MovNat – the Tools Are Out There, Just Get Started

MovNat Log Crawl

Some basic MovNat with a little bit of added difficulty!

Last week, my friend Sandy Shepard and I put out a podcast for the website on MovNat, the exercise methodology that I love most and has done such wonderful things for me.

But one of the comments I get most frequently on MovNat is that it’s too hard to get started.  You have to go to a seminar, or find a certified trainer, just to even learn the movements.  And you know what?  This is partially correct.  For best results, you should be looking for certified instruction of some kind.  You’ll get feedback on your movements and form and learn lots of great ways to work them into your workouts, without a doubt.

But that is hardly the only way to get started.

When I first discovered MovNat there were NO trainers in my area that were doing this stuff (so absolutely happy that has changed.  If you’re in Columbus check out my friends at Fit2Play and Movestrong KBs).  And going to one of the five-day seminars that were available back then simply wasn’t in the cards at the time (for vacation/money reasons).  So I did my best to start with what I knew.

And that was the MovNat blog.  Erwan Le Corre, the founder of MovNat, was doing great things to share his methodology with the world.  And while it’ll never make up for proper instruction and critique, you can do quite a bit just by using the internet to find what you need.

Here’s an example:  if you sign up for the MovNat newsletter on the blog, you’ll be sent weekly Movement of the Week emails where you’re given an in-depth look at one movement.  “Wow, one movement.  Big whoop, Jamie,” I hear you saying.  But starting with one movement can be the key to starting with MovNat.  The types of movements that are presented each week are mixed up.  Sometimes they’re very basic – like various squat or crawling variations.  Sometimes they’re slightly more difficult – like the most recent one, the Side Hand Pull Up from the most recent newsletter.  But the newsletters are very good at showing which ones are basic movements and which ones are more advanced – and if they are too advanced, which movements you might start working to GET to the point of the new drill.

It’s like anything else: learn the basics, then move up as you get more proficient.

“But Jamie,” I hear you cry, “how are we supposed to know which movements are basic and which are more advanced?”

Excellent question.  That same newsletter is going to be your guide to this, as well.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the email, you’ll see the “Movement of the Day” section, where a week’s worth of beginner “workouts” is given to you.  You’ll see five days of “MOD” routines, with a warm-up, skill-building section, and a combo.

Here’s one that I did on Saturday morning, for example:

Warm Up Mobility – 2 rounds 

  • Hand Knee Crawl – 30ft
  • Step Over x10 – 2ft dowel (or imaginary dowel)
  • Hinged Walk – 30ft

Skill – 2 rounds 

  • Walking Balance – 2 min – cross reverses x6 – on narrow ground level surface

Combo – 2 Rounds

  • Shoulder Crawl – 20ft
  • Inverted Crawl – 20ft
  • Deep Squat x10
  • Hand Knee Crawl – 20 feet
  • Hand Foot Crawl – 20ft
  • Vertical Jump x10 (land in place on ground focusing on soft landing)

So that’s pretty easy…except for the fact that you may not know what these movements actually look like, based on the name.  Don’t worry, MovNat has thought of that, as well.  There is an exhaustive series of YouTube videos online where Erwan Le Corre has demonstrated very clearly what each movement should look like.  Here’s an example from the first movement in the Warm-Up, the Hand Knee Crawl (found by searching for “MovNat Hand Knee Crawl” on YouTube):

It really is just that simple!

The final resource I’ll suggest you use is on Facebook.  If you’re not on Facebook, you can probably get similar feedback from Twitter or Google+ groups (or ask the Mudlife Crisis page on G+).  I’ll put out a future post on some resources here.  On Facebook, look for the MovNat 60/60 group.  This is a group that’s focused on getting 60 minutes of great movement of any kind for 60 days straight, but it’s also a wonderful place to share thoughts, ask questions, and get feedback on your movements.  I’ve posted videos of myself doing specific movements in the past and gotten some wonderful feedback from the folks here, so don’t be shy.

The MovNat community is wonderful for such stuff and you should never feel shy about sharing.  Yes, you’ll see a lot of people doing advanced movement drills and such, but don’t be put off by that.  Everyone in the group started at the basics and has been in your shoes (or lack thereof, right?  This IS MovNat, after all), and is happy to help you get to the level you want to attain.

So let’s summarize:

  1. Sign up for the MovNat newsletter (a very non-invasive newsletter).
  2. Work on the Movement of the Week each morning (or whenever).
  3. Work the Movement of the Day workouts from the newsletter each day as well.
  4. Ask questions and get feedback in the MovNat 60/60 group on Facebook.

I’ll be posting some videos of my own as soon as I can get some technical details dealt with on my end, but until then these resources should be more than adequate to get you started.

Happy moving !

Have you started MovNat yourself and come up with other resources for helping master these movements?  Share in the comments!