The fitness industry has certainly been guilty of promoting the narrative that leaner bodies are more desirable than bigger bodies. With sayings like “sweat is just fat crying” and “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” popularized by gym culture over the past three decades, the continued push for a homogenous body type has been slow to shift.
Health and fitness can come packaged in various shapes and sizes, and is measured by more than just the number displayed on your scales. Everybody deserves to enjoy movement and every body benefits from movement. No matter whether you’re tall, short, big, small, or somewhere in between, Animal Flow is for you.
There’s not one diet that suits everybody on the planet. There’s not only one right way to train everyone either. You’re born with a predetermined set of genes, more than 20,000 of them. You can’t change the genes you have but you can make the best choices that allow those genes to do their best for you. What you eat, how you exercise, and even the people you surround yourself with will all impact how those genes are expressed.
It’s understood that genetics plays a significant role in the ability to express certain physical capabilities such as endurance. If you take a look at Olympic marathon runners, for example, you’ll note a lot of similarities in the vast majority of their bodies: long limbs, lean physiques, narrowed torsos, and smaller joints. Compare this to elite-level weightlifters and you’ll see noticeably different structures between the two groups. The marathon runner will likely never become an elite weightlifter (or vice versa) because the genetic potential, the raw material, simply doesn’t exist.
As a bigger-bodied person, my body is genetically better suited to producing and withstanding force. My body is not only big, it’s strong. My body is not only slower than some others, it’s also more stable.
I wish more people would understand that there is no one body type that is ‘the best’. They each come with their own strengths and challenges. If you’re a bigger-bodied person, too, I encourage you to learn, and celebrate, yours.
Some body types have success with certain types of exercise or ways of moving. For some people, that might mean that a more high-intensity interval approach is great. Others might break down from that. Some people will break down from power training yet others thrive on it. It all comes down to understanding that we’re all different and then trialling various styles to find what works for you.
When you’re practicing Animal Flow, try some different speeds or ways of performing the movements and ask yourself: “How does it feel?” Try moving slower, holding positions for longer periods. How does that feel? Are you emotionally happier when you do it? Are you physically happier; is your body responding better in some way?
Below are three simple drills that are my go-to movements when I practice Animal Flow. I’m definitely not saying that you should only ever practice AF like this, or that you should never try to improve your speed, mobility or fluidity. If you want to, then you can. What I’m saying is that it can be helpful to try a slower approach, too, and see how you enjoy it.
We often say that you have the rest of your life to improve at Animal Flow so there’s no rush. Try not to compare yourself to others, particularly those who have been on their journey longer than you or have been able to commit more time to the practice. Animal Flow is intended to be a solo practice in a supportive community environment–we won’t compare you to anyone and I hope you don’t either. Come and join us!
Animal Flow On Demand is the perfect way to start your AF practice in the comfort of your own home. With tutorials, classes, and follow-along flows, you can practice and progress at your own pace. Start your 14-day free trial now.