Empower yourself via a “new” way to think about exercise
by Danny Clark
Note: Natural Movement® is a registered trademark of MovNat®, a fitness education company, and is used with permission in this article.
At surface level, natural movement is simply moving the way you are fundamentally designed to move. So, when practicing natural movement to increase your fitness level, you definitely won’t be doing this:
Instead, you’ll be practicing movements that look like this:
Interestingly enough, moving in this way has profound therapeutic effects on the body and mind. And when I say “profound” I mean natural movement could arguably be the most important component of sustainable health and graceful aging. Our friend and renowned biomechanist (basically a movement engineer) Katy Bowman equates movement to nutrition-the more organic and nutritious the movements you practice, the more effective they are for restoring and maintaining health. On the contrary, the more movement deficient (read: stuck in a chair) or synthetic (read: muscle isolation) your practice of movement is, the more likely your health-from the condition of your joints to the flow of your blood-suffers.
In this light, natural movement makes total sense, right? It begs an important question: Why is everyone obsessing over organic food but not organic movement?
Answer: Because we’ve forgotten about it’s paramount importance in our lives.
Although moving “naturally” should be intuitive, a long chain of historical circumstances has gradually shifted the way we collectively think about movement. Essentially, as humans we figured out a while back that specialization (ie “division of labor”) is a very effective strategy for allowing our population to grow. This specialization concept has run so deep though that now we’ve outsourced the job of our own bodies (think chairs, cars, sidewalks, elevators, etc). In fact, the only people who need to move routinely in order to make a living are specialists as well: soldiers and entertainers such as athletes, bodybuilders, circus performers, etc and those that coach them. The problem is these professions are inherently about extremes, therefore do not represent the full, balanced, and healthy practice of natural human movement. By an extension of logic, they also shouldn’t govern the way we treat our bodies or restore our health, right?
At a deeper level, natural movement is about empowerment. Erwan Le Corre, my personal mentor and founder of the Natural Movement® education system MovNat®, names our modern dysfunctional physical state “zoo human syndrome” and offers a simple path to self-liberation. Through MovNat’s method, students re-build function (ie stability and mobility) through timeless natural movement patterns, such as crawling, deep squatting, lifting, carrying, and moving on the ground. Confidence and capability are the focus; function and fat loss become the consequence.
I’m totally in awe of the transformative power of using principles of natural movement to help my clients. But, for now, it’s time for me to go practice. As always, gotta “walk the talk.” More about natural movement later…
Want to learn more about natural movement? Check out MovNat.com, where I contribute regularly. Or better yet, book a consultation with us, because there is no substitute for a hands-on learning experience ;]
In strength and balance,
Co-Founder + Trainer
CSCS / MCT3 / SFG