MovNat London workshop – Tired but happy

Tired but happy. I think that’s how we all felt after attending the London MovNat workshop last weekend. It was a great day.

The workshop was an excellent introduction to all that is MovNat – loads of great ideas and techniques, with lots to go away and practice. I was glad to have a notebook to hand, my brain and body were buzzing by the end of the day!

Vic Verdier did a great job of condensing a huge amount of movement skills into one day. The pace was quick and we didn’t spend an extended period of time on any particular technique. This was inevitable we covered a huge amount of content, and much more preferable than missing things out.

The workshop format loosely followed the evolutionary progress of humans, starting with flip flopping on the ground and working way our way through the following movements:

  • Crawling
  • Standing posture
  • Balancing
  • Lifting
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Climbing
  • Throwing

The workshop was paced brilliantly (Vic knows what he’s doing!). The intensity built gradually throughout the morning finishing with a circuit of the skills we had learned so far. The rest over lunch was very welcome but stopping moving meant that some stiffness started to creep into our muscles (or it did mine at least). Fortunately we picked things up slowly after the break with walking and gradually increased the intensity at a pace we barely noticed. Before long we were outside chasing each other up and down the street.

Going by their facial expressions, the locals thought a group of crazies had descended on their bit of London!

Technique is everything

There were three main themes that ran through everything we were doing:

  • Maintain good posture in movement
  • Use the most efficient, effective technique
  • Practice movements with real life applications

A key takeaway for me was to concentrate on mastering technique rather than artificially creating fatigue to simply get stronger. If you start by jumping a distance of 30cm, that’s ok – master it and build from there.

The focus should be on good form rather than more weight/distance/speed so rather then just doing the movements, you do them well. The aim is that an activity can be repeated over and over again with as little fatigue as possible.

I think there is a good reason that climbing techniques are in the last part of the day – by that time you are too tired to muscle it, efficient technique is the only way you are getting up!

Real life vs party tricks

Vic made the point that MovNat is about practicing stuff with potential real life applications, anything else is just party tricks. It’s totally fine to train them as they can be fun and certainly build great levels of strength, but it is the ability to apply that strength in a real life situation that is important.

For me this is about maintaining honesty with yourself with regards to your training – I love training the back lever and other basic gymnastic movements but they won’t help me become better at climbing/jumping/balancing etc unless I also practice those techniques.

A way of approaching movement

The ideas behind MovNat make sense. Our bodies are designed to perform a full range of useful movement skills – so we should do them. To not do so is like having a Ferrari and only using it to pop to the shops and back, the full potential is wasted.

That doesn’t mean MovNat has to be the only form of exercise you do – although the results would likely be excellent. Instead, by adding in a session or two a week, MovNat can help plug any gaps in your movement skill so if need be you can do it all.

You will feel and move better as a result, and have a lot of fun along the way.


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