As physical training goes, I believe that nothing so closely aligns with superhero training as natural movement does.
Natural movement includes balancing, lifting/carrying, throwing/catching, climbing, crawling, jumping, running, swimming, and martial arts (striking and wrestling). Basically all the things we did when we played as children.
In 2012, I became certified as a level 2 MovNat trainer. It was during this seminar that I fell in love with natural movement. After the first day of the certification course, I remember thinking to myself, "we're training to be superheroes!" It was interesting and so much more energizing in comparison to ordinary gym workouts. Let's take a look back at the history of the natural movement campaign to understand its development and why I believe it to be so important.
As told in the book Natural Born Heroes by Chris McDougall, the foundation of natural movement training was formed by French naval officer Georges Hebert. In 1902, he witnessed a horrific natural catastrophe in the capital city of Martinique when a volcano erupted. While helping to rescue people, he wondered how many more people could have survived if they had the ability to crawl, climb, run, jump, and swim. Out of the 30,000 people estimated to be in the capital city of Saint-Pierre at the time, it’s estimated that 29,000 ended up perishing in the tragedy. While traveling home to be welcomed as a hero, Hebert contemplated this disconnect between humans and their adaptable bodies. He couldn’t remember the last time he had seen an adult run, jump, or crawl. In a dangerous situation, we expect other people to come along and rescue us, instead of being capable of rescuing ourselves. Even before Hebert made his revelations, Edwin Checkley, an English immigrant living in the United States had written a book and even opened his own gym based on the principles of natural movement. He told people to forgo barbells, weight machines, circuits, diets, and focus on the whole system of the human body. Hebert felt that Checkley’s system of fitness lacked one thing, a higher purpose. It is our duty to be fit to help others. McDougall relayed this profound statement in the book, “Etre fort pour etre utile,” Hebert declared. “Be fit to be useful.” Over 100 years later, Erwan Le Corre is bringing the “Natural Method” into the 21st century with MovNat.
So please take a moment to contemplate this. Are you going to be the person that waits around for someone to come rescue them, or are you going to have the ability to rescue yourself and others?
Natural movement skills and techniques can be used as a warm-up, a full workout, agility training, or a conditioning workout. There are many possibilities and several of those training goals can be combined in one workout.
Generally, a natural movement workout consists of a warm-up utilizing some of the most basic movement skills. Then it flows into practice of a specific movement technique for the day. Finally, it ends with a combo workout, linking up to 7 movement techniques and skills to function as a challenge and build some conditioning.
I usually see two roadblocks that hold people back from Natural Movement Training. They either think it's too easy or it's too difficult. The techniques can always be progressed or regressed depending on the person. This makes it possible to accommodate the beginner and challenge the advanced athletes. The training is for everyone.
I prefer to train outside in a natural setting, but lots of the skills and techniques can also be trained in a gym. However, outside you get the health benefits of being in nature which include improved immunity, mood, and a reduction in stress.
To fully immerse yourself in natural movement training, I encourage you to check out the MovNat website.
If I had to sell you on natural movement training, the one thing I would tell you is that training this way is fun! I don't see it as a workout or training, it's just fun!
If you're ready to become the ultimate superhero, apply now for the Uncanny Online Superhero Training program. Space is limited so sign up today!