When I left the 5-day West Virginia MovNat Reawakening workshop, I wondered how I would practice the the skills that had been ‘reawakened’ in me when I returned to the gym with my fitness coach back in Ohio.
The MovNat leadership team and peers had given me some ideas that week … but I still needed to figure it out based on what was available in my local gym since the weather in Ohio isn’t so great November through March (more rain than Seattle.)
I like to work on skills that I can use in my everyday life … to be ready for anything. To participate in whatever endeavor presents itself … whether a serious or casual sport, home or yard project, playing with my dogs, just goofing off, or enjoying nature in my backyard or at a nearby park.
I maintain this practice because 1) it is fun and social, and 2) to continue to grow and be challenged both physically and mentally.
So here are some MovNat moves that I now regularly enjoy in the gym to complement some weight lifting and Kettlebell work (which are part of MovNat manipulative skills training as well):
Duck walk, bear crawls, crab walk, crawling in general This can be done anywhere once you’ve warmed up properly (with a MovNat warmup, of course). Bear crawls sneak up your heart rate if you are moving along rapidly — add them into the middle of any circuit / combo as you crawl through and under things for an extra challenge.
Overs and under Really one of the easiest moves to adapt in a gym. Just place the weight bars at different heights and go over some and under some. I try not to touch the bar. Tip a tire on it’s side and jet through the middle. I did some unders beneath a bar while steadying a slosh log on my shoulder and stepping over a bunch of Kettlebells. Great fun!
Jumps up and down Got boxes? Got tires? Got stairs? Makes practicing jumps easy.
Long Jumps Laying rubber weight plates out on the rubber floor (they don’t slide on rubber floor) at varying distances is excellent practice for long jumps. Reminds me of crossing a creek stone by stone.
Lifting Lifting any weight and maintaining grip is one of the key skills we practiced outdoors with rocks, logs, picnic tables, benches and more. In the gym, Kettlebell swinging is an excellent practice assimilated to lifting, throwing and catching skills while maintaining a strong grip.
Climbing vertically Two 20 foot ropes hang from the rafters in our gym: one knotted and one not … take your pick depending on your fit level and your mood for a good challenge. No ropes? Poles are excellent to climb.
Climbing horizontally Some bars in the gym allow me traverse horizontally wrapping leg over leg … like we did on the large tree stand in West Virginia. … or a horizontal tree branch like many of us practice in the 1- and 2-day MovNat workshops.
Weighted throwing Varied weighted balls are great to practice lifting and throwing. Sandbags also work very well.
Throwing and catching while balancing Balancing on a 2x4x8 and tossing a thin, plastic pipe to a workout buddy, while standing on one foot or squatting, is great fun and excellent balance practice.
Balancing in general A 2x4x8 gives me plenty of space to practice standing balance, one-legged, squatting, walking backwards, moving along holding something heavy without falling, hopping on one foot, changing direction quickly … and more.
Forward and backward roll A foam pad is great for practicing rolls. Once you get the form down, I find that you don’t have to rely on a soft surface.
Kettlebell carry Deadlift a Kettlebell, walk and carry. Run and carry. Tip the Kettlebell upside down for a greater challenge (elbow in). Reminds me of the rock shoulder carry we practiced in the woods.
Balance a slosh log on your shoulder Not as challenging as the real-log-on-shoulder-balance we learned in the wild, but it still forces a degree of mindfulness to keep the water-filled pipe from toppling over.
These are just a few moves I have been able to enjoy in the gym. What MovNat moves have you adapted to your gym?
Lori Crock, small marketing biz owner and a 2011 Reawakening and 1-day workshop alum based in Columbus, Ohio who plays at Fit2play, The Gym where a 1-day workshop will be held February, 19, 2012. Join us!