Forget caveman workouts: you can build functional, flexible muscle and primal fitness with bodyweight system Animal Flow.

If you’re at all sceptical about moves with names like ‘travelling ape’, just try it before you scoff. “It’s surprising how difficult this stuff is,” says Mike Fitch, Animal Flow creator, PT and all-round bodyweight training don. (It’s him in the pictures.) “You take these really big, strong guys, get them on the floor and they struggle – it’s pretty humbling for them.”
If you haven’t heard of the latest primal fitness trend to come out of the US, Animal Flow is a hybrid that takes in gymnastics, parkour, capoeira, and even breakdancing. What makes it so hard is also what makes it so effective. “Using all of your limbs at the same time through multiple planes of motion, as they were intended, has a carry-over to power, strength, endurance and fat loss. Even if you simply want to improve your ability to lift weights, this will do it.”

Not that you’ll want to: Fitch hasn’t lifted anything other than his own body for more than two years, having become disillusioned with getting “jacked” (not to mention injured). “I’ve never looked or felt better. You never forget your first handstand push-up, your first flag. These are benchmarks as a bodyweight athlete – and as a human being.” Consider this your induction into the jungle gym.

Try the Animal Flow Workout.

– Jamie Millar