“Fit Flows” Are the Strength-Training Equivalent of a Sun Salutation

Photo: Getty Images/vitapix
You know that feeling when you're in the middle of an hardcore yoga flow, and your focus is so intense that you can't think about anything other than your movements? Then, all of a sudden an hour has gone by, and you've gotten a great workout without even realizing what was happening? Well, imagine taking that same mind/body connection and applying it to your strength-training sessions. Now introducing: Fit flows.

According to trainer Kendall Roach, you not only can think about all of your workouts as "flows," but actually, you should be. The results, he says, can make a major mental difference.

"With an emphasis on the flow of moments, we are able to challenge our mental capacities," he says. "This occurs through the strain or struggle that comes with the fatigue of classic functional based movement training. In short, it’s another way to help an individual deal with, master, and overcome the psychological trials of everyday life."

Roach teaches a number of classes at NYC's Fithouse—including a strength training class called "Sculpt" and a trampoline-cardio class called "Bounce"—which follow these guidelines. Having taken both classes, I can say with full confidence that his theory on the power of flow checks out: Not only are they each you'll-for-sure-feel-this-the-next-day hard, but you don't even know what's happening until it's over. "When the vibe is right you can easily forget that you’re actually working out," says Roach. "Until that physical fatigue comes calling, of course. In that case, the classic mind-over-matter approach kicks in and is taken to another level. One must not just execute a movement but rather, maintain a flow."

To work this into your own workouts, sync your sweat sesh up with music and move through your movements one after the other of taking long breaks in between. So, to take an example from one of Roach's recent classes (which damn near killed me), start with single-leg lunges, then add on a squat, then add on a press, then add on a chest-fly, so that you're building on the moves and doing them in rapid sequence. The method can apply to your arms, legs, core—anything, really—as long as you're moving through it with a flow mindset. And yes: Down dogs are totally optional.

A few other ways to shake up your workout (and make it more enjoyable): Hack your pushups to make them way easier, and introduce a little HIIPA into your life, AKA the HIIT workout that fits in seamlessly with your everyday life.

Tags: Yoga

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