The Body.

These Dragon movements are obviously advanced - not everyone will be able to do them straight from the bat. They require high levels of mobility and raw strength.

The standard lizard crawl has to be mastered first and that's not a simple and quck process either - but we have simplified it for you in Movement 20XX Method.

The method has all the progressions for strength and mobility you need to master the crawl movements. We cover lots of areas in Movement 20XX: high flow, low flow and ground flow without forgetting strength, mobility and active flexibility. 

Inside Movement 20XX Method, we also cover all the different methods of Animal Movement Strength Training such as TIME Method, Variability Method and more. Movement 20XX Method is both a 6-month workout program and an in depth online course.

Do you want to learn more? For the epitome of movement training, see Movement 20XX Method.



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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