Bringing Natural Movement Back

It’s time to bring Natural Movement back! Really, it’s SOOOOO time.

So what is Natural Movement you ask? MovNat defines it as “a fitness and physical education system based on the full range of natural human movement skills.” I describe it as "The most effective & efficient way to move your body for greater daily capability, building full body strength and reaching peak performance." It covers all natural human movements like ground movement, orienting, crawling, walking, running, balancing, jumping, vaulting, climbing, lifting & carrying, throwing & catching.

I spent 3 days last weekend down in Raleigh, NC at a MovNat certification workshop learning the ideology of natural movement and physically practicing natural movement first hand. I am extremely excited to build on these practices with my current student-athlete / young-adult clients, and develop new offerings in this area for both young children that love nature and adults that want to keep up with their kids!

Speaking of keeping up with kids, you ever notice how young kids just can’t stop moving? They run freely indoors and outdoors, crawl under tables or through adults’ legs, balance on narrow objects like a couch arm rest or the edge of a sidewalk or parking curb, jump off of couches or rocks, climb banisters or trees. As we age, natural movement becomes less a part of our lives as we conform to the sedentary lifestyle our current society unconsciously (or maybe consciously) promotes. The price we pay is losing much of our innate strength and forgetting how to move.

And I’m not talking about movement in the form of “exercise” as we think about it today. Going to the gym does not cover movement. Crossfit does not cover movement. Yoga does not cover movement. Playing a sport does not cover movement. Our bodies get out of whack over time and then we jump right into these “exercise themed” events without ever learning technical & quality natural movement skills. 

MovNat says, “Great strength or endurance does not necessarily equate with greater competence in responding with efficiency to the complexity of contextual demands.” In other works, strength does not mean much without the aptitude to move naturally. Skills, aka technical and quality movement, must be the primary point of focus. Practicing these movement skills builds immense full body strength without having to isolate individual muscles or joints. Then, and only then, does it make sense to supplement your strength and endurance conditioning.

Natural movement is an endangered species and we need to bring it back! Exercise should not happen out of context of the rest of your life. Think of movement beyond exercise! Ecologically, movement has always been a part of our life without having to think about it or seek it out by devoting a specific time period of our day to it. 

I encourage you to find little ways to incorporate more natural movement throughout your day.