“Mainstream, machine-based fitness is a dying experiment—an industrial approach that has overwhelmingly failed people more than it has helped them.” – Erwan Le Corre
Real world fitness is about so much more than lean muscles, ripped abs, VO2 max, or other isolated conditioning attributes. It’s about being competent and capable. And you can’t get there by putting fitness in a box. These days, you have to think outside of it.
Fads and trends come and go, but our fundamental needs remain unchanged. So, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to return to your roots. Here are five ways you can do just that.
As you read through the list below, ask yourself how many of these elements are present in your own training and lifestyle.
1) Natural movements are now common.
A lot of modern fitness and strength & conditioning programs already include fundamental natural movements. They just go by different names, depending on which circle you’re in. There are Farmer Walks (aka Hand Carries), Bear Crawls (aka Foot Hand Crawl), and Burpees (aka Sprawls), among many other natural movements that are now quite common simply because they work, and always have.
Natural movements are timeless and practical. Plus, they deliver exceptional results in terms of fitness, function, and real world capability. For example, crawling is excellent for core strength, hip mobility, and shoulder stability, among other things. Weighted carries strengthen the whole body. And Sprawls, along with the many other ways to Get Up and Down or otherwise engage the ground, offer numerous mobility, stability, and conditioning benefits.
In his book, The Practice of Natural Movement, Erwan Le Corre said, “Natural Movement has been a fitness “fad” since the dawn of humankind…yet it has been ignored from modern fitness for way too long.”
Fortunately, that’s beginning to change as more people discover the powerful effect of moving the way our body’s are designed.
So, look at your daily movement habits. Compare them with this list:
- Ground Movement, Get Ups, & Crawling
- Walking, Balancing, & Running
- Jumping & Vaulting
- Lifting & Carrying
- Throwing & Catching
- Aquatics Skills
- Combatives Skills
Each category represents not only practical skills that would serve you well in everyday life or emergency situations, but when practiced regularly, they also deliver unique physiological benefits as well. Most people know that running and weight lifting deliver great physical results in terms of improving cardio-respiratory function and body composition, among other health markers. But so do all of these other movements, each in their own unique way.
So, the first thing you can do to stay ahead of the curve is ask yourself: is my training natural? Is it practical? And is it broad enough (or unspecialized) to meet all of my needs? And if it’s not, start exploring Natural Movement with our MovNat Beginner’s Guide. Or, sign up for our MovNat Adaptive Practice Sessions newsletter for free weekly Natural Movement workouts.
2) Movement and therapy are joining forces.
Movement is medicine. And Natural Movement is therapy. When we don’t move the way our body’s are designed, we suffer – and not just physically.
Many medical professionals now understand how critical Natural Movement is to health and well-being. According to Dr. Phil Lombardo, “I’m honored to practice the art of physical therapy. But while I used to believe corrective exercises were the best way to help my patients on their personal path to healing, I have come to believe that building capability and resilience is a much more powerful intervention than simply fixing one deficit after the next.” (Source)
Capability and resilience come from an integrated and holistic approach to movement and one’s lifestyle, in general; not from isolated or reductionist strategies that treat symptoms, not causes. That’s why more medical professionals are pursuing MovNat certification so they can introduce Natural Movement in their therapeutic settings.
For the rest of us who aren’t medical professionals, we must remember the timeless saying, “use it or lose it.”
While much has already been lost due to our sedentary lifestyles, artificial environment, and unnatural, overspecialized training regimes, there’s much we can do by reintroducing the fundamental natural movements that are inherently human and help us to thrive.
It’s important to remember that while almost any form of physical activity is better than remaining sedentary, the quality of your movement and training matters, especially over the long term.
One of the easiest ways to get started is to choose a few movements to integrate into your training or your everyday life via MovNat Snacks. We’d recommend these 7 Natural Movements That Are Just What The Doctor Ordered.
3) Ground Movement is going mainstream.
Ground Movement includes sitting, kneeling, and lying positions and transitions, along with rolling, crawling, Get Ups, and other related movements that involve your center of gravity being below waist height.
What was once confined to small circles in the fitness community, is now ever-present in many modern fitness programs.
Ground Movement is fun, practical, and an excellent tool for restoring fitness, function, and mobility. It’s one of the best things you can do for your health, fitness, mobility, and longevity. If you’re not leveraging this powerful tool, here are some of our top resources to help you get started.
- From The Ground Up Video Series
- 4 Ground Positions to Help You Sit Comfortably, Efficiently, and with Good Posture
- All About Ground Movement
4) Adaptive and complex training is gaining traction.
How well can you move in a complex environment? MovNat Performance Director, Danny Clark, says “If you only ever train in a perfectly controlled environment (e.g. most gyms), where everything is flat and smooth and dry and well-lit and air conditioned among other modern day conveniences, then you’ll be missing out on one of the most valuable aspects of training – adaptability…the apex of human movement. And, like anything else, it has to be trained to be earned.”
Improving your conditioning capacity through increased Volume (e.g. sets, reps, etc.) and Intensity (e.g. load, speed, etc.) are well-established strategies in modern fitness. But adding an element of complexity is beginning to gain more traction these days.
There are many simple ways to introduce an element of complexity into your training in a safe, progressive manner. For example…
- Instead of simply doing a weighted carry for distance, do it while balancing.
- Instead of lifting a perfectly symmetrical barbell, lift a stone or sandbag that is awkward to grip.
- Instead of doing mindless box jumps at the same exact height, practice jumping to a small target from different heights and distances.
- Instead of running on a flat track or road, run on a trail with mixed terrains, grades (e.g. uphill, downhill), and obstacles (e.g. roots, rocks, etc.).
Another simple way to include more adaptability in your routine is to take your training outdoors in nature. Regardless, this crucial element is necessary for a comprehensive approach to real world fitness. This concept is deeply embedded in the MovNat curriculum; you’ll find it present in every MovNat program available.
5) We’re finding our way back to nature.
Nature is our greatest teacher, and we ignore it at our peril. But we are finding our way back. We’re learning that being able to crush a workout doesn’t always equate to real world capability. That what we need is not more extremes, but more balance.
Over the years, I have taught many fitness coaches who spend their time indoors, doing muscle-isolation exercises and working on fitness machines, and although their muscles have looked good on paper, their ability to run, jump, balance, climb, and so forth in natural environments were questionable at best. Mainstream fitness and Natural Movement are not the same at all; they don’t have the same purpose or method, and they logically produce incredibly different results.” – Erwan Le Corre
If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to return to your roots. So, instead of getting confused by the plethora of fitness programs available, open yourself to the “new” experience, which is our original, universal human movement mode. You are born to move naturally. A vast number of natural movements are available to us! How many do you know? How many do you practice and master? Make authentic, Natural Movement your primary feel-good reflex and go-to fitness strategy. Move because you want to, move whenever you can, and move as long as you possibly can…before you can’t. Ancient moves never get old because they are timeless and foundational. The most ancient form of physical training becomes revolutionary.
Your body is the technology you need to connect to, and Natural Movement is the universal workout the world has forgotten.
Get Started With Natural Movement Fitness – TODAY!
The MovNat Level 1 Certification is your entry point into the world’s official Natural Movement Fitness program. It equips you with the knowledge, skills, and methods you need to transform your movement & fitness and build real world capability from the ground up. You’ll learn not only the movements in the official MovNat curriculum, but also the methods to apply those movements to your unique needs, goals, and circumstances.
Over the last ten years, MovNat has helped thousands of people from all walks of life restore their natural abilities and lay a foundation for a deeper, lifelong movement practice. We are the original, official, and only Natural Movement Fitness certification, with thousands of certified professionals and dozens of MovNat Licensed Facilities all around the world.
Whether you’re completely new to Natural Movement Fitness, or a seasoned veteran looking to expand your skillset, the MovNat Level 1 Certification is your launchpad to a deep understanding of natural human movement, how to integrate it into your training and lifestyle, and help others do the same.
Want to get started at home? Start today with our MovNat Level 1 Fundamentals E-Course.