Here we are again, at it about Animal Movements, will I ever shut up about them? Hell no. If you don't like it read something else. Moving in this method requires you to use every muscle in your body including the stabilizing muscles to keep yourself balanced during the exercise. Every animal has it's own style of movement so for us to pull them off we have to adapt in order to get the greatest benefit. Adjust accordingly and breathe as naturally as possible, animals don't practice breathing patterns it naturally comes to them.
I really don't like the word cardio, just sounds demeaning and makes me think of machines and dumb zumba classes where you follow someone else. When it comes to cardio for me, moving like a wild animal gives the best benefit because when you work out for 15-20 min. your heart rate keeps a solid pace at a level where if applied right you will burn off fat and gain lung capacity for greater endurance. Unlike training for an hour on a treadmill where you're doing stationary running and trying to get into that weight loss mindset, you're actually depleting muscle mass instead of gaining it. Ever heard of skinny fat? That's the type of thing you see on distance runners where there isn't much muscle but have fat left over because of the over excessive running. When you do Animal Exercise, you're actually building muscle while doing cardio. I never stop moving, I pick the animal and go with the steps I take and keep going. This alone can help you in other endeavors that require you to have something left in the tank.
It takes strength to keep yourself stabilized and moving your bodyweight in awkward directions and positions like for example the Alligator exercise; you're basically moving in a walking push-up and anyone that has done push-ups know how tough they can be holding yourself up without slouching and doing reps, now move in that manner and it's even harder because your muscles need to fire off more than usual just taking a few steps. Even animals that are specific for the legs will get your lungs firing; the duck walk requires you to squat as deeply as possible and walking in that position and it really opens up the hips and brutalizes the thighs and hamstrings so just walking 20ft can be a chore.
The most basic animal in the entire system is the Bear Crawl, you've seen it, you did it as a kid and it has been used in countless training areas like in the military, wrestling, football, MMA and even in Yoga in order to really strengthen the back and abs for the downward dog position (don't believe me? Try it some time and tell me your downward dog pose doesn't improve). It fires your lungs more than almost any exercise including sprinting because you need to move fast on all four limbs instead of two which alone can burn off fat and increase your metabolism greater than a torch to a flame.
I believe in all my years of training that Animal Exercise for 20 min. is the equivalent to an hour of cardio on the machines and it's way more fun and builds on hormones much faster because if you're outside you're also getting vitamin D from the sun which is a hormone so you get the best of both worlds. You can do it indoors as well doing animals from a stationary position and moving in the little space you have. It challenges your creativity and gets you into the mindset of a wild animal and I bet you big time whatever animal that's your favorite is your spirit animal as well because the mind and body work in unison when you train in this manner. So if you want to be more adventurous, getting more out of your cardio and strengthen every muscle from head to toe, move like a wild animal and see why it is the best for real world strength & cardio.
Animal Kingdom Conditioning
Animal Kingdom Conditioning II
Wild Animal Fitness For Kids