Effective Movement Routine (CORE AND WHOLE BODY)

June 14, 2018 by VAHVA Fitness

Movement flow routine with 5 different movements. Learn more about movement training, strength endurance and supportive strength.

ovement training is one of the best form of conditioning for the upper body and core. This is a bold statement but it's hard to come close.

A lot of the people don't really understand movement training and this is simply because they haven't tried it. You have to do a full flow routine to actually understand how it works.

How movement training is done is vastly different from how a typical exercise workout is done. 

When you do an individual movement for a couple of steps or repetitions, it won't be very challenging. A dummy would immediately demean movement training as ineffective.

In movement training you are not doing one movement and then resting 1-2 minutes between every movement. 

Instead, you are stringing multiple different movements into one flow. This is the secret of movement training and why it works so well. Yoga, by the way, works on the same principle. 

It is the combination of all the different movements and the continuous resistance you have to deal with that makes movement training something special. 

The first steps may feel easy but the continuous resistance and transitioning from one movement to another without getting any rest between is what will obliterate your body (in a good way).

After one round of a good flow, you should already feel your core burning better than ever before but also feel strong sensations in your shoulders, arms and legs. It's full body training at the highest level.

Movement Training is Strength Endurance Training

Everyone is obsessed with "max strength" which means doing the most impressive power move or lifting the most amount of weight.

The only problem is that strength done in this way is mostly an illusion and more based on skill development (neuromuscular adaptations) than the actual strength of the body.

Moreover, pure MAX STRENGTH is only one part of the bigger puzzle. Strength endurance is what you will actually need in the real world in almost any sport, martial art or physical activity. 

In one of our previous articles we made a comparison that the athlete who actually can sustain a high level of performance (1) is better than the athlete who can initially reach a higher level but cannot sustain it (2).

well rounded athlete performance

1: A well-rounded athlete.

Peak athlete.

2: A peak athlete.

IMAGINE AN ANCIENT BATTLEFIELD: how good is your "max strength" if you cannot sustain it for a long period of time? You may defeat one opponent, waste all of your energy and become weak without realizing there are 100 opponents waiting outside and the battle has only begun.

You see this in combat sports all the time. A fighter can be strong and explosive in the first round but then fades and as a result loses the following rounds. Likewise, how good is a football player who can only sprint once?

We don't just want show off strength, rather we want to actually be strong. This is a rare sight in the world where most people rather wish to appear to be something than actually be it.

Most people who pride themselves in being strong aren't actually strong if they lack strength endurance and other athletic attributes.

Max strength (1-5 repetitions of max) is one of the easiest and most comfortable ways to train. You do a couple of repetitions, rest a couple of minutes and repeat. This is easy peasy.

Strength endurance training like movement training or using light weights for higher reps is a much tougher form of training. Both physically and mentally. 

The real mental and physical growth will begin after your entire body is burning and you wish you could quit but you resist it. Strength endurance is the best way of training for this.

You Need Supportive Strength

supportive strength

In movement training you are continuously supporting your body and this is HARD.

Movement training is also fantastic for developing supportive strength. In movement training, you are continuously being supported by your body. 

When you move on all fours or hold different positions, your muscles have to continuously provide support for your structure. 

In movement training you shouldn't let your joints take the punishment, instead you should actively use your muscles to support yourself. This way the training becomes more effective as well.

By utilizing many different movements and angles, you are basically developing supportive strength in all of these different positions. Optimally, you should be floating on your muscles to prevent any joint discomfort. 

How most people do typical exercise is that they do a set of push ups, stand up (or sit down) and take a rest. This is not how movement training works.

In movement training if you were to do 5 repetitions of push ups, you wouldn't stand up after the repetitions - you would hold the plank position the entire rest period and then continue with the push ups. 

If you were to take a typical heavy lifter from a gym, the person would barely survive a movement routine or a yoga session because the person simply hasn't developed the necessary supportive strength in his or her structure. 

Moreover, there are likely many weak areas in that person's body anyway, especially when it comes to core, hip flexors and scapula stability. 

Again: unless the person actually has experienced a solid movement routine or a yoga session, the person has no idea how effective and hard it can be. 


Here is a great movement routine that consists of 5 different movements. This movement routine is brutal for the full body but especially for the core. 

You will be developing mobility and strength in both anterior and posterior sides of the body. 

Adjust the bear walk and crab walk steps to your level and your space. Do 3-5 rounds per set and then rest 1-2 minutes. You can do these for 3-5 sets per workout.

The flow sequence (movement demonstrations below):

  1. Start from the downward dog.
  2. Knee up plank both sides 3-5 seconds per hold.
  3. Bear-crab roll.
  4. Crab walk.
  5. Bear-crab roll.
  6. Downward dog.
  7. Knee up plank both sides 3-5 seconds per hold.
  8. Bear walk back to the other side.

This movement routine is only one of the many ways you can target the body. For example, in Movement 20XX there are many different flow routines that emphasize different areas and attributes of the body. 

Some flow routines can be specifically used for fat loss, some for raw strength or mobility, some for coordination and agility and so on. To fully develop the body, different flow routines need to be utilized.

1. Downward Dog

downward dog yoga movement

Downward dog is the classical position from yoga where you support yourself with open shoulders and straight legs. 

The benefits of the downward dog include:

  • Flexibility in your hamstrings and calves.
  • Strength in your core.
  • Mobility in your shoulders. 

Keep your shoulders elevated - this will train the scapula elevation and develop supportive strength in your shoulders.

2. Knee Up Plank

knee up plank yoga exercise

Knee plank is a lot more effective than it looks. On surface it doesn't look much harder than the typical plank but it's surprisingly challenging.

When you raise the knee up to the chest, the weight of your leg places a lot more resistance to your abdominals. Hip flexors also need to work to keep the knee up.

With this exercise the magic happens thanks to the isometric hold. Constantly moving the knees similar to the mountain climber changes the stimulus of the exercise. 

You can also do this exercise as a part of your core workout and focus on longer isometric holds. 

3. Bear-Crab Roll

bear crab roll movement 20xx review

Bear-crab roll is a transition movement between the bear walk / downward dog and crab walk. In Movement 20XX we do this a lot because it's such a fantastic movement.

To turn the body, you have to stabilize the core and rotate around your arm and leg. This rotation of the shoulder is amazing for the mobility of your shoulders. 

The slower you do the movement, the better it works! With this movement you are learning how to manipulate your bodyweight in space on the ground.

4. Crab Walk

crab walk movement20xx flow routine

In the crab walk you take steps your stomach facing the ceiling. The important cue is to keep the core tight. 

The benefits of the crab walk include:

  • Strength in your middle back, core, triceps and legs.
  • Core strength and stability.

Don't let the shoulders drop to your ears, instead keep them slightly depressed and behind. This will train the middle back muscles and keep your shoulders safe.

It's normal to feel very strong sensation in your triceps - this means your arms have plenty of room to grow!

5. Bear Walk

bear walk animal walk movement routine

Bear walk is pretty much a walking version of the downward dog where you are taking contralateral steps forward with your arms and legs.

In this movement routine we did the bear walk with your legs close to each other in a narrow stance. This will emphasize pike flexibility.

Try to keep constant tension in your upper body and core so that when you take a step, it's a soft step and not a clumsy one.

Similar to the downward dog, you will get great benefits in shoulder strength and mobility and hamstring flexibility.

As said before, you never know how effective something is until you give it a try. Some things in life you only understand once you try them.

People underestimate yoga and movement training all the time without ever giving them a chance. This is the ego you have to get rid of if you want to reach the highest level.

Train hard, stay safe.

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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  • Loved it, nice one! I have Athlete20xx and I’m tempted to grab Movement20xx to do another couple of days a week…

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