Primal Fitness – Reveal Your Inner Caveman!

If you look back at old portrayals of Caveman times you don’t tend to see images of overweight thirty-somethings sitting around all day doing nothing!

Cavemen and women were strong, healthy and energetic. Compare this to the adult population of today that are generally overweight, inactive and constantly tired.

Diet has a lot to do with our generations’ problems but lets focus on the exercise habits of our ancestors to see if we can learn from their activity patterns.

There were no sophisticated treadmills, heart rate monitors or Power Plates back in those days so what did they do to stay in shape?

Without the help and guidance of Jane Fonda, our ancestors simply used primal movement patterns to achieve their fitness levels.

Many theorists have categorised primal movements patterns into different terms but they generally agree that there were seven:

  • push
  • pull
  • squat
  • lunge
  • twist
  • bend
  • locomotion

Fitness trainers are now realising the importance of incorporating primal movements into workouts and you will see primal circuits popping up around the country over the next few years.

Why not design your own primal circuit that you could easily do at home?

Here are a few exercise ideas for each movement category, then simply put them into a circuit format of one minute of each primal movement and repeat the circuit 3 times.

PUSH – press ups or triceps dips.

PULL – pull ups (if you have a chin up bar!) or any sort of rowing action (holding onto a steady base such as a headboard or stair bannisters).

SQUAT – basic squats or burpees with a squat jump.

LUNGE – stationary lunges on each leg or travelling lunges around the room.

TWIST – woodchops (use a heavy object or weights to provide resistance) or sit on the edge of a chair and simply twist your body round touching the back of the chair with the opposite hand.

BEND – deadlift a heavy object from the floor or plunge lunge (lunge forward whilst bending and touching your front foot as you perform the exercise).

LOCOMOTION – jogging, crawling or sprinting across the room.

So now that you have some exercise ideas, why not give your primal circuit a go at home and release your inner caveman or cavewoman!

Helen Ttofa runs the community based fitness company nogymrequired in the UK. The aim of nogymrequired is to create community and not competition. For more information visit

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