By John Sifferman
We asked some of our top MovNat Professionals:
What is one Natural Movement that you think most people don’t practice enough, but should? And why?
Their answers may surprise you…
Danny Clark – MovNat Master Instructor
Deep, controlled breathing is essential to movement performance and efficiency, and it pays out great dividends once mastered. Yet, breathing with control is a skill that few people practice, which is a shame because proper breathing supports mindfulness, relaxation, and movement efficiency. It also reinforces the perception of proper posture, helps the body to relax, and can even provide a mechanical advantage during physical effort. On the other hand, improper breathing will cause the body to create unnecessary tension that competes with our attention and limits our performance. Thus, mindful breathing is also a great tool for improving your mental focus.
At MovNat, we teach that the breath should be trained both independently and through movement. Starting with very basic drills while sitting or laying on one’s back, you can focus on breathing deeply into the diaphragm, trying to fill the whole abdomen (i.e. breathing deeply into your belly, ribs, and back). Eventually, the breath can be trained during movements, starting with Ground Movements and positions, then progressing to simple Get Ups and Crawling techniques, and working up from there.
Jerome Rattoni – MovNat Team Instructor
The one Natural Movement people should do, in my opinion, is crawling and all the variations which come with it.
Being a MovNat Instructor as well as an international sales person, I am a big advocate of “Movement Snacks” (i.e. little periods where we can include movement in our daily sedentary life). And when we think about the broad spectrum of our MovNat skills, and put it in a traveler’s context (e.g. confined in small hotel rooms, flats, offices, etc.), there is not much available.
In people’s minds who are used to conventional fitness, if there is no gym around, then they cannot “train”. I see it differently. If I am in a small room, or have a little patch of ground, grass, etc. around me, I immediately think that I could get on “all fours” and do something.
The first movement I like to do is deep kneeling, feeling the pressure of the ground on my wrists, and performing some rotations of my torso to warm-up. Then, I really like to perform Tripod Transitions, maybe the most complete movement with restricted space and time. A few Tripods will break a sweat very quickly and give this vigorous feeling, an energy boost after just a few reps. Finally, from this progression, I can think of switching from pronated stance to supinated stance. A perfect way to then apply the trademarked “Foot-hand” or “Inverted” crawls.
Doing all this on a regular basis strengthens our joints, challenges our cardio, and offers some valuable muscle resistance, hence growth. Mentally, it provides a very vital feeling of knowing that we do ourselves good while still executing our sedentary business, home, and family tasks.
Try it every day and tell me how you feel after a week or two.
Craig Rice – MovNat Team Instructor
This is a tough question to answer because it’s asking for a general recommendation when everyone is different. Is there, generally speaking, one MovNat technique that most people are not doing but should be? It sort of depends on who the person is, what kind of movements they are doing, and what cultural norms they subscribe to.
What I have noticed is missing in most other fitness systems and in modern cultures around the world is having variety be a part of a movement practice. If you were to hold my feet to the fire and demand an answer I would say that people don’t practice enough variety in their movements. Before you think that you are the exception, let me start by saying that if you’re not doing some form of Natural Movement than you’re missing out on some possible movement varieties.
Let’s take one movement technique as an example. That old gym staple… the deadlift. There is all sorts of variety that you can layer onto this technique. You can lift different weights, and you can vary your reps and rest times. You can change what you’re lifting, from a cable machine, to dumbbells, to barbells, to kettlebells. Basically, name a bell and you can lift it. You can get into strongman things and lift kegs, and atlas balls. There is literally a world out there for the lifting.
There are still more common variations. Straight leg deadlifts. Single arm deadlifts. Sandbags. Buckets of water. You can even do different movements before or after deadlifts and it adds some variety to the movement. I would say that if this is where your variety of movement ends than you could use more still. At some point with all of these variations, you’ll get to a point where you’ve tried them all.
What a Natural Movement practice offers is more variety than you can experience in a lifetime. Once you take a technique and start adapting it to a natural environment and situation, then you’ll see what variety truly is. Lift facing uphill. Lift with one foot on a higher surface than another. Lift a different rock every day. It took me between 6 months and a year to get bored of the variety found in CrossFit (which has a large variety of movements). I’ve been practicing MovNat for around 8 years now, and I’m still finding new varieties of movements that challenge me physically and mentally and keep me coming back for more.
– Craig Rice
Ready to Deepen Your Natural Movement Practice?
If you’d like to learn more about Natural Movement Fitness to deepen your movement practice, join us for a MovNat Level 1 Certification or a MovNat Workshop. We hold events all around the world. Or, find a MovNat Certified Trainer or Gym in your area. We also offer MovNat Online Coaching as an alternative to live instruction.
Most people know that they should be more physically active. Some even recognize the incredible value in a system like MovNat. But they struggle with actually implementing natural movement into their daily lives. That’s why we work closely with people from all walks of life to help them move better, get healthier and stronger, and discover their true potential with natural movement fitness. It’s also why we work extensively with health and fitness professionals who understand the value of this new paradigm and are eager to start implementing it with their clients.
So, if you’re ready to take your movement practice to the next level, this is your chance. Please join our community and check out an event near you soon.