By Danny Clark, MovNat Performance Director and Master Instructor
When great minds meet and collaborate, the world changes.
In early 2015, Katy Bowman – a biomechanist and best selling author – decided to attend a “Natural Movement Retreat” held by Erwan Le Corre on the quintessential beachscape of Sayulita, Mexico. I just happened to be there. I had never heard Katy’s name, and had only seen a few short clips of Erwan on Youtube. I was pretty much a nobody in the “movement” community; just a decorated but fading martial artist, biologist by schooling, active kettlebeller/yogi and aspiring teacher who seemed to be forever searching the fringe for something that really rang in chords of truth.
As things unfolded on that beautiful beach, I began to recognize an important event in history was happening. The harmonic I sought was finally ringing, full blare. Call it intuition; a small stirring in my gut; a distinct movement inside that I recognized as my inner wisdom…that was telling me I had to be involved.
Fast forward to late 2018, and I’m prepping to be mic’ed up to film alongside Katy for a collaboration with MovNat. I’ve been Erwan’s partner in curriculum refinement since those magnificent few days under the jovial Mexican sun, and I’ve been proud to stand beside him in the fight to make the practice of “Natural Movement” understood to a greater audience.
You see, it’s our mission to make MovNat actualize its potential: both as a stand-alone “from the ground up” method for developing/restoring real world capability and as a complementary practice to other approaches. And if there is one complimentary approach that I appreciate, by chance, it just happens to be Katy’s ultra-precise, biomechanical-based, super beginner-friendly teaching style and knowledge base.
Thus, my intuition was correct and an incredible collaboration has been birthed from that epic beach meet up.
If there’s two key things this special collaborative e-course offers, it’s these:
Quite simply, you need nothing but your body and a few household items to get started (or refine) your Natural Movement journey. You don’t even need to be outside or in a gym…unless you want to be, of course! Further, your body can be in any condition – including desk-bound, super tight, totally uncoordinated, injury-prone, and full of tension/fear. You’ll see not only Katy and I participating in these movements, but an assortment of ages and genders. In fact, a few of the participants did movements that they had been afraid of for decades because of the safety and cohesive structure of the classes. The follow along format makes it easy to stay engaged and build a foundational and regenerative practice around Natural Movement.
2) Infinite Progressability
“Progressability” is not a word, according to google. But it needs to be, especially for fitness/movement professionals and fitness-minded people. I differentiate it from the more well know fitness term “scalability” which is the act of simply decreasing the intensity/difficulty of a given movement for the purpose of learning and safety. The classic example is using a PVC pipe instead of a barbell for a deadlift. Nothing about the movement changed except the heaviness of the load.
Progression, on the other hand, is a broader term, usually associated with a more sophisticated approach to teaching or learning a skill. When you are well-versed in progressions, you aren’t limited to simply making a movement lighter or simpler. You are able to focus on pure body mechanics before (or in addition to) training variables. Through progressions – even if the movements look nothing like the movement you intend to learn or improve – you gain the requisite range of motion and nuanced body control to execute a movement with maximal efficiency and strength.
Progressions build the ultimate toolkit because they also offer a way to make your practice more sustainable. Just like a car, your joints wear out if they aren’t moved or stabilized in their optimal positions. With Katy’s laser-like precision and MovNat’s comprehensive approach to Natural Movement, infinite progessability has finally become possible for those looking to develop a sustainable and high performance practice!
See my video below for some examples of progressions I pulled from the course and integrated into my personal practice. You’ll see 3 key aspects:
- First you’ll see how simple micro-movements from Katy’s curriculum prepare my body for the bigger macro-movement.
- Next, you’ll see how I work on integrating the micro-movement into the bigger pattern of the macro-movement a la MovNat’s formation of technique model.
- Finally, you’ll see how I add training variables: volume (more repetitions), intensity (more load or less momentum), or complexity (more context or a different environment) to further develop the skill.
That’s just a taste of how I used this e-course to refine my personal practice (just two movements out of the dozens we cover in the e-course!).
It was my great honor to work with Katy – a gifted biomechanist who shares our view on fitness/movement from the biological perspective – and deliver this special e-course. I hope you find this collaboration beneficial to meeting your goals, whether restorative or performance-based.
Our new e-course, Natural Movement Fundamentals, launches next week! Stay tuned for the official announcement in the MovNat newsletter!