🌳 The Hand Swing Up is a Level 2 MovNat climbing technique. Lauren has certainly done this before, but she is practicing more often now. Notice that Lauren begins with a Dead Hang, uses a Foot Pinch to grab the bar, then hooks a leg. • 🌳 The technique uses the body weight transfer of dropping the leg and swinging under the bar before gaining momentum to transfer the center of gravity above the bar (the first swing up is a better demo of that process, this is not a perfect example, but we tend to just grab video in one take). It can be exciting to mount a bar like that. • 🌳 The technique is adaptable. Through practicing it, your body learns how to transfer weight in that fashion. You might be wondering "when would anyone need to get on top of a bar like that?" There are situations that could call for that, but more importantly, you learn a movement skill that is adaptable to other aspects of climbing itself, which is a fundamental category of movement. Doing this movement in combination with other complex natural movements as a workout gives you the strength, conditioning, and coordination specific to complex natural movements, which increases your practical movement ability. • #NaturalMovement#OrganicMovement#MovNat#HandSwingUp#MovNatSpringFeverChallenge
Sound on 🎶 Lauren and I have been training every morning together in preparation for her MovNat (Women’s Only) Level 1 Certification coming up April 5th-7th in Albuquerque, NM. These are a few scenes but she has been working with many more movements than are demonstrated here. • Lauren has been practicing casually with me for years, but in order to prepare for the 2.5 solid days of training plus testing at the end, as well as becoming a teacher in general, she has needed and wanted greater conditioning and refinement of her skills. To achieve this, she has greatly increased the consistency, volume, and intensity of her practice. • If you ask her how she is doing these days, she will tell you that she feels extra great and has more energy thanks to the consistency and volume of practice she is currently doing. • As a manual therapist for the last 14 years and a yoga teacher for the last 11 years, Lauren has worked with people of all ages with pain, mobility, and movement issues. Lauren wants to help her clients and students rediscover a love of movement. • • #LaurenIsBadass#MovNatLevel1Cert#NaturalMovement#OrganicMovement#MovNat
The precious pine pollen catkins!!! My favorite plant foraging of the year. Immensely nutritious food and medicine. Pure gold. We have put away a gallon worth of separated catkin pieces already. By the time the season is over, we will have an abundance to eat for the year, because they are everywhere here! So much I could say about it’s chemistry but I will stop here. • #YangJing#Foraging#Androgens
This is also what Natural Movement training looks like! And this is where I personally want to take it more and more, especially due to my background as a Rolfing practitioner. The methodology of MovNat is itself adaptable to all sorts of contexts, as it is based on Principles. I don’t often take video of my private sessions but I recognize that I will need to in order to explain what I am doing with the method. • This man is in his 70s and has spinal stenosis. As a result, his legs are weak and his balance is very compromised, caught is a cycle of less ability equals more fear equals less movement equals more decline of function. Even within one week he has increased his balance and his confidence. I have given him many, many variations to practice balancing in a safe way, and I only stopped to video a few. This level of sophistication and variations is not what people will typically get as rehab. • We started with simply walking with an increasingly narrow base of support and practiced pulling apart even the motion of walking into its component parts of body-weight-shifting between points-of-support, and making those distinct movements. We practiced balancing variations on the 2x4 with assistance, lowering the center of gravity while walking and balancing, stepping under and over, getting up and down off the ground also with assistance to start, various squats, and a fair amount of groundwork. • We are all, to a varying degrees, undernourished in terms of appropriate *proprioceptive* stimulation, which is exactly what natural, adaptive, organic movement training offers. If you give the body the missing stimuli, with skillful variations and progressions that are practical, it will always respond, because that is what it is made to do! • “From the Ground Up” is two-fold. It means literally what is says, from ground movements all the way up to airborne and climbing movements and everything in between. It ALSO means that it applies to everyone. You start where you are! • • #NaturalMovement#OrganicMovement#Rehab
MovNat Snacks Challenge Day 12: Vaulting (another multi-location compilation). Today completes the 12 movement domains challenge. I made compilations again, showing places that I go to regularly for movement practice, even just for brief movement snacks. I decided with this challenge that although it was a request for actual “snacks”, that I would just take up the challenge to grind out the videos I have wanted to make. It was good timing with Erwan Le Corre’s new book being released last week. I hope that if you have followed these videos, I have helped you to realize much more of what Natural Movement training is about than I had previously put out there personally. It is a real thing. The applications are broad, for both fitness and rehabilitation, due to it ”hitting so close to home”. And just to re-emphasize, there are many ways to break movements down into smaller and smaller pieces to be suitable for the individual, in various ways not shown in these videos. If you like what you have seen, I highly recommend getting the book - https://www.amazon.com/Practice-Natur... As for snacking on vaulting…vaulting is a fun but very challenging movement category for me. I enjoy it, but I do not naturally gravitate towards intermediate or advanced vaults. Vaulting really is a fun snack to carry around, I find myself vaulting regularly just by encountering interesting obstacles just about anywhere. And I very much enjoy watching others with killer vaulting skills! Cheers to the challenge. #NaturalMovement#MovNatSnacksChallenge#MovNatSnacks#Completed
MovNat Snacks Challenge Day 11: Hanging and Climbing. Hanging is a greatly underutilized movement category that can produce great benefits for the shoulder girdle, neck, and on down the spine. Given that we still have shoulder girdles made for a full range of engaged movement tasks but yet only use a small fraction of that range in a usable way in our modern day to day lives, hanging can be very therapeutic to our computering, phoning, counter topping, driving, slouching, etc., shoulders. We can allow gravity to lengthen and traction us, while simultaneously holding ourselves together with just the right amount of effort. There are many ways to hang from the hands but also using the legs. Hanging is great precursor work to building strength to pull your body and climb up. Even if someone has no desire to climb however hanging can be incredibly beneficial, even if the feet are still on the floor. Climbing is also one of my favorite movement domains. It feels good to use the whole body in this way. It feels freeing and encouraging to feel yourself get on top of something from below. 🔈 Sound on at the end for birds! #NaturalMovement#MovNatSnacksChallenge#MovNatSnacks#Primate
MovNat Snacks Challenge Day 10 – Jumping. Jumping confers unique benefits to the body. Like proper running, it helps to build our springs, which in turn protect the joints and the body as a whole from impacts both daily and acute. We are meant to have strong, elastic springs but almost all of us never fully developed them. Jumping involves explosive acceleration as well as cushioning deceleration, using the elastic recoil properties of the collagenous fascia of the lower body. It enables us to manage our momentum, to safely land and dissipate force by landing on the balls of the feet, putting the hands down or going into a roll. It is a practical movement in natural environments, and if our ancestors had been unable to jump we would not have survived as a species. For us it is a movement that our bodies are designed to do and therefore benefit from, regardless of whether or not the need is immediate. In this video I am showing locations I frequent that allow me to have movement snacks involving jumping, including at home and around my office, although I didn't make it into the woods near my house today. I also demonstrate different levels of jumping practice to show snacks of various levels, using the broad jump, split jump, leg-swing jump, and depth jump. The arm swing pattern is used to accelerate at take off (back then forward), decelerate and prepare for landing (arms move back in midair), and landing stabilization (arms move forward while landing). If we are going to be *surrounded by the Zoo, we might as well try to break out to being at least more free-range, feel me*! Jumping is one of my favorite movement categories. I love the feeling of being airborne! Honestly I was not feeling my springiest today filming this. My body was tired and still recovering from a very physically demanding week into weekend last week and I was also working today. But as the day went on I felt better and better. #NaturalMovement#MovNatSnacksChallenge#MovNatSnacks#Airborne
MovNat Snacks Challenge Day 9 – Catching. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to play catch with my Father. He and I both grew up playing baseball (and basketball, and football, etc), but baseball was both of our favorites. We still play catch with each other. In the first video I am playing solo catch with a unevenly shaped rock. This is great for eye-hand coordination, hand coordination and strength, and of course mindfulness. The second video is Lauren and I playing catch with a stick. Why do this? Playing catch this way can be added to other aspects of movement practice, such as balancing while playing catch. It can help you keep your awareness broader and your reaction speed quicker while simultaneously practicing other movements. #NaturalMovement#MovNatSnacksChallenge#MovNatSnacks#PlayingCatchWithDad
MovNat Snacks Challenge Day 8 – Throwing. Why throw things? Throwing is a great way to practice generating full body power. Throwing is an essential movement for the human body; we would not be here if our ancestors could not throw, as it is our original form of hunting. Throwing can greatly improve eye-hand coordination depending on the type of throwing. Throwing is a great addition to lifting and carrying. It builds exposive strength. Throwing is also just fun! This is me enjoying throwing heavy rocks in my back yard, and also taking the opportunity for some cold conditioning. My phone died when I was taking the video of the front swing throw, which is *essentially the same movement as a kettlebell swing* but for more practical use. And of course, catching is a reciprocal ability that also helps with eye-hand coordination (see Day 9). #NaturalMovement#MovNatSnacksChallenge#MovNatSnacks#RocksAndDirt
MovNat Snacks Challenge Day 7 - Carrying. This video starts with me carrying a 6 gallon glass container of spring water that we harvest, something I do fairly often as they are stored in our basement, carrying sand which has been intentionally placed in our living space, and ends with Lauren and I carrying eachother in the house. There is a saying - vary your carry. Learning to carry objects well will improve function in daily life and prevent you from just tensing your body in certain places with an inefficient technique, such as straining your neck or your back. If you need to carry something for a distance, it is best to break up the pattern by changing up how you carry an object. I suggest to many women to rethink how they carry their purse. Many objects will do for practice. Inside you can stash some objects that work better for a home environment, such as bags of sand which have a soft impact, medicine or slam balls, etc. The placement of objects and areas in spaces that you know you will already be in helps make the snacks possible. If you are in a gym, you could carry the weight plates, sandbags, carry a barbell on your shoulder, etc. Outside there is likely rocks and wood. But don't forget people! Carrying people is as vital as it is good for skill and conditioning. #NaturalMovement#MovNatSnacksChallenge#MovNatSnacks#VaryYourCarry
MovNat Snacks Challenge Day 6: Lifting. Today I am demonstrating the various locations where I have movement snacks regularly that involve lifting. These being my living room, outside under my deck and my back yard, in my office, and outside around my office. Growing up, almost of the the lifting that I did for fitness sake was with equipment complete with easy-grip handles, and moving in linear, muscle-isolation patterns. While I like kettlebells for instance, and occasionally use (more dynamically) some old free weights of mine, I enjoy lifting and carrying odd-shaped objects (like stones, wood, etc) much more so. For one, it replicates a much more natural task, like gathering wood for fire. Lifting this way also builds better real world competence for lifting objects and being helpful (like helping someone move furniture). Plus lifting AND carrying objects adds much more to it (see Day 7). Can you actually "lift heavy" this way? Absolutely! Obviously I am not maxing out in this video. Is there benefit to lifting when not lifting super heavy? Also absolutely. Lifting is a movement skill, after all, not something one does only to shred their biceps. #NaturalMovement#MovNatSnacksChallenge#MovNatSnacks#ILiftBro
MovNat Snacks Challenge Day 5: Gait. Today I am back at the office. One daily practice that I have is that if I am at the office, and have a break (which I usually do), then I go outside for a shortish movement snack involving running, jumping, crawling, climbing, lifting, etc on a diverse set of parking/wood lot obstacles and maybe lay in the sun before I eat lunch (5-30 minutes). Typically when I am returning, I pass by and move underneath this sign. Many movement patterns are gait patterns. For today, I demonstrate stepping under slowly and quickly, as well as stepping over and stepping upward. These are relatively "simple" movements which many of us take for granted until they become more difficult. They are certainly not flashy; you will not see a station for things to step over and under at the gym (not yet, anyway!). As always, there are many regressions that can be made, such as changing the height at which one goes under or over. #NaturalMovement#MovNatSnacksChallenge#MovNatSnacks#OrganicMovement
MovNat Snacks Challenge Day 4: Balancing – Having a 2x4 staged somewhere in your living/working space is a wonderful invitation for a daily movement snack. See first some options for Indoor Balancing snacks, and then at the end of the video, a balancing movement snack I had today in the woods. The 2x4 is a useful, inexpensive, and symbolic obstacle that stows easily for indoor use. It helps to break up the monotony of your hard, flat indoor world. Improving and maintaining your ability to balance due to contextual demands is of great benefit across our life. “Balancing is a gait pattern that allows you to move on any type of surface without losing control and falling. In addition to the obvious practical benefits from training this skill, balancing is also effective at restoring/maintaining/developing cognitive abilities: chiefly stimulating the vestibular and proprioceptive systems.” #NaturalMovement#MovNatSnacksChallenge#MovNatSnacks#Balancing
For today's MovNat Snacks Challenge Day 3: Crawling, I was out hunting all day. So I took a break and filmed this crawl. This is a foot-hand crawling with parts of push-pull crawling mixed in (while doing under). There are several other crawling gait patterns that are efficient for the human body (not "animal crawls", human crawls). Crawling is a developmental domain of movement. Ideally we crawl before we walk. This builds our contralateral movement patterning (which is also built into walking and running) and strengthens our body for being upright. Parts and pieces of crawling gait patterns wind up being useful when traversing a landscape, as we go under things, up steep hills, down steep hills, etc. Crawling patterns strengthen and coordinate the quadrants of our body and increase our "against the ground" strength. Crawling is also a great way to warm up the body, loosen the spine, strengthen your "core" and your wrists, and can be grueling conditioning when done for distance. #NaturalMovement#MovNatSnacksChallenge#MovNatSnacks
For MovNat Snacks Challenge Day 2: Get Ups, I decided to show a full range of them, so as to show you options for "movement snacks". How would a person with a bum knee work with get ups for rehab purposes? The first 2 examples briefly demonstrate a modification that can be used to retrain/restrengthen the knee (there are many creative ways to approach modification given other factors involved). Most people have not thought much about getting up and down off the ground. It is an essential, vital skill that many if not most people (in our culture) lose eventually, largely from simply not doing it. Getting up and down also has a strong coorelation to longevity, due to it being a general indicator. We must use it, or we risk losing it. Doing this to a minimal degree should be built into everyone's lifestyle. Getting up and down can also be used to strengthen, increase mobility, etc. The Ground (is, or should be) our friend. The world of furniture, however, keeps us in a world that only requires a "half-squat" at best, cradling us away from the ground. #NaturalMovement#MovNatSnacks#MovNatSnacksChallenge
For today’s MovNat Snacks Challenge, Ground Movements, I picked a few technical/efficient movements mixed in with a bit of mobility flow. Also notice that this sequence is composed of movements that offer a paraspinal massage. The movements at the end are a slow and controlled version of a forward and backward roll from supine to prone. This is a great way to get familiar with the mechanics of rolling from one shoulder to the opposite hip, while travelling in a straight(ish) line. Aside from interacting with the Ground being necessary for increasing and maintaining the mobility in your entire body, or ground movements being necessary for practical and adaptable movement skills, it can be incredibly restorative when you are tired and need to break up the strain of repetitive or sedentary movement tasks. For me, if my body is tired from a long day or Rolfing...I know I need to get to the ground. Not just to rest, but to restore with movement. As with all movements, these can be broken down into smaller and smaller pieces and progression can be built, depending on what is suitable for an individual. #NaturalMovement#MovNatSnacks#MovNatSnacksChallenge#BackMassage
On a rainy day while visiting family in Dallas...we made unconventional use of the home gym.
🦎 Being able to balance, then lower the body and move in a low postion, in various ways, and then return to being upright is a fundamental balancing skill. Here I am demonstrating on a inclined balancing surface, doing a split squat into a foot/hand position which itself could be used for crawling, then returning to being upright, and repeating this until I feel that my back foot has reached the end. • • #LivingRoomPlay#MovNat#NaturalMovement
A tree fell in our yard recently and almost hit the deck. Warning: this video is long, and might be like watching paint dry. I am not demonstrating any particularly efficient movement techniques. I'm simply showing the process by which I played/experimented (for the first time) with this new obstacle in my backyard. It is hard to see but this is the top of a White Oak. Most of the tree is not visible in the video. Having cut off the leafy limbs with the help of a friend, here are my first attempts at moving/contorting my body around this thing!
When we find ourselves surrounded by a world of human artifacts...we just need a little imagination, creativity, and hopefully some training - mixed with a healthy dose of playfulness - to interact with our environment in a natural kinda way. Here I have a little downtime at the office so I am doing what I often do: moving around nearby. This is a sign out front of our door, and I can often be seen playing on it, probably to the bewilderment or curiosity of my neighbors. When I perched on top in a balancing deep knee bend, and then changed my orientation, my balance became challenged as I began to move. The individual toe pockets of my Vibrams were catching the edge of the sign, adding a little more complexity to the situation.
Why practice "Human Crawls"? This weekend I went and hiked around Oak Mountain lake. I did some swimming in a secluded cove, meditation, and some movement practice. I managed to get this clip of foot-hand crawling while balancing with my phone almost dead. Fortunately I came back with only a few chigger bites! Why learn and practice crawling patterns? In the MovNat method, we don't practice "animal crawls" particularly. We practice crawling gait patterns that work and are efficient for a human being; ie, human crawls. Although we practice this mostly out of the environmental contex that demands it, it is great for learning how to coordinate and manage the body low to the ground, while building strength, stability, and mobility in low positions. Interacting with nature can demand it: whether it is foot-hand crawl-climbing up a steep hill, or inverted crawling down a steep hill, getting under something, as a means of hiding and maintaining movement, etc, the crawling forms we use are efficient for the human structure. And like all movements we practice...when you learn to manage the body in a wide variety of movement patterns efficiently, they then become part of a seamless whole of adaptable movement skills that effectively adapt to an infinite variety of environmental variation. This is movement that shaped us into who we are in our human form!
Movements featured: ✅ Tripod Transition ✅ Vertical Press-up ✅ Pull-up Reach ✅ Leg Hook Traverse (at the ankle) ✅ "Swing reverse" (?) ✅ Balancing Deep Knee Bend ✅ Depth Jump ✅ Slap Landing (fingertips) ✅ Sliding Swing Up
Why bags of sand? Lifting and Carrying objects are essential aspects of Natural Movement. We lift objects with various techniques, and carry them in various positions. We carry short and long distances, carry while balancing on surfaces, while going over obstacles, even while crawling. In the MovNat method we lift and carry all sorts of objects: Rocks, Logs, People, Bumper plates, Kettlebells, etc. But the most common object we use for indoor training is sand. Why use bags of sand? For one thing, they are fairly safe objects to practice with, particularly for indoor training. Sand can be conformed into various shapes, sizes, weights, etc. Sand is also inexpensive. I have some rocks outside in my backyard that I practice with. I lift and carry my wife and daughter around. I also keep 2 sandbags in my living room. Here is a video demonstrating just a few of the many movements one can practice with a bag of sand in a small space. And these bags in particular are a little tricky, as they are floppy and a bit unwieldy.
Here are some clips of Lauren and I playing a movement game of H-O-R-S-E late yesterday at Triangle Park. So one player does a movement, the next adds a movement to it, and so on...until someone gets out. Then it starts over...it was really fun! She’s pretty cute to watch too, ya know 😊💕 Note: don't wear your nice yoga pants to this playground. That mulch does not just brush of those fibers.
A few fundamental ground movements and positions with breath, and a little bit of reaching thrown in...
A little movement snack right out the front door... Jumping has unique benefits. Aside from being a natural movement that that our bodies are designed to perform that is rarely used these days, jumping cultivates the elastic recoil properties of the fascial suspension system of the lower body. Note: if the first example isn't safe for someone's joints or abilities, jumping can be deconstructed into smaller, safer parts and pieces so as to still confer these benefits, and progressions can be constructed. The arm swing mechanics might look a bit superflous, however they are very important to learning to jump (in many varieties) well and safely. They give you the ability to accelerate when taking off (throwing them out), deccelerate just before and while landing (bringing them back), as well as the ability to stabilize the landing (bringing them forward again). When landing we land on the ball of the foot and cushion the landing. We also commit to going low and forward if needed rather than staying high and stiff and potentially falling backwards or jarring the joints, which is also dangerous. Bringinging the hands down (in the video I only touched the fingertips but typically use the whole palm) helps to disperse the energy and cushion the momentum. Lastly, rolling forward from one shoulder to opposite hip is used when needing to disperse more momentum (not shown, not enough room!).
A throwback to my early attempts at making a movie. #TuckPopUps#Climbing#Vaulting#Jumping I had an unexpected break at work yesterday. So I went over to Triangle Park which is near my office to do a shortish movement session. I was most interested in climbing during that time, so as to break of the pattern of how I use my shoulder girdle while Rolfing. I started with more difficult movements (about 10 "tuck pop-ups") and worked my way backwards to easier climbing movements. Then did some jumping and vaulting, and ended with some tree climbing. 🌳🐒 At some point I plan to write a whole blog post about the evolution of my own relationship to playground spaces in the context of being a parent. I know all parents have things they wish they could have done differently, but for now I will just say that I wish I had my #MovNat training years ago, when I could have better shared the playground space with my daughter from a movement perspective! One of the elements of training movement this way is that is helps to reconnect us to our curiosity and creativity in our relationship with movement and the environment. Having the same movement mindset with a young child and sharing that space together is priceless! #NaturalMovement#OrganicMovement
Moving at the playground. #Proprioception
Lapping - Shoulder Carry Went out to the Spring today and brought back 18 gallons of fresh spring water. This is a 6 gallon glass carboy with a cover, handle, and cork. Here is one way to safely shoulder it. #WildWater
We had some fun at the Irondale municipal playground today before the storm came in. 🐒 I didn't quite have the room for a clean side swing traverse due to the chains. Could have been cleaner in general with the extraneous movements, but I don't take many videos so here it is...
Video courtesy of Erica Greene Malone at Agoge Fitness Systems.
Mad skills. Use it or lose it! Developing the strength, flexibility, and recoil capacity of your leg springs (the fascia of your feet, ankles, lower legs, knees, etc.) will protect your joints and your whole body from impact in daily life. We were designed to have strong springs!
This video is a throwback to an indoor Introduction to Natural Movements series class I taught in 2016, and this is a scene with my friend Mwenja. Happy to see these guys chuckling. I would "graduate" students out into the area around the building in the last class, balancing on things, jumping, running, etc and hanging and climbing trees and walls.
This video was taken about a year after completing my MovNat Level 1 + 2 teacher certifications.