Tropical Animal Movement and Athletic Training

October 2, 2017 by VAHVA Fitness

Tropical beach workout with several animal movements and athletic drills. The sand makes it much harder!

These exercises can effectively be done anywhere with just your bodyweight. Floor or ground is just fine although doing them on sand will make these exercises a lot harder.

Moving on sand is way less stable and as a result requires higher levels of stabilization. Running on sand is also great for ankle mobility since the feet need to adapt to the ever-changing terrain. 

The purpose of these exercises is to develop explosive strength and work on core and hip stability.

Sand may make the explosive aspect a bit less effective because the power production relies on having a stable support, but for stability training the sand is just excellent. Regardless of the terrain, these exercises will work very well.

Pure strength plays a relatively small part in being athletic - mobility and stability are far more important. Moreover, your strength and power are quite useless if you don't have the stability to support them.

If you are interested in building a functional and athletic physique, Movement 20XX program is excellent for this purpose.

You can do 3-5 sets per exercise until your muscles get tired and the form starts to suffer. Once the movement becomes less powerful, it's time to rest.

Stationary Run

leg shuffle in sand

Stationary run is an exercise for the hip flexors, glutes and hamstrings, but it's also a fantastic core stability exercise. You can move forward, backwards or sideways. 

Core stability is what actually allows you to move your legs and arms fast up and down without losing your composure. This is why core stability makes you fast and agile.

Focus on keeping the core tight and stable while creating rapid movements with your arms and legs. The point is to keep your composure!

Skater Jump

skater jump in sand

Skater jump is an outstanding exercise to develop the lateral glutes and outer head of the quadriceps.

Obviously many other lower body muscles are also worked and you will develop the stability in your knees, hips and core as well.

Skater jump is one of those exercises most athletes should be doing since it will nicely develop the same muscles that are used in lateral movement (very crucial in most sports and martial arts).

Leaping Lizard

lizard crawl beach movemetn

Leaping lizard is one of the most advanced variations of the lizard crawl movement. You can check out some of the most intense variations in this video.

The leaping lizard is designed to build explosive strength in the chest, shoulders and triceps. Your hips will also get stronger due to the explosive bouncing and your core is working hard to stabilize the trunk.

Before trying out this variation, you should master the basic lizard crawl variations first. Movement 20XX course has 10 progressions and 10 mobility drills to master the lizard crawl alone.

Bunny Hop

bunny hops animal movement

Bunny hop is a plyometric lower body exercise and will add explosiveness to your glutes, hamstrings, calves and quads.

You can keep the arms next to your head or on your sides. Just keep the core tight and stable during the movement - this will make sure you engage more the lower body and less the spine.

Bunny hop is safe to do for the knees as long as you have built the pre-requisite strength in the quadriceps. If you feel pain, don't do the bunny hop - instead focus first on strengthening the legs with basic exercises like squats and lunges.

Lateral Crab Walk

crab walk movement

Lateral crab walk is a great posterior chain movement that also works the core and arms. 

Your scapula needs to be retracted (shoulder blades behind) and stabilize the upper back. You are also stretching the chest and shoulders. Your hamstrings and glutes keep your butt off the ground and core is stabilizing your every step.

It's very common to feel a very strong burn in the triceps and for improving the tricep strength the crab walk is a relatively decent movement.

In the beginning just take small steps sideways without raising your legs or arms too much. This should already feel in the core and triceps.

Once it becomes easier, you can lift the arms and legs higher up. This requires extreme stabilization from your leg, core and the supporting arm (triceps and shoulders). 


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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