Flow is a term that is being thrown around a lot in the movement world. Take a look on You Tube and you will see many great examples of people demonstrating Flow within their movement practice. If you search, Capoeira, Breakdancing , Parkour, or Contemporary Dance, you will find that the examples are endless. One thing a lot of us forget is most of the time we are seeing the finished product of the movement. Rarely do individuals show you all the hard work and determination it took to prepare their bodies to move the way they do in the “final product”. Developing movement mastery takes lots of practice and many hours focusing on the basics and getting stronger in the foundational movements of the flow.
Flow like Water
My understanding of Flow within movement relates to how well you can transition from one movement to the next, while making the transitions look and feel seamless. In order to develop this type of movement intelligence one needs to break down the flow into bite size pieces and practice the movements that are the foundations of the flow. This is the strength training part of piecing together a flow and can honestly take a while to develop. Once the strength foundation is set by use of calisthenics or other bodyweight exercises, then its time to play with the transitions, how well can you move from one movement or hold the next? When you start to work in this phase, you will begin to see part of the magic unfolding before you. The body is forced to adapt and build strength in ranges of motion that are challenging to develop with any machine or external load. It takes a complete total body effort to develop and control this type of movement. Lets not get ahead of ourselves we still need to go back to basics.
It’s as easy as A.B.C.
Think of how we learned to write. First we learned the ABC’s then we learned the words and finally we learned how to use the words in a sentence. Think of flow like this, It’s another language that we are learning. Be patient in this phase, it took many years to learn how to write and spell. So don’t expect new movements to be any different.
Getting excited about learning how to flow is one thing. Learning how to design a flow is another. This requires experience in understanding what movements work well together. It’s an art form in itself, really. Personally, this is something I am continuing to explore in my own practice. Just because I can put some movement phrases together doesn’t mean I know how to write sentences or put them in a paragraph. This is going to take many more hours and possibly years to develop. But it’s ok -I’m in no hurry.
I am excited to announce I have found a resource that will help you get closer to movement mastery.
Ryan Hurst of GMB Fitness, and Mike Fitch of Global Body Weight training (creator of Animal Flow) have put together a fantastic exercise program to help you learn how to practice flow in your own training. They collaborated and filmed a never before seen Flow Workshop last year. You have the opportunity to save many years of frustration and learn some really cool movements that will help you move in ways you have never moved before.
In the Flow seminar they will teach you 4 different flows to challenge your body in different ways. The benefits of practicing these flows will help improve your strength, coordination, balance, motor control, and mobility. Each flow is expertly broken down so the movements are digestible to any level and ability. If you are interested in learning more about the Flow Seminar check out the link here.
Focusing towards a goal like a Flow can keep you motivated and excited about your training for years to come. The goal is now multi dimensional as opposed to linear. No matter what level of athletic and movement ability you posses, it never hurts to add more ammunition into your arsenal.