A primal exercise is one which mimics movements which we have needed to do as hunter gatherers to survive. We have evolved requiring these movements for survival, our body is well designed to do them, and some argue require to do them. Think of something like carrying a weight, chasing someone, lifting, building, climbing, jumping and every movement in-between. Early man was very busy, and most activities required movement. Obviously you are no longer primal man, so these movements need to be condensed into a workout routine rather than a part of your day-to-day living. You no longer for example, are required to stalk, chase, kill and carry a cow – you just pop to the supermarket. You can mimic these movements. Rather than carrying a dead animal, carry a heavy weight, don’t chase a creature, chase your friend etc.
If You've Got Only Five Minutes
Do the bear crawl. It combines the push, pull, squat, bend, lunge, and rotation together, and is one of my favorite primal exercises. Crouch on all fours, hips high, and neck neutral. Walk your hands and feet forward. Keep it up for 30 seconds, take a quick breather, and repeat for five minutes. When I want a quick burn, a few bear-crawl laps around my pool is all it takes.
Within each category of human movement, you want to do the movements that offer the highest return on investment. The push does that. And the push-up in particular is perhaps the perfect primal exercise, working trunk stability and upper-body pushing strength. This classic gym class exercise strengthens the chest, shoulders, triceps, and abs.
It is not news that we sit too much and don’t move enough. So you should understand that our posture and strength diminishes as we age. So how can we get pure core strength and mobility back? We can do this by simply starting on the ground and working our way up. These “primitive” patterns can help us increase core strength, improve movement, and help us get back to moving how we were made to move. Let’s go back to basics and gather back what we once had, but lost over time due to our daily limitations. Include these 5 primal exercises in your daily warm-up, and watch all of your athletic movements improve.