Our Journal

Cert Prep

The MovNat Level 1 trainer certification is hands down the greatest way to not only earn the skill of teaching others Natural Movement, but also re-establish your own baseline movement ability, physical conditioning, and mobility.

The problem is that the process of re-connecting with so many diverse, seemingly complex/intimidating movements can be quite overwhelming. Especially if you haven’t been moving naturally in a few years, er umm, decades. The solution is quite simple. My uncle had a saying – what he called the “Six P’s of Performance” – that he took every opportunity to burn into my brain during the summers when I’d come labor (read: slave) away on various projects:

Proper Planning Prevents (Piss) Poor Performance.

What I’m going to outline today is a plan, an organized approach, to get you confident in your preparation leading up to the event – so you can show up ready to focus on learning and practicing instead of worrying about tests or doubting your own abilities.

 

Step 1: Commit

This may sound obvious, but committing to attending the certification is the only way to shift your mindset from “Interested, but watching from a distance” -> “Let’s do this!” All the rationalizations for why you “can’t” invest your time and money into learning how to improve and maintain the greatest asset you own; why you “can’t” re-connect to the child-like lightness and freedom you felt as you used to explore your environment with a sense of wonder, suddenly become impotent when you commit to the process.

If you are that hesitant in your ability to complete the requirements of the Level 1 cert due to injuries or structural limitations, either talk to Christa, our Operations Coordinator who also happens to be a trained medical professional, or start with a hands-on workshop: a 1 day Elements course, a 2 day workshop, or a retreat. You’ll be able to deduct a portion of your investment in a workshop from the cost of the certification you attend at a later date.

Step 2: Practice, intelligently

Organizing the training process is key to efficient progress, and it as simple as

  1. knowing which movements you need to work on
  2. setting aside time to practice each week
  3. structuring your practice sessions (in a simple way) and
  4. staying engaged and tuned in during practice.

So. Let’s break this down.

1 – Knowing what movements you need to work on

First, you have to know what movements are in the level 1 curriculum. If you skipped step 1, you can find the general list here. If you’ve already pulled the trigger, you will have a downloadable, full color copy of what we call the “Progression Manual” in your account already. Open it, study it, and start experimenting. For coaching pointers, view the coaching videos that also become available on your account after purchasing a cert.

2 – Set aside time to practice each week

As a rule of thumb, we advise 20 hours of dedicated practice to get you where you need to be for the certification. Anything else you struggle with will be addressed at the event.

So, let’s say your certification is 3 months away and you have 45 minutes to practice, 3x per week. For example, you practice on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week.

That’s 36 sessions x .75 hours/session = 27 hours.

Great. You’ll be fine.

What if your schedule is so packed that you only have 30 minutes, 2x per week. No problem. Just give yourself enough time before the event.

40 sessions (5 months, 2x per week) x .5 hours = 20 hours

Perfect. And as you can see, MovNat practice can still fit in with other movement practices you already are committed to.

Can you enroll last minute, show up, and still pass? Sure. But, it’s likely you will need to send videos afterwards (you have 3 months after the event) and it’s also likely won’t learn/retain as much as compared to if you had shown up prepared.

3 – Structure your practice sessions

The key here is to plan and keep it simple. While it may sound most simple to just show up at the park and start playing, oftentimes during the initial stages of learning the effort of having to think hard about what you need to do is a major inhibitor – and a leading cause of skipped sessions for many.

Instead, let’s plan ahead.

In MovNat’s method we have 8 major movement domains: Ground Movement (including positions such as “kneeling” and transitions such as “get ups”), Crawling (a “low gait”), Gait (including walking and balancing), Lifting/Carrying, Throwing/Catching, Jumping, Climbing, and Vaulting.

Out of all those movements, you’ll likely find that only a few are extremely challenging for you. How do you know which ones? Go back to [1] and start experimenting!

Here are 4 common issues that are challenging (limiting factors) for many:

-Crawling (shoulder mobility/stability, torso stability)
-Balancing and Reversing on a 2×4 (foot and hip stability, whole body positon/alignment)
-Jumping and precision landings (power – the ability to jump 6 heel to toe steps away or 5 for ages 50+ – and impact control upon landing)
-Climbing (grip endurance – the ability hang for 30-45 seconds)

Now, before you say to yourself, “Everything is really challenging for me” please know that we all have weaknesses and coordination deficits. And they will all be addressed at the event. In this stage, its most important to find the obvious limiting factors, so you aren’t starting from ground zero. So, start by experimenting and compiling a list of 3-6 limiting factors.

Now, take those limiting factors and prioritize them in your training. This is what we call “Emphasizing” them. Start with a warm up of Ground Movement, as found in this video clip. Then, work on your Emphases. Then, put together a few other movements in a small circuit (what we call a “Combo”).

Here’s a 4 week, 30 min, 2x per week program as an example:

Week 1
Warm UpEmphasesComboMobility
Ground Movement
5 min
Foot Hand Crawl:
4x Forward 10 ydsBalancing:
4x Two times forward and reverse on 8ft 2×4
Deadlift x10
Hop to Neutral Landing x5
Hang x10 sec
3x through all movements
Side Bent Sit
x5 breaths/sideLong Sit forward fold x5 breathsStanding Overhead Wall reach
x10 breaths
Ground Movement
5 min
Forward (broad) Jump:
4 x 3 footstepsDead Hang:
4 x Max time
Front Squat x10
Foot Hand Crawl x10 yds
Tripod Get Up x 2/side
3x through all movements
Flexed Foot Kneel
X 5 breathsInverted Crawl Hip Lift
X5 breathsDeep Squat Hold
X10 breaths

* For the Emphases movement, take 1 min breaks before repeating the movements. For the Combo movements, take as little rest as possible before repeating the sequence

 

Week 2
Warm UpEmphasesComboMobility
Ground Movement
5 min
Foot Hand Crawl:
4x Forward/Reverse 10 ydsBalancing:
4x Walking Deep Split Squat, 8ft 2×4
Deadlift x8 (heavier)
Hop to Neutral Landing x10
Hang x20 sec
3x through all movements
Side Bent Sit
x5 breaths/side
Long Sit forward fold x5 breaths
Standing Overhead Wall reach
x10 breaths
Ground Movement
5 min
Forward (broad) Jump:
4 x 4 footsteps
Dead Hang:
4 x Max time
Front Squat x8 (heavier)
Inverted Crawl x10 yds
Tripod Get Up x 5/side
3x through all movements
Flexed Foot Kneel
X 5 breaths
Inverted Crawl Hip Lift
X5 breaths
Deep Squat Hold
X10 breaths
Week 3
Warm UpEmphasesComboMobility
Ground Movement
5 min
Foot Hand Crawl: Inverted Crawl
4x 10 yds eachBalancing:
4x Walking Deep Split Squat, 8ft 2×4, forward and reverse
Forward Jump x8
Backward Kneeling Sprawl x8
Hang x20 sec
3x through all movements
Side Bent Sit Rotational Reaching
x5 breaths/side
Downward Dog Stretch x5 breaths
Standing Overhead Wall reach
x10 breaths
Ground Movement
5 min
Downward (depth) Jump:
4×4 @ 1/4 height
Hanging Forward Swing:
4×5 swings
Deep Knee Bend Walk x10 yds
Push Press Throw x10
Cross Sit Get up x3
3x through all movements
Deep Knee Bend to Flexed Foot Kneel transition
X 5
Inverted Crawl Hip Lift
X5 breaths
Prone Lying Neck Rotations
X5/side
Week 4
Warm UpEmphasesComboMobility
Ground Movement
5 min
Foot Hand Crawl: Inverted Crawl
4x 20 yds eachBalancing:
4x Forward walk to Cross Reverse on 2×4
Upward (vertical jump) x8
Backward Kneeling Sprawl x8
Hang x30 sec
3x through all movements
Side Bent Sit Rotational Reaching
x5 breaths/sideDownward Dog Stretch x5 breathsStanding Overhead Wall reach
x10 breaths
Ground Movement
5 min
Downward (depth) Jump:
4 x 6 @ ¼ heightHanging Forward Swing:
4 x 8 swings
Deep Knee Bend Walk x10 yds
Tripod Vault x10
Pivot Reverse x4
Cross Sit Get up x5
3x through all movements
Deep Knee Bend to Flexed Foot Kneel transition
X 5
Inverted Crawl Hip Lift
X5 breaths
Prone Lying Neck Rotations
X5/side

Note: This is an example short program for common deficits. Please note the practice session structure and subtle progression of difficultly that builds each weak and replicate for your own needs.

4 – Stay engaged during practice

This part is highly individual. Some people thrive upon structure, so they will be able to just follow their plan as written. Some people will need to approach it more playfully…meaning as long as x, y, and z get accomplished the order doesn’t really matter. In fact, many people are successful in practicing in small doses throughout the day instead of a block of time. That’s fantastic (but you have to have the discipline to actually do it all!). Experiment and figure out what type of settings and practice style suit you best. Your practice time should leave you walking away refreshed and excited for your next session.

 

Step 3: Get Feedback

We all know the upgraded saying of the old saying: “Perfect practice makes perfect.” While your practice doesn’t need to be “perfect” it is important to know how well you are practicing your technique. If you are way off, your training can be highly inefficient at best or counter-productive at worst. Find a local MCT or Licensed Facility and enroll for a session or package of sessions so you have a trained eye to give you meaningful feedback. Don’t have a local trainer available? Consider MovNat Online Coaching and leave the whole process to the pros!

Step 4: Show up, Enjoy, and Pass!

Showing up prepared will ensure that your certification experience is a satisfying and enjoyable one. You’ll be ready to fine tune your foundational movements, enjoy learning the art of teaching others, and practicing breaking structure and engaging yourself and your peers through play. And, upon passing, you’ll be confident in your earned abilities and proud of your accomplishment!

 

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