Do you remember the CrossFit craze of the 2010s? Or maybe the Zumba boom from a few years earlier? Or perhaps you found refuge in home HIIT workouts during the pandemic days. Fitness trends are constantly evolving, and how you workout today may look very different from the way you exercised five years ago (or even last December!). So, what's making waves in the fitness world in 2023? We have two words for you: primal fitness.
No, it doesn't involve screaming like a banshee or roaring like a lion when swinging a kettlebell and pushing through a 20-rep squat set (although, if that's your thing, go for it!). Primal fitness is all about embracing the basic movements human beings have been doing for hundreds of thousands of years. Think lifting, pushing, and lunging. Essentially, it's the opposite of sitting, which most of us do too much of.
Many health experts believe that primal moves, such as twisting, pulling, and squatting, can enhance a person's strength, flexibility, and range of motion. This can make it easier for you to lift grocery bags, climb stairs, play with your dog, or stock your pantry. It's less about burning calories by smashing it at the gym and more about moving your body to improve its overall functionality (which will help you live longer and stronger!).
The real beauty of primal fitness is that you don't need to invest in fancy equipment, commit to expensive memberships, or follow a studio timetable. You can practice primal fitness from the comfort of your own home.
Sounds like the type of fitness trend you can get around, right?
Activities like walking, jumping, running, bending and even sitting cross-legged on the floor fall under the primal fitness umbrella. There are also a stack of moves you can build into your regular fitness routine, or even try out on your living room carpet.
Here's a shorter version of the quote:
"Primal movement is key to holistic well-being. By incorporating exercises like walking, running, jumping, and plyometrics, we improve range of motion, build strength and conditioning, and develop better body mechanics." - Petar Klenkoski MMA coach.
Here are 5 exercises to get you started
Walking lunges develop leg strength, increase joint and muscular function, and enhance your muscular development overall. They’re also pretty simple to master!
To begin, step your left leg forward by putting weight into your heel. As your left foot touches the floor, bend your left knee into a lunge position.
Without moving your left leg, bring your right foot forward and repeat the same movement on the opposite side.
Try adding 10 - 12 walking lunges into your workouts 2-3 times per week.
A bear crawl is a full body exercise that improves your endurance and agility.
Start in a push up position with your hands beneath your shoulders. Your feet should be hip distance apart and your heels raised.
Move your right hand and left leg forward in a crawling motion while keeping your knees off the ground. Then repeat the same motion on the following side. Continue to switch sides until you’ve completed your desired set (8-10 repetitions on both sides is a good place to start).
This one might look a little kooky, but it’s great for building strength in your arms, chest, shoulders and core.
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend forward and touch the floor with your hands, then walk your hands out in front of you as far as you can while keeping your legs straight.
You should find yourself in an extended plank position. Hold the pose for a few seconds before walking your hands back to your feet and repeating the exercise.
Start with 2 of 3 sets of 10.
Ah, the crab walk, You no doubt did this once or twice in primary school. But it’s actually an amazing full body exercise that works your upper arms, shoulders, legs and core.
Begin by sitting on the floor with your arms behind your back and your feet in front of you, hip distance apart.
Lift your hips of the ground and activate your core.
Move your left hand, then your right foot, then your right hand followed by your left foot.
Look at you, walking like a crab!
Walk as many steps as your space allows before walking back to your start portion.
Try 4 sets of 12 reps at first and increase as desired.
The Russian twist is excellent for toning your core and shoulders. Let’s just say you’ll be feeling your abs the next day!
Sit on the floor with your legs out straight in front of you, leaning back slightly to engage your core.
Hold this position while twisting your torso from side to side - For an added challenge, consider incorporating a medicine ball or dumbbell into your routine.
To begin, do 3 sets of 15 reps.
Looking for more fitness tips? Check out our Ultimate At-Home Yoga Guide
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