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Planet Of The Apes Animal Flow workout

Still from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Andy Serkis is monkeying around in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes as a genetically engineered chimp leading a primate revolution. And you can follow his lead, with Animal Flow, a new exercise class that uses forms and positions inspired by the animal world to help improve functional body movements.

Moving like an ape offers many fitness benefits. “The unfamiliar positions work your muscles in unusual ways,” says master trainer Richard Scrivener at TrainFitness (opens in new tab). “The joint stability required and the number of muscles used will build strength in your trunk, arms and shoulders, while rotary movements in the hips, spine and shoulders also call for strong abs and obliques. The movements are progressive, and a 45-minute class is a great fat-burning session.”

Try the monkey moves below to improve mobility and stability and build strength. If you enjoy it, try this mobility workout next. Or try this back-to-fitness plan from Scrivener.

1 Deep ape sit with side-to-side reach

Develops Mobility

Deep ape sit

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)
  • Lower yourself into a deep squat position, with your feet pointing slightly outwards, your elbows in between your knees and your torso upright.

deep ape sit

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)
  • Reach across to your right hand side just past your feet with both hands and touch the floor.
  • Return to the start position and repeat on the opposite side.

2 Forward travelling ape 

Develops Strength

deep ape sit

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)
  • Start in a squatting position resting on your toes with your knees bent and your hands touching the floor either side of you.

deep ape sit

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)
  • Lean forward, and reach forward with your arms and plant your hands directly in front of you.
  • Let the momentum carry your shoulders forward and over your wrists.

deep ape sit

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)
  • Contract your core to pull your knees in towards your stomach and your heels towards your glutes before landing in the start position.

3 Deep ape position with side-to-side front load 

Develops Strength

Deep ape sit

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)
  • Lower yourself into a deep squat position, with your feet pointing slightly outwards, your elbows in between your knees and your torso upright.

Deep ape sit

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)
  • Reach across to your right hand side and plant both your hands and on the floor, loading all of your bodyweight onto your hands.
  • Balance on your hands your right knee for additional support if required.
  • Return to the start position and repeat on the opposite side.

4 Static beast hold

 Develops Stability

deep ape sit

(Image credit: Glen Burrow)
  • Crouch on the floor with your arms straight directly beneath your shoulders, and your knees bent, resting on the floor beneath your belly button, with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pressed into the floor.
  • Drive down through your hands and rotate them outwards till you feel tension across your shoulders, while pushing up through your toes to bring your knees an inch off the ground and keeping your neck in a neutral position looking down.

5 High hip beast hold

 Develops Stability

Deep ape sit

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)
  • Crouch on the floor with your arms straight directly beneath your shoulders, and your knees bent, resting on the floor beneath your belly button, with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pressed into the floor.

deep ape sit

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)
  • Push your hips up and tip your shoulders forward, straightening your legs and keeping your head tucked.
Sam Rider
Sam Rider

Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix (opens in new tab). Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.