What’s Natural Movement?
Simply put, Natural Movements are the movements natural to the human animal in its “natural” state. The human body evolved to become very proficient at them and actually requires them to stay healthy. What are they? It’s simply the set of movements that were required to live as hunter-gatherers around 300.000 years ago: hunting and gathering of course, but also building shelter, moving camps, etc. I detail the daily activities of our ancestors here.
Those activities required our ancestors to be very active and cover a wide range of movements: walking, running, lifting, carrying, crawling, climbing and many more. Erwan Le Corre took this approach to its logical end and designed the Movnat® method to formalize these movements so they could be taught more easily.
Why make Natural Movements the foundation of your physical activity?
For 2 main umbrella reasons:
- easier to put into practice than more typical fitness training methods: so you’ll actually exercise and exercise more
- it provides many more benefits than your typical workout session
Let’s unpack those two aspects.
Easier to practice
Natural Movements are by definition practical: ur ancestors used them to accomplish tasks, not work out. So you can mindfully incorporate them in everyday life. Carrying groceries instead of pushing a trolley is a clear example. Balancing on a sidewalk on your way to the store is another.
You can practice in short or long sessions. You can train with your kids around (and you should) without risky barbells, etc. Read my primer on Movnat to get more details on why, as you consider a fitness practice that can fit in your busy life, I think Natural Movement is by far the best.
The many benefits of training Movnat style
If you combine Movnat with the Mental Shifts we advocate, then you end up with a very powerful physical activity practice that results in many benefits: physical, mental and also practical. I detail them here but summarize them below.
The physical benefits are the most obvious. Natural Movements cover the whole range of movements the human body is designed to practice so you could just practice Movnat and you would cover all the movement stimuli you need to optimize your health. You gain strength, mobility, balance and stamina. No other movement practice is that complete and that efficient for your body in terms of health benefits.
Practicing Movnat lets you work on and develop mental capabilities that directly translate into better performance in numerous other domains: professional, academic, personal lives, etc.
You gain increased: mental toughness, resourcefulness, adaptability, creativity and confidence. Of course, you can get some of these through other physical activity practices but not all and certainly not to the same extent. More details in this post.
The last set of benefits unique to Movnat as a fitness method (but some common with parkour) are the practical skills you acquire. You learn how to carry anything heavy, not just barbell, and including people. You learn how to climb efficiently trees, walls and anything in between. You learn how to jump safely from a high height and balance well while crossing obstacles. These come in handy when facing threats, natural or human, in urban or more natural settings.
For all these reasons, starting to develop a practice of Natural Movement is a lifestyle design change we strongly recommend. To get you started, have a look at this list of all the free resources the Movnat organization is making accessible. You can access a lot and can certainly start a very efficient practice without any cost.