VAHVA Fitness

The Anatomy of the Lizard

By VAHVA Fitness on December 3, 2019

Powerful lizard movement flow sequence. Mobilize the spine, open up the hips and develop immense upper body strength.

The nature and spirit of this kind of training are completely different from a typical exercise you see done in the gym. This is multi-dimensional, fluid and far-reaching training.

There is nothing wrong with the typical training such as push ups and weight exercises but this kind of training serves a completely different purpose.

The purpose of this kind of training is to mobilize the entire body – make it limber and dynamic like a cheetah. When cheetahs move, they are unrestricted and their spine flows with the movement of their body.

However, we are all humans and the human body is incredibly capable for adapting to different circumstances. In the animal kingdom not all animals are fluid like the cheetah – some animals are actually rather stiff. 

Even among apes, there are massive differences in their bodies and physical capabilities. The smaller mini-monkeys are very dynamic and elastic while the gorillas and orangutans can be rather clumsy (although they do have grace in their movements).

For us humans, the truth is somewhere in the middle. 

You should be able to withstand heavy forces and have the ability to control your surroundings like a gorilla. Yet, in order to be as healthy and as functional as possible, you need to be mobile like a cheetah.

bruce lee the statue

The master Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee said: "Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind."

It's a strong statement but nowadays people have taken this the wrong way. Obviously, being stiff like a tree is not a good thing but being a tiny and weak willow tree that is forced to adapt to the environment is not the best thing either.

We believe that you should be as strong as possible while being mobile and flexible. Size can only be a good thing as long as the body stays balanced. 

In other words, the goal is to be grounded like an oak tree but to be able to adapt like a bamboo tree. Nowadays, people tend to be extremely flexible but weak or extremely strong but immobile.

Our approach is ultimately about balance, well-roundedness and universal functionality.

This flow sequence is not everything there is to it but it's fantastic for spinal mobility, open hips, core strength, immense upper body strength and amazing coordination.

The Lizard Flow Sequence

lizard twist movement
  • The Anatomy of the Lizard Sequence
  • Lizard breath: 3 times
  • Tail whip behind: 3 times
  • Tail whip to the side: 3 times
  • Lizard stretch up: 3 times
  • Lizard twist: 3 times
  • Floating tail: 3 times
  • Lizard jump: 1 time
  • And repeat!

There happen so many things in the flow sequence that words alone will never do the justice for it. But let's try...

The lizard breath works the thoracic mobility while stretching the hips and training the arms.

The tail whip keeps working the spine, abs and obliques while developing the glutes, quads, hamstrings and the lower back.

The lizard stretch up opens ups the spine, trains the hip rotators, strengthens the shoulders and arms and also develops strength and mobility in both legs.

The lizard twist focuses on the rotational spinal mobility and heavily involves the abs, obliques and shoulders (internal rotation). You are also supporting yourself on one arm which is insanely strenuous for the shoulders, arms and chest.

The floating tail focuses on training the adductors, glutes and hip rotators of the floating leg but you are also training the upper body and core.

The final move, the lizard jump is an explosive push up to transition to the other side.

This is one of the most versatile and comprehensive flow sequences you can do. It's not for the beginners though! If you are a beginner, you need a step-by-step program.

This flow sequence consist of several movements and exercises that we master in Movement 20XX program

For example, one of the main elements of the program is to master the lizard crawl with 10 different strength exercises and 10 mobility drills. If you want a well-structured and proven program to teach how to move like this, this program is your best choice.

The Lost & Forgotten Part of Training

lizard stretch up

This form of training has a very special spirit and vibe that is incomparable with other forms of training such as powerlifting where the person is focused on lifting as heavy as possible while listening to aggressive heavy metal on his headphones.

Movement training like this is a more introspective form of training where you are exploring your body and mind while healing the body from all the damage the modern world has forced upon us.

The truth is that both serve their purpose. The master Lao Tzu said:

Just as you breathe in and breathe out,

there is a time for being ahead and a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion and a time for being at rest;

a time for being vigorous and a time for being exhausted;

a time for being SAFE and a time for being IN DANGER.

What happens is that people tend to obsess over one state of mind over the others. Their mind has become "stuck" with one mental state and they subconsciously always cling to their comfort zone that is a specific mental state.

This happens with everyone: some people go hard all the time and damage the body. And then some others focus on soft forms of training avoiding anything that is hard or "dangerous".

You can alter your mental states and you can even affect your "spirit". Spirit can also be considered "confidence" and "preparedness".

In sports and competition, it is the SPIRIT that separates the winners from losers. Many times it's not the skill or the athletic ability but strong confidence and preparedness that allows the athlete to prevail and win.

The WEST tries to cultivate the spirit with sport psychologists but they don't involve the body and posture which are probably more important than what you think inside of your head. The real form of cultivating the spirit has been lost but it does exist.

real kung fu

We spent the entire last November in Asia and trained a lot with the master Jiang Yu Shan who is the grandmaster of the monkey style and a master of various other kung fu styles.

We learned that there are certain movements and certain methods to cultivate and elevate the spirit and change the mental state from calmness and serenity to passion and ferocity (and vice versa).

What we have learned we haven't seen anywhere else. Somehow, the ancient masters learned how to manifest the ferocity of a TIGER literally from the human body.

Similarly, they discovered how to relax the mind and become serene like a calm ocean.

This is something we will be sharing soon, probably at the beginning of the next year. However, we already have training systems that cultivate different forms of spirit and mental states.

Movement 20XX is all about exploration and playfulness. Athlete 20XX is about precision and focus. Warrior 20XX is about aggression and relentless intensity. See all the differences here.

If you are interested in expanding your knowledge and transforming your physique with trusted methods, the programs should be very useful to you.

You can browse the programs here.

VAHVA Fitness

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