FAQ: GENERAL ANIMAL FLOW QUESTIONS
Animal Flow is a ground-based movement program. It combines elements from different bodyweight disciplines such as breakdancing, parkour, gymnastics, and hand balancing with animal locomotion pattern. The movements can be performed alone, or combined into "flows" where you are linking together different elements into a continuous chain of energy and movement. It can be practiced by individuals of all skill levels, with movements ranging from entry level all the way to very advanced.
Animal Flow is comprised of six different components, or categories of movements. These include: Wrist Mobilizations; Activations; Traveling Forms; Form Specific Stretches; Switches and Transitions; and Flow. You can read more about the Six Components of Animal Flow here: https://animalflow.com/what-is-animal-flow/
The ABCs stand for Ape, Beast, and Crab. These are some of the foundation positions of the program, with most flows starting in one of these positions. Many of the more advanced dynamic movements still "pass through" these positions in some form. When starting out with your AF practice, you'll learn these positions first. Then you'll learn how to use them in traveling forms, as part of the Form Specific Stretches component, and as base positions for many Switches and Transitions. You'll become very familiar with the many iterations of these starting positions!
Animal Flow is deisgned to improve your mobility, flexibility, strength, power, endurance and muscular coordination. Every AF movement has a specific intent. The program is based upon the proven scientific principals that support bodyweight training in general. In the past few years, multiple peer-reviewed, published research studies have found benefits from using the Animal Flow program specifically. You can learn more about these studies here: https://animalflow.com/science_of_animalflow/
You have lots of options for beginning your Animal Flow practice! You can try it out on your own with Animal Flow On Demand, which is our subscription program offering tutorials, flows and full length classes. You can join a local Flowist group to learn about classes, events and instructors in your own area. You can find an on-line class or personal intructor to work with virtually. If you are interested in diving in more deeply and/or would like to become a Certified Animal Flow Instructor, you can take the Level 1 workshop on-line or in person. Sign up for our Newsletter at https://animalflow.com/newsletter/ to recieve the What Is Animal Flow email and links to all of your options.
Animal Flow is meant to be accessible to individuals from almost all skill levels. Many of the Flows you see shared online feature advanced Flowists who have been practicing for many years. You don't need to have their skill level to begin your own practice! The entry level and beginner level flows will have you start out at the beginning, learning how to properly support your own bodyweight while having your hands and feet on the ground. You'll progress from there at your own pace. Some people may not be ready for even the beginner level movements, so we've recently released the "Animal Flow Deconstructed" series (part of Animal Flow On Demand) that offers variations for individuals who don't have the mobility or strength required for the regular movements.
Mike Fitch is the President & Creator of Animal Flow. . You can read more about him here: https://animalflow.com/about/mike-fitch/
Animal Flow was launched in 2010 with the first classes in Miami, Florida. The first Animal Flow workout DVD was released in 2011. The program has been expanding ever since!
Animal Flow draws upon numerous bodyweight disciplines, including primarily breakdancing, parkour, gymnastics, animal locomotion, and hand balancing. Many "movement" disciplines can look similar, since they all incorporate some elements of "flow" while moving your body through space without using equipment. However, just as all rock bands are not the same, not all movement disciplines are the same. Animal Flow utilizes a specific set of movements, taught in a specific way with their own techniques, rules, and intentions. While it shares a visual quality of "body movement" with some other disciplines, Animal Flow is a unique program. It does not have any martial arts or combat components, and does not draw upon any of those areas. It is also important to note that while some of the Form Specific Stretches may initially appear yogic in nature, due to the fact that they involve slower movements holding stretches at their end ranges of motion, they were not developed from a yoga background and are not actually yoga movements. You will see an influence of breakdancing in many of the movements. Recognizing that breakdancing itself draws upon a long history with roots in African dance, salsa, Capoeira, and other disciplines, Animal Flow can visually bring some of those disciplines to mind. However, Mike Fitch had no direct training in martial arts or yoga when designing Animal Flow and thus makes no claims to incorporating those schools into the program. Rather, he gives credit to the coaches he had in breakdancing, parkour and gymnastics in providing him with the basis for developing the Animal Flow program.
While some people note that Animal Flow and Capoeira can appear visually similar, in that both disciplines focus on fluid full-body movements and flow, the two programs differ quite a bit. Capoeira is a movement conversation between two people (although you can practice moves and sequences on your own). When one person moves towards the other, they must get out of the way. Whilst the intention is not to hurt your partner, a kick, sweep, or barge is very deliberate in that contact would be made if the appropriate evasive move was not used. Capoeira requires both standing and ground based movements and is often played in a circle where music is used to set the tempo of the game. Because Capoeira is thought to be a martial art disguised as a dance the Capoistas play a game which matches the speed of the music beat. Animal Flow is a ground-based movement system that is inspired by gymnastics, parkour, hand-balancing and breakdancing. Although there is not a direct connection to Capoeira, the inspiration that breakdancing provides to many AF moves will inherently draw upon Capoeira as one of its roots. Thus, the Front Sweep move performed in AF, which is loosely based on the 6-Step movement from breakdancing, can also resemble the sweeping movements performed in Capoeira. Additionally, both programs aim to improve connection with your own body. However, the techniques, intentions, and executions remain different. Animal Flow is centered around the 3 base positions called Ape, Beast and Crab, with all AF sequences using the ABC’s as gateways to other movements. Animal Flow is almost entirely quadrupedal (hands and feet on the ground), whilst Capoeira uses an equal blend of bipedal and quadrupedal moves. Animal Flow is not practiced as dance between individuals and has no martial arts components. Animal Flow could be practiced to music but it is not an inherent part of the programme. It is also important to note that Capoeira is steeped in tradition and history, with origins in Angola and Brazil. Animal Flow, on the other hand, is only 10-year old, making no claims to a spiritual foundation. AF is instead focused on taking a systematic approach to enhancing physical fitness qualities through movements that are accessible to everyone. Some of our Certified AF Instructors are also Capoistas, and their assessment of the two programs has generally been that they are similar in their focus on fluid body movements and flow, but very different in the specific movements, the way the programs are learned and practices, and in their philosophies and intentions. We like to say that if you like one of them, you'll probably like the other and should give it a try!
No, Animal Flow isn't much like yoga. Both disciplines do include movements intended to improve your mobility, flexibility and stability. However, there is very little overlap in the actual movements themselves. Animal Flow is a more dynamic and active practice, with few movements held in place. The focus is on moving through a range-of-motion, rather than holding a static position. In instances where movements may appear slightly similar, Animal Flow typically utilizes a different technique, focusing on different muscular systems and intentions, that results in an entirely different experience of the position. These differences can, in fact, sometimes be frustrating to yoga instructors who are accustomed to a very different approach to and execution of stretching movements. In addition, Animal Flow is a purely physical practice that does not include any of the religious, spiritual, or cultural foundations of yoga. We have tremendous respect for the history and culture behind the many variations of yoga, and would not make any claims to be building upon any of it. While we do accept Yoga Teacher trainings as an acceptable qualification to become a Certified Animal Flow Instructor, we do not include any yoga teachings or concepts in our program or workshops.
We have a lot of respect for the ZUU program, which may appear similar in that it also uses animal movements. However, ZUU is much more focused on animal locomotion, while animal locomotion is only part of Animal Flow. ZUU also utilizes more High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), aiming to provide an extremely cardio-intense workout. While Animal Flow can include some HIIT and can be cardio-intense, it is more concerned with connecting to your body and perfecting precision of movement. Thus, the implementation and purpose of the programs are very different.
We aren't able to provide individual feedback to your flows. If you've attended a workshop, you can add your flows for peer feedback in the private Certified Animal Flow Instructors Facebook Group. If you are an On Demand subscriber, you can add your flows to the private Animal Flow On Demand for peer feedback. Otherwise, we recommend hiring a Certified AF Instructor to help with personal feedback to advance your flow training.
We are finalizing our Instructor Directory and will announce it soon so you can look up classes near you.
Yes, email email@example.com. She will connect you with a Master Instructor within 24-72 hours. All pricing and scheduling is up to the Master Instructors.
We are always thrilled to hear when someone wants to join our Master Instructor (MI). team. We currently have a team of 23 MIs around the world whom we employ to teach our Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 workshops. However, we operate a little differently than some programs that provide a simple linear path to becoming a Master Instructor, where any interested student can take a progressive series of workshops until they attain the MI title. Our MIs are actual employees of our company, hired and trained to deliver the workshops on our behalf. We thus don’t have an “open” process whereby anyone can join the MI program. Instead, we bring on new MIs only when we have a staff opening for such a position. We create new positions as demand arises in specific geographic regions. In selecting MIs, we focus more on finding individuals who are strong teachers, as that is the most important part of being able to deliver a great workshop. Just being an outstanding Flowist doesn't necessarily mean you'd make a great MI. Read more here: https://animalflow.com/becoming-an-mi/
We have 23 Master Instructors worldwide. You can read more about the team here: https://animalflow.com/meet-our-team/
We try to ship shirts out within one week of receiving the order.
We ship via First Class Mail, so shipping times can vary from 1-3 days in the US, up to several weeks for international orders. All orders ship from our headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, shipping times have been increased and international shipping times have become even more unpredictable. We ask for your patience once a shirt has shipped, as postal service is largely out of our control.
FAQ: WORKSHOPS AND CERTIFICATIONS
Workshop offerings include Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. We recently discontinued Advanced Flow Design, replacing it with the new Level 3 course. We will be releasing new online workshops for AF Kids and AF Group Instruction in the near future. Those new courses will be made available to individuals who have already taken Level 1. Read more here: www.animalflow.com/workshops
You should start out with Level 1, as that provides the overall introduction to the program and allows you to begin the Certified AF Instructor process. You can take Level 2 once at least 30 days have passed after L1, although we recommend waiting longer so that you have more time to internalize the movements and be better prepared.
Yes, we offer Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 online. The online version has an identical curriculum as the in-person workshop, and is taught by a live Master Instructor (nothing is pre-recorded). It is offered in different time zones and different languages. Check the full listing here: https://animalflow.com/events/category/online/
We offer several ways for you to take the L1 and L2 workshops. No matter how you take it, the curriculum will be the same and you'll always be taught by a live instructor. The in-person workshops are taught locally, with everybody attending together in the same location (usually a gym or dance studio). The online version is taught on Zoom, with students joining on their own computers from wherever they are in the world. We use a lot of "breakout" rooms so that you get to interact with other students and work together in groups, and the Master Instructor can see you all and provide feedback. The hybrid version is mostly in-person, with all of the students attending togetther in one location. However, the Master Instructor will be teaching remotely, appearing on a large screen in the room. We use multiple cameras to make sure they can see everyone, and we'll have a Level 2 Instructor in the room to help with demonstrations and hands-on help as needed. We use the hybrid method when a city/country allows in-person workshops to take place, but the MI is prohibited from traveling due to COVID-19 restrictions. The hybrid model is as close to the full in-person experience as you can get with the MI still in another location.
Yes, we try to teach in the local language when teaching live, and offer the online workshops in multiple languages. We currently teach in English, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, French, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. Sometimes we will also use a translator during the workshop. To see what language a specific workshop will be taught in, click on the event listing and check the first paragraph description. The language will be listed there if it isn't already embedded in the event title.
Anyone is welcome to attend a Level 1 workshop. You do not need to be a fitness professional and no prior Animal Flow experience is needed. However, if you want to go on to become a Certified AF Instructor, you will need to meet the qualification requirements as a fitness, yoga or medical professional.
The Level 1 course is approved to provide continuing education credits from ACE, NASM, AFAA, ISSA.
This is currently being finalized and will be announced soon. Level 1 is the prerequisite.
This is currently being finalized and will be announced soon. Level 1 is the prerequisite.
You can read about the certification process here: https://animalflow.com/certifications/
There is no additional fee to complete the certification process after you've attended the workshop as long as you complete your test out in the allotted amount of time after your workshop. Late fees may be applicable if you submit late.
You must have documentation of your status as a fitness professional. The specific type of credential varies depending on your specific field (personal trainer vs yoga instructor vs team coach, etc.) and the requirements of any governing bodies from your country. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to verify your credentials if you aren't sure if you qualify.
We understand that the martial arts field does not have the same type of accreditation or credentialing entities as the fitness and yoga fields have. Therefore, we look at a different set of credentials when determining if you can become a Certified AF Instructor. The specifics will vary depending on your country, but we generally look at your achievement level (i.e. belt level) as well as year of instructor experience. Having years of practice alone will not suffice - we will need to see that you have years of experience as an instructor or coach.
You will still need to take the Level 1 workshop. The workshop covers more than just learning how to perform the moves, focusing more on making sure you understand the science behind the moves, the how/when/why to use the moves with clients, and how to regress and progress the moves in a training program. Much of the curriculum covered in the workshop cannot be learned from watching videos, or subscribing to the On Demand platform. Thus we require that everyone complete the two-day workshop prior to beginning the certification process.
No, we do not require renewal. Your Certified Instructor status will remain valid as long as you abide by the terms of the Instructor Agreement and Code of Conduct.
Either refer to your MANUAL or FOLLOW UP email that you received post workshop with all of the details on how to submit. When you have all of the information ready, email it to email@example.com. You will receive a confirmation email back when everything was submitted correctly.
The Master Instructor has 3 weeks from the date when your test submission was confirmed complete. You will receive an email from the Master Instructor regarding your test results. Be sure to check your email, including your spam folder, if you haven't heard anything within 3 weeks.
Once you pass, you will receive an email with instructions on how to sign your Instructor Agreement. This is completed online. You will receive your certificate after you have signed the Online Instructor Agreement (see instructions above). Instructor announcements are posted on Friday's on the Animal Flow Facebook pages. You will receive emails from firstname.lastname@example.org regarding both your certificate and announcement.
We receive many requests seeking complimentary workshop registrations in exchange for social media exposure or other influencer collaborations. We review these on a case-by-case basis, but are unable to accommodate many requests. We are only able to consider collaborations with influencers who have a significant number of highly engaged followers in a field that is relevant to us. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Yes, we offer payment plans as an option to register. In most cases the payment plan allows you to register with 50% down, and the balance due before the workshop. The payment plan option will not be available if the workshop is less than 2 weeks away, as you need to be paid in full prior to the workshop start.
Yes, if you would like to resit a workshop, email firstname.lastname@example.org for the discounted rate.
Yes, if you have 3 or more individuals registering to take the workshop together, we can offer a discounted rate. Email email@example.com for more information, as details will vary depending on which workshop you are taking and the total number of individuals.
If you cannot attend, we can transfer you to a future workshop of your choice.
Make sure when you're going to register that you change the ticket number from 0 to 1 before hitting add to cart; otherwise your cart will remain empty. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're still having issues or to be put on the waitlist for a SOLD OUT workshop.
Be sure to follow all of the directions...once you have singed the document, you will receive a confirmation email from RightSignature (be sure to check your spam folder). You must click on the link in the email. Once you do that, you will receive a signed PDF copy of the agreement. Once you have this, you have completed the process.
We are always looking for great venues to host a workshop! Basic requirements are having at least 1200 square feet of open space with flooring that is hard wood, turf, or rubber and is suitable for spending 12 hours on hands and needs; and being able to ensure that we'll have private access to the space for the duration of the workshop. Email email@example.com for more information if you are interested in hosting.
Certified AF Instructors can teach AF in one-on-one personal training or group class settings. While training can be provided online, we have specific guidelines regarding what can and cannot be provided virtually. You CAN post all the flows you want. You CAN teach full length classes online, although they cannot be free to the public for more than 3 days. (That is so that we don't end up with the Internet flooded with free Animal Flow classes, making it impossible for Instructors to then sell their own classes). You CANNOT provide your own Animal Flow tutorial library. And you CANNOT develop your own Animal Flow app. More details are provided in your Instructor Agreement, and you can always contact us for clarification on details.
FAQ: ANIMAL FLOW ON DEMAND
Animal Flow On Demand is our subscription platform offering a complete tutorial library, flows of all levels, and full-length classes. You can watch online, download the iPhone or Android App or watch through Apple TV or Amazon Fire. With content for all levels and new material released every week, the On Demand channel is a great way to learn and continually improve your AF practice. We offer a free 14-day trial and monthly subscription that can be cancelled any time.
You can access all the content on Apple iOS/iPhone app; Android app; Amazon Fire; and/or directly on your computer. You can stream all of the content from any of those devices. You can also download videos to the iPhone and Android apps to view offline when you aren't connected to the internet. As long as you are subscribed, you can view the content on any one, or all, of those devices.
Yes, you are free to cancel anytime for any reason. You will retain access through the end of your current billing cycle (monthly or yearly subscription), and you will not be charged again. You can cancel on your own by logging in to your account at https://OnDemand.AnimalFlow.com and updating your subscription status in the My Account tab. You will immediately receive an email confirming your cancellation, so you know it went through. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help cancelling. We will not make you call us or jump through any hoops to cancel. Note that simply deleting the app from a device will NOT cancel your subscription!
Yes, in order to activate your account you will need to enter a credit card. After that, you will have 14 days free to try Animal Flow On Demand before you are charged. If you do not want to keep the account, cancel within those 14 days and there will be no charge. If you do not cancel, your paid subscription will start and you will be automatically charged.
Your rate will not go up. If you subscribe at a special discounted rate, you keep that rate as long as you remain subscribed. Even if we raise our rates for new subscribers, you'll still keep your original subscription rate.
Make sure you're logging in at https://OnDemand.AnimalFlow.com and NOT on the regular www.AnimalFlow.com website. The On Demand channel has to run on its own system, and it has its own login. If you're still having issues, email email@example.com and they can help reset your password.
We release a new Flow of the Week (FOW) every Monday, and those are then added to regular flow library. New classes are added on an ongoing basis, with new releases usually happening at least monthly.
We currently only have it available in English.
Yes, everyone who takes the Level 1 workshop qualifies for the special Instructors Rate, even before you complete your certification. We include the discount links in the email you receive after the workshop. If you lost that email, or if you need to transfer from the regular rate to the Instructor rate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email email@example.com. In the email make sure to reference your full name, which L1 workshop you attended, and the name of the Master Instructor who taught your workshop.
It is completely normal to experience sore wrists when starting Animal Flow. This is because your wrists aren't accustomed to supporting your full bodyweight for periods of time. Your wrists will adapt and grow stronger, and you'll experience much less, or zero, soreness if you continue to practice. Keeping up with your Wrist Mobilization work is an important part of Animal Flow, and we include three different Wrist Mobilization videos to help you: 1) a long version (15 minutes) that can be done periodically to help with mobilization and strength; 2) a short version (10 minutes) that takes you through a regular wrist warm-up and cool down series; and 3) a quick version (5 minutes) that provides 5 minutes of follow-along wrist mobilization exercises. We recommend starting every Animal Flow practice session with one of those videos.
You'll need to have experience with Animal Flow before jumping into the Intermediate and Advanced level flow and classes. Animal Flow is a skills-based practice, similar to learning a dance or martial art, so even the most physically fit person won't be able to do the Intermediate and Advanced level classes if they haven't gone through process of learning the movements and skills. In the beginner level classes, we teach the movements during the class, so you can join in without prior experience and learn as you go. But in the intermediate and advanced classes, we assume you know the movements and thus don't provide detailed instructions. You'll need to review the Tutorials section to learn any movements you aren't familiar with. However, even if you check the Tutorials section first, we don't recommend trying to start at these more advanced levels - you'll want to spend some time learning the Animal Flow call out language and becoming familiar with the program first. Otherwise you may just have a frustrating experience. Starting at the beginner level doesn't mean that you are not a bad-ass; everyone needs to start at the beginning, learn the movements, and build their Animal Flow skills.
Every Monday we release a new Flow of the Week (FOW). These are shorter videos, featuring one Flow. They can be beginner, intermediate or advanced level. The Master Instructor for that Flow will first demonstrate it to each side, and will then go through 4 rounds while calling it out so you can follow along. Sometimes you'll be able to jump right in and follow along right away. For some of the more difficult FOWs, you might need to spend some time practicing individual movements, and/or take your time to piece it all together. In the Flow description, we always list the movements utilized so that you can check out the tutorials section if there is something you don't know. Every FOW becomes part of the permanent Flow library, categorized by difficulty level, Master Instructor, and space requirements, so you can always find and practice previous FOWs. We send out an email Monday morning reminding you that the FOW is available.
There are lots of ways to make use of the FOW. You can use it as a warm-up or cool-down before a full workout, or you can turn it into a full workout on its own. In the Flow description, we always include a suggested format for using it as a stand-alone workout. This usually includes first practicing each included movement for a specific set of reps, then practicing the complete flow by following the call-out, and then performing the full flow for multiple reps for your desired length of time.
FAQ: TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
If you are an On Demand subscriber, make sure you're logging in at OnDemand.AnimalFlow.com. If you are an Animal Flow instructor and need access to workshop materials or Instructor shirts (NOT On Demand), login on AnimalFlow.com. They are different systems. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are still having trouble.