What’s impressive about MovNat, however, is the way it takes this philosophy and makes concrete steps to address it. At the workshop, we spent all day doing basic human movements that children do all the time on the playground. As the day went on, I became more and more aware of my own self-imposed physical limitations. Here are just a few of the skills that we worked on at the workshop.
1. Crawling. We started off the day by taking off our shoes and crawling around in the grass. Our awesome instructor Jeff taught us the different ways to crawl, including the typical baby crawl, as well as crawling in a plank position, which was harder than I realized! We also practiced crawling backward and forward while balancing on a wall.
2. Running. Jeff showed us the right way to run barefoot. I’ve always been interested in barefoot running, but have been too worried about injury to actually try it. One thing we did was run backwards to get a feel for how your feet should fall to avoid injury, which was very helpful. Jeff also provided some great tips for getting started with barefoot running safely.
3. Lifting/Carrying. This was one of my favorite parts of the workshop. It was also probably the biggest challenge for me. We ran (barefoot) about a quarter of a mile to find a heavy rock to use for the lifting, then ran back, carrying the rock, and learned a few basic lifts—including the deadlift, clean and hang clean, to name a few. I was surprised at how difficult the lifts were with rocks as opposed to gym weights. My rock wasn’t very heavy—probably about 20 to 25 pounds—which is normally a pretty easy weight for me. However, the awkward shape of the rock created more of a challenge.
In addition to these movements, we also practiced walking, balancing, jumping, climbing, throwing and catching. Throughout all of the instruction, Jeff always emphasized the importance of efficient movement, which is done with proper posture, timing and rhythm, and relaxation, as opposed to movement that simply gets the job done with increased risk of injury.