Everything You Want to Know About Primal Movement Workouts

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Are you interested in getting fit but don’t know where to start? Primal movement exercises may be a great place to start. This unique fitness method that is gaining popularity is based on the movements of our ancestors and can help you get in shape without all the complexities of modern workouts. In fact, primal movement exercises more readily transfer their strength benefits to day-to-day life than typical weight lifting exercises. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about primal movement exercises.

benefits of primal movement workouts

What are Primal Movement Exercises and Their Benefits?

Primal movement exercises are movements that focus on recreating and perfecting the natural movements of our body. They mimic movements our ancestors may have done in everyday life many years ago and animal movements as well. Primal movements not only help us to build strength and improve mobility but they also help us to get in touch with ourselves physically and mentally.

Through primal movement, we can learn how our bodies are meant to move and which muscles we should focus on while performing exercises or daily functions. This can actually help you to prevent injuries on a daily basis.

Working out at the gym is great. It helps to improve strength, functionality, and cardiovascular health and keeps many diseases at bay. But not everything that you do in the gym directly transfers benefits to daily life.

When you exercise by creating movements you are training your body for only that exact movement in that exact position. That is why using the correct form and also working with a trainer is so essential. But even following a traditional workout with perfect form doesn’t directly transfer all of its strength benefits to your activities in daily life.

Primal movement exercises do. Because of this, primal movement exercises are great for providing relief from chronic pain and also reducing the chance of incurring injuries in daily life.

Related: Primal Movement Exercises and Workouts to Get You Started

What is the Difference Between Primal Movement and Traditional Workouts

Primal movement is a different kind of exercise compared to traditional physical activities, such as weight lifting or running. While a lot of typical workouts and exercises that you know do qualify as primal movements, not all do.

Primal movement exercises are all about replicating the way we naturally move, engaging in bodyweight exercises that help improve motor control, and incorporating the core, hips, and shoulders in ways that we functionally move on a daily basis.

While traditional forms of exercise are often focused on building strength and increasing muscle definition, primal movement exercises emphasize making sure that each joint moves correctly through its full range of motion as you would in daily life to reduce and prevent injuries in your daily activities.

As a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, I can attest to how primal movement can be even more beneficial than traditional “gym workouts” toward preventing injury and creating functional strength.

Let’s use some examples.

Examples of Primal Movement Exercises Compared to Traditional Exercises

Think about some highly popular and great exercises like lat pulldowns. While it is a great pulling exercise and is wonderful for increasing physical strength and muscle definition, the direct benefits of such movements only minimally cross over into daily life.

When you train your body to do a certain exercise you are training your muscles to perform in that exact position. While lat pulldowns will strengthen your upper back and make lifting things easier, they will not help you to avoid injury as well as primal movement lifting exercises which closer mimick functional movements.

How often are you lifting or pulling things STRAIGHT over your head? Almost never.

So while typical weight lifting exercises will increase your strength and physique, they don’t always directly transfer to preventing injury and increasing functionality in daily activities nearly as well as primal movement exercises do.

What Exercises are Catagorized as Primal Movement?

There are 7 movements that are considered primal movements and all primal exercises are based on these 7 movements. They are:

  • Pushes
  • Pulls
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Gait (Locomotion)
  • Bending
  • Rotating

While you might not be lunging around the house or office these movements strengthen the muscles that translate into real life. But what is referred to as “primal movement workouts” are not your traditional lunges or squats.

Instead, primal movement workouts take those motions that we are fairly familiar with and blends them together into something that resembles an animal-like yoga flow. Typically blending from one move or motion to another fairly seemlessly.

Primal movement exercises are a great way to get back in touch with your more primal self and train for life itself instead of for appearances.

These exercises are all about re-learning how to move your body as it was evolutionarily intended. Examples of primal movement exercises include crawling, different variations of squats and lunges, and pushup variations.

How Often Should You Do Primal Movements?

You can see in the video above how primal movements, including squats, deadlifts, push-ups, and planks look different than what we think of when we hear those workout terms. These moves are essential foundation exercises for a healthy lifestyle.

These fundamental movements can increase strength and balance in the body, allowing you to take on more complex forms of exercise with better control. To reap the maximum benefits from your workouts it is recommended to do them two to three times per week or 120-150 minutes a week.

If breaking your workouts into smaller increments across more days is what works for your schedule (I prefer 20-30 minute workouts 5 or 6 days a week) that is equally as beneficial. Just be sure you are providing your body with adequate amounts of rest time when exercising more frequently.

This time devoted to exercise can be exclusively primal workouts or a mix of primal and more traditional workouts as well.

You should be focusing on quality rather than quantity when performing these or any exercises. With regular practice it’s possible to gradually increase the intensity of each movement too; adding weight or additional sets as your body adapts and gets stronger over time.

How to Get Started with Primal Movement Exercises

Whether you’re a beginner to primal movements or have been doing them for a while, starting out on the right foot is key. First, safety should be your top priority.

Make sure to begin with a thorough warm-up each time your work out. Once your body has warmed up, focus on proper form. Make sure that each movement is precise and worked through as much of its range of motion as possible. This allows for better muscle activation.

Last but not least, don’t forget a proper cooldown at the close of each workout. Allowing your heart rate to return to normal as you stretch out all of the muscles that you targeted in this workout session.

Youtube is a great source for finding primal movement workouts to follow.

Wrapping Up What Are Primal Movements?

Trying primal movements is an excellent way to increase strength, mobility, and coordination. Plus, it can help you get connected to your body in a unique way that traditional go-to exercises sometimes lack. The best part of all?

It’s easy to give primal movement a try from the comfort of your own home! Plus these simple exercises only require minimal, basic equipment for maximum results. So don’t be afraid to get creative and explore movements that bring out your inner caveman (or woman)! I guarantee you won’t regret giving primal movement a shot.

Related: Primal Movement Exercises and Workouts to Get You Started

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