Is Primal Movement The Secret to Unlocking Your 2023 Fitness Goals?
Updated: Mar 2
Looking for ways to shake off workout boredom and reboot your fitness routine in 2023? And as our lives get more complicated by the day, is there a way to build all our fitness needs into one workout we’ll want to stick with?
Primal Movement, a fitness concept that’s picking up major steam online and in fitness circles, could be your answer. And as its name hints, the future of fitness may lie in reconnecting with the past.
What is Primal Movement?
Imagine all the ways your body is designed to move naturally: how we're able to squat, rotate, and lunge, for example. Then think about how much time (or how little) you spend going through those physical motions daily. Aside from squatting to snag the remote from under the couch, research suggests the average adult is not much more active than that.
There’s no need to blame ourselves. Over time, our jobs and hectic routines have limited us from using our full range of strength, motion, flexibility, and balance. But the fact is, humans were once highly physical beings who were instinctively driven to move. RELATED: The Key to Longevity? The 4 Pillars of Health
That’s precisely what makes the emergence of Primal Movement a potential game-changer. The goal of Primal Movement is to reclaim that full range of physicality by working through a series of instinctive movements and patterns—a return to what the body naturally does best.
Who Should Try Primal?
While many workout routines can intimidate newcomers, Primal Movement experts stand by its accessibility. “We’ve found that those that don’t consider themselves athletes feel as though this service might not be for them, says Primal Mobility founder and coach Matt Phili.
"But what we’ve also noticed is that people who may not have ever trained a day in their lives are also seeing progress with this approach."
How Primal Movement Works
Primal Movement is made up of 7 core movement patterns. The individual movements can already be found as part of other fitness programs and can be incorporated into a gym setting. They can also be mixed and matched with different variations of movement patterns to keep your routine fresh. The focus here is bringing the movements together, with intention, into a program that focuses on the natural flow and movement of the body. Whether you use a commercial gym or your living room, the setting is less important than the movement patterns.
The 7 Core Movement
Pushing can be accomplished in one of two ways: 1. by pushing weight or an object away from you, or 2. by pushing your body weight away from a floor, wall, or something else.
Naturally, the reverse of pushing is pulling, which can also be done in two ways: 1. by pulling a weight or an object closer to the body, or 2: by pulling your body weight toward something.
The squat: often dreaded by longtime gym enthusiasts and newbies alike. Making peace with squats could be one of the most beneficial fitness decisions in 2023. Primal Movement spotlights the squat in all its lower body-revitalizing glory every time you lower your butt to the floor and bring it back up as our ancient ancestors intended.
Lunging—whether you’re lunging away from a saber-tooted tiger or toward a falling cell phone—is another critical lower body exercise. But unlike the squat, lunging is about stepping forward and bending one leg while the other remains stationary behind you.
Elle Woods can probably vouch for the effectiveness of this one, even if she uses it for different reasons. Great for the back and lower body—as well as for general stability and balance—bending revolves around using the hinge motion in your hips. As a gym exercise, this movement pattern has gained universal popularity in the form of a deadlift. You can mix it up with numerous variations of the deadlift to keep from getting bored with your routine.
Don't forget your core! Twisting is an often overlooked but critical movement pattern involving the torso's rotation. Incorporating this movement pattern is another great way to improve core strength, stability, and balance. There are plenty of rotational exercises, like wood chops or Russian twists, to help you incorporate this pattern into your workout. Or, you can also keep it simple and insert a dance break here and there.
Last - but not least - the gait is about the full body motions that move us forward. You may choose to walk, jog, sprint, or even frolic (seriously, if you haven’t frolicked lately, you’re missing out).
Putting it all Together
The key is to keep moving, no matter which movement patterns you choose. Your body will eventually settle into what feels natural for it. Remember, this is all about connecting with your body and how it was designed to move.
Benefits of Primal Movement
Primal Movement boasts the same physical benefits as other exercise routines: improved strength, flexibility, speed, and range of motion.
But beyond this, Primal Movement delves into core strength, balance, and general physical ease and grace through connecting with your body’s intuition.
How to Get Started
First, remember to always consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. From there, you can either seek out a Primal Movement gym where in-person training is available; or search for an online coach. Check their online reviews, and don't be afraid to ask the trainer questions to ensure you feel comfortable and informed.
Maintaining proper form is critical for preventing injury with any Primal Movement patterns. Be sure the training solution you choose has adequate supervision and spotters if needed, especially if you’re new to working out.
Primal Movement is worth considering whether you’re looking to refresh your fitness routine or start one from scratch. Check out our blog for more ways to jumpstart your healthy habits in 2023.