5 Different Artistic Flow Movements
By VAHVA Fitness on September 17, 2019
How to go from simplicity to complexity and bring novelty and sophistication to your training.
Most great inventions were created by accident. In fact, almost everything is "discovered" more than they are "invented".
"One sometimes finds what one is not looking for", said Sir Alexander Fleming who discovered antibiotics while he was experimenting on influenza virus with penicillium mold.
Likewise, the inventor of the laser that revolutionised technology was not trying to change the world either but instead was just playing with light until he stumbled upon something special. For fun.
The same applies to fitness, human physiology and movement.
More than anyone invents anything, the body discovers itself. The teacher is old – it's ancient and teaches new tricks for the one who is willing to go spaces no one has gone before.
This is why we recommend exploration and play – they aren't just good for the soul but that's how anything new is discovered.
The problem with dogmatic thinking is to believe you have to do everything in a certain way and that there is only one way to do things. This is often necessary but there also needs to be free exploration that doesn't care about the rules.
In the process of moving, you are discovering how to move the body. By focusing on the body, you'll find out how the body moves. In the midst of intensity, you will discover what you are made of.
Only when you try new things, regardless of how it looks like, you have the potential to discover something new. You do this by stepping into the unknown and bringing light to the darkness.
Especially in fitness, you discover more by tuning in to your body and feelings than with your intelligence alone. In science, this is called "kinaesthetic intelligence" which is possible to develop, just not with rational thinking.
This why scientific thinking will never reach the pinnacle of human movement or any art – it lacks the very essence that makes us human.
Real sophistication is not easy to quantify. The scientific literature on dance and martial arts are severely lacking. Art is not based on studies, yet everyone can see that different arts have progressive and effective methodologies in their madness.
Only in the mainstream fitness and biohacking, there is this idea that you can out-think and outsmart your body and health. The fundamental question is... can you, really?
What if the natural body is significantly healthier than the body that has been "maximized" with supplements, "optimal" post-workout nutrition and strict meal timing?
The Zen Buddhists often say that if you want to purify the mind, leave it alone. The same applies to the body.
What if the naturally moving body is stronger, more capable and more functional than the body you can build with the cutting-edge machines, strict rep ranges and scientifically proven exercises?
Maybe, some ancient arts such as Qigong or modern arts such as dance have answers to questions the scientific mind has not even had the intelligence and creativity to ask yet.
In the video, you saw some artistic movements. At the highest level there is barely any distinction between one movement or another, it's all just one movement or one flow.
However, no one can learn anything this way so here are 5 movements that have been broken down for you to learn and digest.
The GREAT thing about the movements demonstrated here is that they are not overly difficult in terms of resistance and do not require amazing strength to perform. This means they are for any body type and any age – literally for anyone.
Anyone regardless of their level of fitness can start practicing these movements. The progress is not tied to your strength or power but finely developed levels of mobility and kinaesthetic intelligence.
What's more, you don't need to be an actual dancer or artist to move like this. We started experimenting with various dances and art forms AFTER we were over 20 years old. It only takes an open mind.
Pet the Horse
In the beginning, it's incredibly important to focus on articulating the joints in a rather clear and simplified way. This is how you ultimately fix the joints as we do in Athlete 20XX.
Later, there comes a point when there can be an infinite amount of "motion points" between the range of motion; meaning you are not just moving the arm from point A to point B in a one-dimensional way.
Now, it's no longer in the realm of quantifiable science (at least not yet) because the range from A to B can be divided into an infinite amount of sections.
Your movement can become pure flow like a wave. Moreover, since the elbow and wrist joints move simultaneously with the shoulder joint, the movement becomes even harder to quantify.
This movement, pet the horse, is very much like many of the movements that are done in Qigong and various kung fu styles.
In Qigong and kung fu you often keep the shoulder girdle stabilized while you only move the arms. You can do pet the horse with either shoulder stabilization (not moving the shoulder girdle) or by moving the shoulders in synchrony with the arms.
The benefits? Obviously you are training the shoulders, elbows and wrists. Especially your shoulders should feel a very special and intense burn.
However, this movement goes far beyond that. You are also learning the subsequent movement of your joints. You are practicing the stabilization of the rest of the body.
You are feeling the center of mass of your body and feeling the tension shift in your body. This is Qi. You are cultivating energy and stimulating the body.
The rolling barrel is similar to the pet the horse but far more complex and far more multi-dimensional because now your shoulder girdle (scapula) is moving with the flow as well as your core.
You are practicing the subsequent movement, the kinetic chain flow of your entire upper body.
The lower body should stay rather stabilized but otherwise the core and even neck are also working in addition to everything else listed above.
The purpose? It's hard and intense for the muscles. Incredibly effective for working the spine as well. Most importantly, to develop the mind and learn how to control the body.
You master these two things and you can do anything from producing power to versatilely moving your body.
Heron Spreads Wings
Heron spreads wings is single leg stabilization combined with closing and opening the body.
You are crossing your arms and legs to further close the body while caving in from your spine. Once you have descended, you open up your body and spine like a bird.
If you want to go extreme, you can even do a single leg squat to the very bottom.
This is full body mobility and single leg stability and balance all in one.
Powerful boar is quadrupedal balancing and stabilization with forward, backward and lateral lean.
You are creating a full circle with your body. It gets especially hard when you are leaning forward and the weight is on your shoulders.
This one is hard and your spirit should also be intense like the spirit of a powerful boar – expect your shoulders and triceps to burn a lot but also activation from your core and legs.
Side scale is one of the movements of Movement 20XX which has over 50 flow movements that range from movements like this to various other movements such as animal movements and martial arts movements.
You can call it the epitome of movement training because it covers all areas of movement and more.
Here, you are also working on the single leg balancing and stabilizing skill while you change levels.
It should be a free flowy movement where the arms and everything else moves along with the body. Moreover, you are learning the very important skill and quality of balancing your bodyweight like a scale.
Don't be worried about your flexibility since everyone bends and moves according to their ability. Even if your range is only 1/3 of what you see in the picture, it's still effective and amazing.
Moreover, if you keep working on it, the range will gradually improve over time. This is the secret of training.
How to Move from Simplicity to Complexity
This is how you learn to move the body and discover how the body moves:
You focus on simplified movements until they are mastered. You will later add more complexity and sophistication to the existing movement patterns.
In fact, the complex and sophisticated movement patterns consist of nothing but the basics and the simple patterns!
– People generally don't have the patience (or the know-how) to master the easier movements.
It's common to overestimate your level of fitness. Not in just movements like this but in training general.
It's a very common problem for people to lift too heavy and focus on advanced exercises when they have barely mastered the basics. The ability to do something is not the same as having mastered it.
Moreover, the nature of the basics will change while the structure of your body develops and you gain greater control over your body.
This means that the basics never grow old and instead what used to be simple becomes complex. Once it becomes more complex, it also starts to yield new results.
You learn more moving parts in very simple exercises like a push up (now we would consider this very complex!) and keep getting more and more out of the exercise.
Sometimes, the hardest exercise in terms of resistance is the least advanced one and the simplest exercise is the most complex and hardest to do.
Do you have the calmness to dig deep into your body and listen to what it has to say?
Our highly praised and popular mobility class is the perfect step to get started. It's 100% free. Learn more here.
If you are more experienced, our training programs eventually get as advanced as anything can get.