Tired but happy. I think that’s how we all felt after attending the London MovNat workshop last weekend. It was a great day.
The workshop was an excellent introduction to all that is MovNat – loads of great ideas and techniques, with lots to go away and practice. I was glad to have a notebook to hand – my brain and body were buzzing by the end of the day!
Vic Verdier did a great job of condensing a huge number of movement skills into one day. The pace was quick, and we didn’t spend an extended amount of time on any particular technique. This was inevitable, as we covered a great deal, but I preferred the quick pace and comprehensive content to having skills left out of the session.
The workshop format loosely followed the evolutionary progress of humans. We started with flip flopping on the ground and worked our way through 11 of the 12 MovNat movement capacities.
The workshop was paced brilliantly (Vic knows what he’s doing!). The intensity built gradually throughout the morning and finished with a circuit of the skills we had learned so far. The rest over lunch was very welcome, but stopping movement led to some stiffness creeping into our muscles (or at least in mine). Fortunately, we picked things up slowly after the break with walking and increased the intensity gradually so that we barely noticed. Before long we were outside chasing each other up and down the street. Going by their facial expressions, the locals thought a group of crazies had descended on their bit of London!
Technique is everything
There were three main themes that ran through everything we were doing:
- Maintain good posture in movement
- Use the most efficient, effective technique
- Practice movements with real life applications
A key takeaway for me was concentrating on mastering technique rather than artificially creating fatigue to build strength. If you start by jumping a distance of 30cm, that’s ok: master it and build from there. The focus should be on good form rather than more weight/distance/speed, so rather than just doing the movements, you do them well. The aim is that an activity can be repeated over and over again with as little fatigue as possible.
Real life vs party tricks
Vic made the point that MovNat is about practicing stuff with potential real life applications and that anything else is just party tricks. It’s totally fine to train them as they can be fun and certainly build great levels of strength, but it is the ability to apply that strength in real life situations that is important. For me this is about maintaining honesty with yourself with regards to your training – I love training the back lever and other basic gymnastic movements, but they won’t help me become a better climber, jumper, balancer, unless I also practice those techniques.
The ideas behind MovNat make sense. Our bodies are designed to perform a full range of useful movement skills, so we should do them. To not do so is like having a Ferrari and only using it to pop to the shops and back – its full potential is wasted.