Of all the movements that make up the Animal Flow system, it’s the Form Specific Stretches of component #3 that, arguably, offer the most versatility. While the use of the word ‘stretches’ in the name may have you picturing yourself reclining into a series of docile positions, don’t be fooled. These moves are anything but passive.
Form Specific Stretches (FSS) are full-body actions that encourage a combination of flexibility and stability, or ‘mobility’, throughout the entire body. If FSS had a tagline it would undoubtedly be: “Strength through motion.” Simply put, when performed properly, FSS can help you get strong and create a more usable range of motion at different joints.
Each of the six FSS begins in one of our four animal base positions (Ape, Beast, Crab, or Loaded Beast) and moves through various end ranges of motion.
The Form Specific Stretches category includes:
What makes FSS so versatile is the way they can be:
Below, Master Instructor Mirosław Baściuk from Poland, demonstrates three of the many ways that Form Specific Stretches can be utilized. Try one, two, or all three versions and experience the versatility of the Form Specific Stretch component.
In this video, Miro demonstrates Beast Reach and Crab Reach. For each, he performs an isometric hold in the end position, maintaining ideal alignment for approximately 30 seconds before returning to his base position. Slow execution is an ideal way to give yourself time to bring attention to the specific technical points that bring each FSS to life.
This Flow incorporates all six FSS and can be performed at a moderate pace with emphasis on gently mobilizing various articulations within your entire body. Perform the Flow once then repeat on your opposite side.
A great way to prepare for a training session is by performing a few quality repetitions of the Form Specific Stretches that best complement the movements you’ll practice. For instance:
In this video, Miro demonstrates just 4 repetitions of each of the above movements, focusing on smooth, fluid motion throughout.
Access full tutorials on all Form Specific Stretches with your free 7-day trial of Animal Flow On Demand. Learn Ape Reach, Beast Reach, Crab Reach, Scorpion Reach, Loaded Beast Unload, and Wave Unload along with more than 70 other tutorials.