MovNat Performance Benchmarks



The MovNat Performance Benchmarks are designed to test key elements of practical physical competency and preparedness for the next level of training. More specifically, they test the student’s motor abilities (skillful technique, memory/retention, consistency, efficiency, adaptability) and work capacity development (strength and conditioning). Successful performance is a strong indicator demonstrating preparedness for the next level of training.


  • Students will have two (2) attempts at each test (the second attempt is optional). The final score will be the greater of the two trials.
  • In order to test whether retention-an indicator of learning-has occurred assessments should not take place within a week of practicing/training the skills on the assessment. Practicing the tests to prepare (“teaching to test”) is discouraged as it will overestimate learning.
  • For tests that indicate the additional testing of adaptability (A), add one (1) unpracticed contextual demand for Level 1 and two (2) unpracticed contextual demands for Level 2.

Unpracticed contextual demands include unfamiliar:

  • Volume: repetitions, sets, duration.
  • Intensity: speed, distance, height, depth.
  • Complexity/Variability: surfaces and over environmental variables (linear, angled, inclined, declined, smooth, uneven, flat, rounded, stable, instable, wide, narrow, thick, thin, smooth, rugged, even or uneven weight distribution, etc…)

*It should be noted that the entire assessment tests adaptability to some degree, as the student will be subject to the contextual demands that come with testing (new situation, more pressure, less feedback, etc).
Interested in getting tested or need help improving? Visit one of our Licensed Facilities

Grading Scale

  • 0 = Ineffective (did not complete)
  • 1 = Effective (completed) with insufficient efficiency
  • 2 = Effective (completed) with *sufficient efficiency (efficiency could be improved by addressing minor movement inefficiencies, to be specified)
  • 3 = Effective (completed) at the highest level of efficiency (exceptional movement quality)
  • Pass = No more than three “2s” and no “1s” or “0s”
  • * ”Sufficient efficiency” is defined as demonstrating a minimum of 80% of what would be considered “perfect” efficiency (factoring in safety, energy conservation, and performance). Think of a “2” as rating the movement performance as an 8 on a scale of 1-10, whereas a “3” is a 9 or 10.


Beginner Level Benchmarks

– Tests preparedness for intermediate level classes –


Movement(s): Strength Get-Up + Tripod Get-Up + Cross Sit Get-Up
Execution: Start from a supine lying position, work up to a standing position and
finish back in a supine lying position for each sequence
Volume: 1 per side of each sequence (5 reps for Cross Sit Get-Up), performed continuously
Intensity: Strength Get-Up w/ load in preferred position (shoulder or hand) 16kg for men; 12kg for women; Bodyweight for all others
Complexity: Flat, level surface of choice
Common Inefficiencies: Shoulder Instability, Weak overhead lockout (if load is in hand), Excessive rounding of the spine, Loss of balance or pattern


Movement(s): Balancing Standing Walk + Pivot Reverse
Execution: Start standing on the board, walk to the edge of the board, pivot reverse, and walk back to the starting point without stepping off. Repeat until all repetitions are completed
Volume: 5 repetitions of, first, walking the 2.5 meters on the board and, second, pivot reversing (2.5 m walk + 1 pivot reverse is one repetition) without stepping down
Intensity: Bodyweight only
Complexity: 3.5-inch width board (a “2×4”) laid flat on a level surface. One unpracticed contextual demand added.
Common Inefficiencies: More than one ground contact, excessive instability, poor alignment, poor control


Movement(s): Hip Hinge + Waist Carry
Execution: Begin with the hip hinge repetitions until complete, then proceed to lapping, then proceed to the waist carry using an appropriate grip. Finish the waist carry by setting the bag down using lapping and hip hinge techniques in reverse
Volume: 4 hip hinges, followed by a 20m waist carry
Intensity: approx. 1/2 bodyweight sandbag for men; approx. 1/3 sandbag bodyweight for women
Complexity: Flat, level, firm surface
Common Inefficiencies: Excessive spinal flexion/extension, improper grip selection, poor static or dynamic alignment, heavy footsteps, excessive tension in arms


Movement(s): Depth Jump
Execution: starts standing and ends up standing after a 2 second established landing
Volume: 2 repetitions
Intensity: Half the height of the student (rounded up to nearest available box height) with a height/distance ratio of 1:1 (ex – 2m tall student = 1m height box with a 1m distance target)
Complexity: flat, level, firm, 8”x8” surface
Common Inefficiencies: Inability to “stick” landing, landing excessively deep (bottoming out) or shallow, poor absorption of force (heavy/loud landing), forgetting to deep knee bend before jumping, improper arm movement


Movement(s): Side Swinging Traverse
Execution: Start from a dead side hang, then use the swinging traverse technique for the specified distance and finish hanging still before releasing the bar.
Volume: 2m down and 2m back
Intensity: Bodyweight
Complexity: 2.5-4.5 cm (1-2’’) thick, smooth bar
Common Inefficiencies: Insufficient grip strength, poor/lack of ability to utilize momentum, poor movement timing, excessive tension in elbows or spine, lack of tension in the midsection (overarching)


Movement(s): Foot-Hand Crawl
Execution: Starts and finishes in a Foot-Hand Crawl position
Volume: 2:00 minutes without rest or pause
Intensity: approx. 1 step per second
Complexity: 1 unpracticed contextual demand added
Common Inefficiencies: Loss of patterning, excessive spinal flexion or extension, loss of shoulder stability, excessively elevating hips
Optional (recommended) test: Evaluate student’s running technique

Intermediate Level Benchmarks

– Tests preparedness for advanced level classes –


Movement(s): Kick Vault + Balancing Standing Walk
Execution: Start by running toward the pole, perform a Kick Vault, continue
running. Return to the pole, mount it and perform the Balancing Standing Walk
Volume: 1 Kick Vault, followed by 2.5m Balancing Standing Walk
Intensity: 100cm (39’’) height pole
Complexity: Smooth, 6.5cm (2.5’’) metal pole
Common Inefficiencies: Shoulder instability, Poor landing, Loss of balance, Poor posture, Excessive movement while balancing


Movement(s): Broad Jump to precision landing
Execution: Start standing on an object, execute a broad jump to precision
landing onto a bumper plate, then walk back and repeat
Volume: 2 repetitions
Intensity: Distance equal to 6 of the student’s toe to heel footsteps
Complexity: Precision landing onto a standard bumper plate. Use 2 unpracticed contextual demands (ex- jump off unfamiliar object + unfamiliar object at mid- point to be jumped over)
Common Inefficiencies: Insufficient power to jump the full distance, Inability to “stick” landing, landing excessively deep (bottoming out) or shallow, poor absorption of force (heavy/loud landing), improper arm movement, landing in a split stance


Movement(s): Clean + Push Press
Execution: The student will begin by grabbing ahold of the edges of the sandbag. The trainer will issue the command “Lift.” The student will then execute a Clean, finishing in a fully upright position. The trainer will then issue the command “Press.” The student will then execute a Push Press, finishing in a fully upright position with the object fully locked out overhead. After 5 seconds in the lockout, the trainer will issue the command “Drop” to complete the sequence
Volume: 1 repetition of each in a “chain” format (Clean, then Push Press)
Intensity: approx. 3/4 BW sandbag for men; approx. 1/2 BW sandbag for women
Complexity: Flat, level, firm surface
Common Inefficiencies: Inability to follow commands, Excessive spinal flexion/extension, Excessive use of the arms, Inability to perform any portion of the lifts, Dropping the sandbag at any point before completion of the sequence


Movement(s): High Back Carry + Stepping Up/down + Stepping Over
Execution: Begin with the student setting another student in the High Back Carry position from standing. Have the tested student execute the carry until all obstacles are cleared, then set the student down to a standing position.
Volume: 20m
Intensity: Carry a student nearest to the bodyweight of the tested student
Complexity: flat, level, firm, surface, while stepping up/down and over two obstacles that have not been practiced. Limit obstacle size to a maximum of equal height to the bottom of the student’s kneecap.
Common Inefficiencies: Inability maintain posture while carrying over obstacles, Inability to complete the specified distance


Movement(s): Pop Up (Men) or Swing Up (Women)
Execution: Start from a dead side hang, then use the appropriate climbing
technique to finish in the Vertical Press-Up position on top of the bar
Volume: 1 repetition
Intensity: Bodyweight. All technical variations of either technique are permitted
Complexity: 2.5-4.5 cm (1-2’’) thick, smooth bar
Common Inefficiencies: Inability to complete the movement, excessive “grinding,” poor movement timing, lack of tension in the midsection (overarching), excessive flailing, shoulder instability


Movement(s): Running
Execution: Students will complete a timed run through a course specified by the
trainer in an outdoor setting
Volume: 5 Kilometers
Intensity: 24 minutes for men, 27 minutes for women
Complexity: Barefoot or minimal shoes on varied, uneven terrain.
Common Inefficiencies: Improper posture, foot placement, excessive striding out, tension, or movement outside the sagittal plane in the upper or lower body.

Interested in getting tested or need help improving? Find a MovNat Certified Trainer or Licensed Facility