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A Beginner’s Guide to MovNat

5 Beginner-Friendly Movement Workouts
And A Complete 4-Week Program.
Plus, Tips & Resources for Beginners
to Natural Movement Fitness

movnat for beginners

You don’t have to be an elite athlete living in an exotic location to reap the benefits of natural movement fitness.

Natural movement is for everyone. And you can get started at any age, ability, or fitness level – whether you have a gym membership, live close to nature, or neither.

The truth is natural movement comes naturally to all humans, but efficient movement does not. That’s why this page is loaded with beginner-friendly movement workouts that are fun, challenging, and scalable to all ability levels so that you can start feeling and moving better today.

We’re confident that if you commit to following one of the routines below, you’ll see results right away, and be ready for more.

While it’s true that you’ll learn the fastest at a MovNat workshop or certification with a group of people practicing alongside you, you can get started just about anywhere on your own – even at home, with little or no equipment. And that’s exactly why we’ve created this page for beginners.

About This Page

Below, you will find a directory of some of our best resources for beginners, including:

  • 5 tips for beginners to help you start feeling and moving better today
  • 5 beginner level movement workouts to help you start seeing results immediately
  • A complete, 4-week beginner-level MovNat program to simplify the process of beginning – just follow along and keep moving!
  • And much more!

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5 Tips For MovNat Beginners

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Anyone can start practicing better movement today – young or old, elite athletes or couch potatoes – anyone.
  • You can go “all in” and start a complete workout program on Day 1. Or, you can simply start experimenting with a couple movements during your normal training sessions.
  • You can work with a trainer, follow a program, or get started on your own using some of the resources below.

1. Start with the basics to build a proper foundation of movement.

At MovNat, we believe that you need to walk before you can run, and crawl before you walk. That’s why we always teach foundational skills first. Things like efficient breathing, ground positions, get-ups, and crawling before more advanced skills like lifting, climbing, and vaulting. It can be tempting to jump into the more difficult or fancy-looking movements right away, but it’s always better to master the basics first.

You can use this video, which is Part 1 of our Restoration series, to start laying the proper foundation of movement.

 

2. Give yourself permission to make mistakes.

If you’re a human, then every movement you make is natural, but that doesn’t mean every movement you make is efficient. And in our experience, most people have difficulty moving with efficiency without proper instruction and practice. There’s usually a learning curve, which involves some mistakes here and there, and is usually coupled with humility as you realize you can’t move the way a human ought to be able to.

So, in the beginning, focus most of your attention and energy on skill development. Always pay attention to the quality of your movement – your technique. And prioritize the efficiency of your movement before conditioning.

It’s okay if you don’t get it right the first time. Or, the first ten. Keep practicing and you will improve with time.

“Patiently persistent practice, produces proper practical progression.” – Eric Brown, MovNat Team Instructor

3. Progress gradually through all of the various movement domains.

It’s so easy to only work on those things that we’re good at – our strengths. But our weaknesses need to improve, too. So, avoid the temptation to specialize, and instead, strive for gradual improvement in all of the various movement skills.

Start with the basics, like ground movements, get-ups, and crawling. Then move onto the gait skills of walking and running. Then lifting and carrying, throwing and catching, climbing, jumping, vaulting, swimming and self defense.

Our beginner-level course, From The Ground Up, is a perfect way to start on this journey of practicing the full spectrum of natural human movement skills. Here’s Part 1 of 12.

 

Note: you can Click Here to check out all 12 parts of the From The Ground Up Course.

4. Train smart.

We know it sounds cliché, but it’s critical that you listen to your body and work within your limits. If a movement just doesn’t feel right, regress to an easier version or try something else. There are virtually unlimited ways to move and no shortage of training options. And there’s almost always a way to regress a movement to an easier variation. So, there’s no need to force anything that could put you at a risk of injury. Also, avoid any movements that cause you pain, and learn to tell the difference between pain and effort.

MovNat is a very safe, progressive system for improving your natural movement. And it’s a lot safer when you are mindful of those signals your body is sending you.

5. Start working on Ground Movement from Day 1.

Ground Movement is one of the most foundational elements of the MovNat system that packs a ton of unique benefits, and we believe everyone should incorporate some groundwork into their routine. You can use groundwork as part of your warmup or workout, as a morning “wake up” routine, or as a standalone practice session anytime.

We have many resources to help you get started. Here is the first video of an eight-week program on groundwork, by MovNat Master Instructor, Danny Clark.

 

Also, here are some additional resources on Ground Movement.

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5 Beginner Level Movement Workouts

Below, you will find five beginner-level MovNat combo workouts that you can use to start practicing the basics in an organized workout format. These are meant to serve as examples, and you can modify the movements or programming to suit your personal needs, goals, and circumstances.

A simple program would be to use these workouts 3-5 times per week for one month.

Beginner Level MovNat Combo Workout #1

Instructions: complete 3 rounds of the following:

  • Side Bent Sit Reverse – 8x
  • Rotational Bridge – 8x
  • Standing/Kneeling Variations – 8x
  • Vertical Jump – 4x
  • Broad Jump – 4x
  • Side Swing Hang – 10x

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Beginner Level MovNat Combo Workout #2

Instructions: complete 3 rounds of the following:

  • Side Bent Sit To Standing – 8x
  • Hip Thrust Crawl – 8x
  • Broad Jump to Precision Landing – 8x
  • Forward Swing Hang – 5x

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Beginner Level MovNat Combo Workout #3

Instructions: complete 3 rounds of the following:

  • Foot Hand Crawl – 20 feet
  • Leg Swing Jump to Precision Landing – 8x
  • Jump to Front Swing- 8x
  • Deep Knee Bend Hang – 8x

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Beginner Level MovNat Combo Workout #4

Instructions: complete 3 rounds of the following:

  • Inverted Crawl – 20 feet
  • Deadlift (20 Pounds) – 8x
  • Balancing Split Squat – 8x
  • Running at Medium Speed – 50 yards

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Beginner Level MovNat Combo Workout #5

Instructions: complete 3 rounds of the following:

  • Foot Elbow Crawl – 20 feet
  • Deadlift (20 pounds) – 8x
  • Balancing Split Squat with Carry (20 pounds) – 8x
  • Running at Fast Speed – 50 yards
  • Walking at Brisk Speed – 50 yards

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Want a Complete MovNat Workout Program?

Here’s a complete, 4-week MovNat workout program for beginners that requires minimal equipment and can be done almost anywhere. This is a general program that will improve not only your movement skills, but also your strength, conditioning, and mobility, among other things. More specifically, this program will help you gain strength through natural movements performed in a way that resembles everyday life.

Keep in mind that the best approach is always to adapt the training to your own needs, weaknesses, or goals and to customize your program, as needed. This is a central component of the MovNat system, and you have permission to make changes to the program below to better suit it to your needs.

movnat beginners

Week 1

Week one is all about “context-free” locomotive drills (i.e. unloaded movements). Such movements do not need to adapt to complex environmental demands and can be performed on any flat surface, indoors or outdoors, anywhere. The drills will be pretty similar each day this week. You will, however, progressively perform more repetitions so you become a bit more comfortable with them everyday. Practice not just the physical side but also mindfulness by focusing on quality movement patterns, including joint stability, a tall posture, and balance, as well as a strong, yet slow and relaxed abdominal breathing.

Practice each drill separately so you become familiar with those movements from a proprioceptive standpoint. You may follow the specific number of reps indicated, or you may solely focus on sensations instead and practice as long as the movement feels beneficial to you.

Note: Click the name of any movement below to view a video that demonstrates proper technique.

Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

Workout 4

movnat for beginners

Week 2

This week you are being introduced to “context-adaptive” locomotive drills, i.e. unloaded movements that must adapt to environmental demands. Some moves are similar to those of the first week and others are new and more challenging. Expect more reps right off the bat as the first week of practice should have loosened up your joints a little.

At first, train with simple and safe props as indicated. You are free to increase complexity and challenge as long as it is not detrimental to movement quality (or your own safety). For instance, instead of using a 2×4, you may use a rounded metal bar for balancing on. Ultimately, movements may have to adapt to real-world parameters that can be significantly more demanding. But if you’re a beginner, don’t underestimate the challenge of a simple 2×4 board.

Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

Workout 4

movnat for beginners

Week 3

Note: all moves are loaded at an appropriate level.

Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

Workout 4

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Week 4

Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

Workout 4

Next Steps

We hope you’ve enjoyed these beginner-friendly MovNat resources and have already noticed substantial benefits. We also hope this gives you a taste of how varied, practical, and adaptive the MovNat fitness system can be.

If you want to learn more about fitness for the real world and deepen your practice of natural movement fitness, please take the next step in your journey and join us at a MovNat workshop or certification near you!

 

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