When you first hear locomotion movements you may think “how do I move like a train?” then you start hearing animal names like Bear Monkey Frogger and Crab and you’re wondering if you came to a gym class or some weird zoo interpretation. Let’s talk about what locomotion training is and why it works so well for people.
What is Locomotion?
The movements are called locomotion training because they require you to use your whole body to move through space. Using these movement patterns to crawl and hop around the floor have significant positive affects on your body. They also can be this weird thing of actually FUN to do!
Why do Locomotion?
Now that we’ve talked about what it is let’s talk about why it is. Locomotion works on 3 training concepts simultaneously. They are strength, mobility and control.
Strength is the most obvious. These movements work your wrist, shoulders, back, trunk, hips, thighs, calves and ankles. WHOLE BODY workout. Also these movements can be modified to focus on particular areas at a time to increase the difficulty.
Mobility is the ability to utilize your range of motion. Another way to think of it is mobility is how much you are able to use your flexibility. Locomotion movements help identify issues in your range of motion and can be used to gain back that mobility.
Control is your ability to move your body in a coordinates controlled manner. This is the ability to slow down or speed up at will. It’s the ability to know where your left hand is in relation to your right foot and how to move then both for better balance.
The 4 Basic Movements
The four movements we utilize in GMB are the Bear, Monkey, Frogger and Crab. Each has its own unique benefits and all will help you build more strength and control.
- Bear is an inverted movement builds shoulder wrist and upper back strength and stability. The inversion also helps the spine lengthen.
- Monkey works from a bodyweight squat and moves laterally. This movement allows you to work on shoulder and arm strength for stabilization and torso strength for movement.
- Frogger also comes from a bodyweight squat. This helps open up the hips and builds arm strength and torso control as you move forward.
- Finally crab works back, shoulder, and core strength, this time working from a supine position.
All of these movements also translate outside of the locomotion themselves. For example, crab can be directly used to help strengthen the L-sit. Bear and Frogger both train muscles and positions necessary for hand balancing. Monkey can be used to train cartwheels and twisting movements.
This style of training is also very versatile. With variations to each movement we can transform them into a flexibility session, or a strength session, or a cardio conditioning session. We can also use the same to have a variety one training session.
Beyond the biomechanical benefits the locomotion movements help you live life easier. When you have strength and control in your body it’s easier to get off the floor, it’s easier to play with your kids, it’s even easier to take out the trash.
These movements force you to build awareness in your body as you grow stronger. Locomotion is a lot of fun that also makes you stronger and feel better. Why wouldn’t you do it?