Monday, January 7th

Movement Highlight: Lateral Four Sitting to Tall Split Kneeling to Tall Half-kneeling

Hey MovNation people!

This week we’re going to inverse the process we went for last week, and start highlighting specific techniques or moves involved in a new combo-workout.  This will give you the possibility to learn or rediscover, then practice and refine each particular pattern individually, each day.  By the end of the week, you will be able to perform a complete sequence more fluidly, performing the combo several times in row.

Extract from the Level 1 MovNat Certified Trainer manual.

So let’s get started with a ground-standing transition (which could also be a standing-ground transition) made 3 movements distinct position you will need link together in one motion:
-the figure four sitting position
-the tall split kneeling
-the tall half-kneeling

First watch the slow motion video below.


All 3 elements are actually distinct positions.  Indeed, positions and holding specific stances are part of natural human movement.  In this particular case though, since we will swiftly transition from one position to the other, and each stance will be held so briefly, the combination will truly become one fluid motion. If the movement is performed right, it won’t look hesitant, choppy or unstable, and you will end up standing up on your feet without a pause.

Why use this transition

This transition is a simple, convenient, fast way to stand up from a sitting position that is also very practical. If your arms are busy holding an object, though as long as the object you carry (or maybe a young child) is not too heavy, the locomotive movement then becomes a manipulative action as well.  However bear in mind that this option would lack effectiveness, efficiency, and potentially speed compared to standing up without the load, and then lifting if off the ground to a carrying hold, but from a standing position already.

How to perform the sequence efficiently

  • The first thing is to keep it locomotive, i.e unloaded.  Simply start without adding any weight and make sure you have gained mobility and balance, fluidity and ease in the way you can perform the transition.  If you can’t do it with such ease and control, then you have no business in trying to hold an external load at the same time.  Really, I mean it. No business at all.  Except a very light load if you really want to carry something.  But think about it, especially you who loves lifting heavy sh**: no offense, but the first form of heavy sh** you want to be able to move, and to move efficiently, is you own body.  Can you expect to be good at transporting loads on distance, through complex environments, if you can’t move your body well in the first place?  That’s right, you naturally come to a conclusion.
  • Deconstruct the whole sequence into components.  For instance, practice the lateral figure four sitting reverse isolatedly:  from a lateral figure four sitting position, you will move your knees up and down to the same position on other side, then again.  This is a fantastic drill for improving hip mobility.  You can break down any part of the whole sequence and mindfully practice it to become more aware of what area of the sequence gives you trouble, and also become more familiar with the proper mechanics of each component.  You see, at MovNat we do not isolate muscles or body parts, but we may isolate complex movement patterns into simpler components with a specific emphasis, which can be mobility, or stability, strength or balance etc…until each component has been improved, or assimilated and before we can reconstruct the whole sequence.
  • You will start by sitting on your rear, legs in front of you with you knees bent.  From there, using mobility from your hips, both knees move sideways, and come in contact with the ground in a stance resembling a figure four.  From here, drive your hips up and forward until you find yourself in a tall split kneeling stance.  To facilitate this motion, and while maintaining a straight posture, you will shift bodyweight by slightly leaning forward first, then firmly drive your hips up.  If you are one of those who love such concepts as “core strength”, you might be very excited now and tell yourself: “wow, fantastic for core strength.”.  yeah, whatever.  I just want you to forget about core strength and focus on the task at hand, i.e finding yourself standing on your 2 feet starting on your butt, while potentially holding a 70lbs object in your arms (I weighed that stone because I knew you’d be curious…).
  • All right, if you perform this move as a manipulative action here, with significant weight in your lap, you’d better tighten this position a lot, or you will collapse (yes, even if your biceps are huge, bad boy) one way or the other (forward or backward).  You know, all those inner, invisible muscles that keep everything together, and that are essential in your ability to sustain this physical action, and yet will never make you LOOK fit, just BE fit.
  • Before you step forward to the tall half-kneeling stance, plant toes and ball of the feet firmly on the ground, especially the toes of the one leg you will push off to step forward.  That will give you extra steadiness.  If you are carrying a 70lbs dinosaur egg like me, you’ll need those little guys.  Keep abs and glutes tight while and you step forward.  Same thing as before, since you are going to stand up immediately, you will want to plant the toes of the foot you will push off, to step forward and up firmly in the ground.
  • Posture…looks like it’s going to stick here all the time?  Absolutely. The spine remains optimally elongated the hips vertically level with the head. You should not perform this with a blatantly rounded back.  It makes you look like a perfect “zoo human”.  Plus you should know by now that good posture lends to better breath control.
  • Breathing…yes yes yes, again and always.  You will breathe abdominally.  If you do perform the sequence while carrying a significant load, you will need to synchronize your breathing with the sequence, with brief breath holds that will support keeping a strong structure.  You want proper posture to support breathing, but breathing control will also support postural integrity in return.
  • Relaxation: well, if you’re going to carry a relatively (in relation to the movement pattern) heavy load you really want to use a good deal of extra tension, that you normally wouldn’t need if you were to perform the same movement without added weight.  Relaxation doesn’t mean being a sloth with no backbone but the optimum use of tension.  You want to be selective, though you can’t really think of it like a fitness dweeb:  you’ve got to FEEL it.

All right MovNation folks, now you practice tonight, or this morning, wherever you find yourself.
If you can execute this move with grace, it’s time to start adding weight.  Remember the MovNat Training Progression chart below and don’t compromise with it.  If your young child needs a hug from you, even better, hug this little precious being tight on your heart and perform the move while carrying your offspring.  You see, moving naturally can’t be more practical and real than that.  Train for life amigos.

Efficiency must be your foundation.

Tomorrow I will highlight the balancing, manipulative tiptoe shuffling drill.  No, I’m not reinventing the wheel,  just making it spin more smoothly.

Now you movnatters GO movnat…Vive La MovNation!

Erwan Le Corre
Founder of MovNat

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