MovNat Featured in the Washington Post: Commentary by Master Instructor, Clifton Harski

MovNat has been fortunate to be featured in numerous, prominent publications and in many blogs.  On Feb 4th, we had the pleasure of working with Washington Post writer, Vicky Hallet , who attended a 1-day MovNat workshop in Washington DC.

Vicky did a fantastic job in the workshop, moving through all of the drills with determination and a smile.  Read her story about MovNat in The Washington Post. She captured some fantastic points and quotes from participants, like this one from physical therapist, Ann Wendel: “If everyone did more of this, we wouldn’t have as many injuries.”  Vicky, too,  was extremely positive in her review, but as any good reporter must do,  she also offered up a counter position to the MovNat style of training.

That counter came from Todd Miller, an Associate Professor of Exercise Science at The George Washington University, School of Public Health and Health Services , and a board member for the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  He was quoted, “When it comes to exercise, the gym is the place you do it. We’ve compartmentalized fitness.”

(Photo: Jonathon Newton/WASHINGTON POST) Harski teaches a student proper crawl technique.

I would like to address this position in a few key points:

1. We WERE in a gym.  You CAN MovNat anywhere!
2. Just because something has become “normal” does not make it good or correct.  Remember when most people were smokers? Exactly.
3. We find that people underestimate what they can accomplish, and how they can perform.  Part of the reason this happens is because experts are telling everyone what they CAN’T do, instead of focusing on what we CAN do. People often leave MovNat sessions with a new sense of confidence and pride in their movement abilities.
4. It is true that some people will need to do very scaled-back drills when they begin, but that doesn’t mean these are the only drills they should ever do. “Compartmentalized” fitness should not be the finality or goal in training – moving with ease, power, and grace through more complex and adaptive contextual situations should be the goals when training.

We deeply appreciate the opportunity to be featured in The Washington Post. Thank you, Vicky, for such a great article!

Copyright © 2012 MovNat

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2 replies
  1. Abram Bergen says:

    Very good points to address the notion that fitness should be in a gym.

    I think that is a very damaging meme in our modern society, the compartmentalization of everything, including fitness. We see that with regard to diet. We thought we could understand the parts of food and thus break everything down into their individual components, make things look or taste the way we’d like, then just add the nutritional components back in. We’re now experiencing the vast negative effects of taking food out of context and leaving the eating of whole, nutritionally dense, foods behind. I think the same is happening in the area of physical fitness. We’ve compartmentalized everything, broken exercise down into isolated movements for isolated muscle targeting in isolated physical spaces (the gym). To become a healthy populace again, we must return to ways of living–both eating and working/working out–that are closer to the evolutionary context to which our bodies have adapted. We obviously can’t go back to living as our paleo ancestors did, but as much as we might be able to evolve intellectually, socially and technologically, our bodies are not so adaptable–they need to adhere more closely to their evolutionary context.

    Here’s to reducing compatmentalization and returning to holistic fitness!


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