Stefano Tripney, MovNat Master Instructor
Out with the old-fashioned stuff. I mean, what’s the latest thing? There’s got to be something newer and shinier just around the corner in the industry and I’m determined to find it.
Those were my thoughts as a once-upon-a-time trainer returning from a three-year hiatus, suffering from a “what’s new under the sun” burn as I rapped endless keystrokes into my laptop just hoping to discover the trendiest new modality.
I figured there had to be some juicy system combining tech wizardry and traditional methods, or a marriage of complex skillsets with advanced protocols which would revolutionize the classic macro-cycle.
I was searching for what was next. I wanted the future.
Who doesn’t like a good irony?
I didn’t find the thing, the thing found me. Rather, it was delivered to me via a link by a dear friend who knew my plight and figured I’d discover my fitness manna in a podcast discussion.
They were discussing MovNat and throughout the dialogue, it became increasingly obvious that there was a disconnect that occurred in the interim between our ancestral past and the current time which had stripped us of our biological heritage. We clearly weren’t performing the same tasks we once did in order to simply survive as a species.
Erwan Le Corre, the founder and creator of MovNat, laid it out for the podcast host stating that natural human movement skills are a missing ingredient in modern fitness and this is doing us a great disservice, perhaps even contributing to our present-day malaise.
MovNat, unlike other fitness programs, is a system of physical education that helps one discover the deepest levels of competency of the human animal. The power comes from realigning ourselves with the very nature of our existence. Through intelligent progressions, and by moving in the ways we have evolved to move, we regain dormant abilities and skills to a level that by contrast seems superhuman.
Natural movement involves familiar manipulative skills like lifting and carrying, catching, and throwing and locomotive patterns like crawling, running, vaulting, climbing, jumping, and swimming. Aspects of ground movements consisting of rudimentary positions like laying, sitting, kneeling, and squatting are enhanced by exploring the transitional spaces between them. This is the domain of human movement – robust, full-spectrum, requiring and nurturing elements of strength, balance, mobility, coordination, endurance, power, and grace.
You wouldn’t expect a cheetah to train to hunt by running on a treadmill the same way you can’t expect an eagle to develop the wings for flight on a cable crossover machine. Why would you then expect humans to thrive in the same artificial conditions?
To understand this is to consider context: the synthesis of situation and environment. Humans evolved in less predictable surroundings and had to move more often and with greater variety. Modern conveniences and technologies have supplanted these variables, resulting in ever-decreasing volume and complexity.
The antidote lay in the reintroduction of our natural movement patterns through task-oriented activity. Practical skills assist us in our day-to-day lives as well as provide insurance when life hands us something more. Practical movement skills and real-world fitness are what the hallmarks of real capability entail.
Consider introducing natural movement into your fitness routine. You need little to no equipment as it is incredibly versatile and highly adaptable. Whether you use traditional weights, sandbags, kettlebells, logs, rocks, a tree, wall, table, bench, etc., anything can act as a tool or obstacle with which to engage in a comprehensive and challenging workout that can meet you where you are, regardless of your current level of fitness and ability.
A simple approach could look like a 10-20min circuit where you crawl for 20 seconds, hang or swing from a tree branch, ledge, or bar, balance on a narrow surface while walking forwards, backwards, and sideways, then a series of get ups from the ground to standing. Try lifting up and throwing a heavy object a few times followed by some jumping repetitions and a quick sprint. Explore creative ways to get under, over, or through obstacles in your environment while carrying an object. A more restorative session could have you transition between laying, sitting, kneeling, and squatting positions on the ground while mindfully breathing with your diaphragm. Allow simplicity and practicality to be your guiding principles.
MovNat is especially empowering for me as a coach as it helped me develop a new lens through which to see the potential in my clients, my environment, and most importantly myself. It is ridiculously fun, engaging, never gets boring, and demands a level of mindfulness that undoubtedly lends itself to cognitive gains. I’ve come to understand what it’s like to experience steadily increasing ability while ensuring safety and a path toward longevity.
Turns out I found the future after all.
About the Author
Stefano Tripney stands as a multidimensional force, fusing his passions for MovNat, fitness, and martial arts into a harmonious journey of holistic development. With an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a dedication to mastering these disciplines, Stefano has emerged as a guiding light, inspiring individuals to reach their full physical and mental potential. Read full bio.