MovNat: A Natural Approach to Fitness
by Erwan Le Corre
“The first thing I want to say is that there are no secrets in fitness. There’s nothing magical or special about it; it just requires hard work and discipline.” -Erwin Le Corre, founder of the “Movement Science Institute”.
I have been training for over 20 years now, and I’ve never met anyone who was able to do what I did without any sort of assistance. My approach to exercise is based on my own experience and research into human physiology.
My name is Erwin Le Corre (pronounced LEH-vahn), but most people call me “Mr. Muscle” because of all the muscle mass I carry around with me!
When I started lifting weights, I had no idea what I was doing. Nowadays, if someone tells me they’re new to weightlifting, I tell them to go home and get some ice cream!
But back then?
No way! When I first got into it, it took me forever to figure out how to lift heavy things up off the ground.
Originally, I started training because it looked cool, but I stayed with it because of the feeling I get when I MOVE my body.
I’ve also been in the following movies: “Olympus Has Fallen”, “Equalizer”, “Grown Ups 2”, and the famous “In the Name of Ben Hur”. Oh, and a little movie called “The Expendables”.
Not to brag or anything!
“MovNat” is a system of exercise that allows you to move in every day life situations.
Why is this so important?
Because your body was designed to move, and we’ve developed ways of moving around that are unnatural and no longer related to our natural instincts. Sadly, most people have never heard of MovNat, let alone train in this exciting field of fitness! If the guy who played Ben Hur can do it, then you can too!
So what does MovNat entail?
Let’s start with a brief overview of the system.
Basic Principles of MovNat
Your body is programmed to work with the rhythm of your breathing. If you’re tired, your breathing becomes more rapid and shallow.
When you get really tired, you stop breathing altogether (pass out). In addition to this, it is important to control your breathing when holding difficult positions.
2. Basic Movements
The most basic human movements are crawling, walking, running, jumping, balancing, and swimming. To be strong and fit, you need to train your body in all of these movements.
These basic movements carry over into more complex patterns of movement such as throwing a ball, swinging a bat, or playing hopscotch.
This is done through a series of drills called “Playful Movement”. These drills are fun and easy to learn.
They also promote fitness by engaging the entire body.
3. Natural Movements
Did you know that humans are the only animals who sit on chairs?
If you sit all day, then your body adjusts to this unnatural position. And when you suddenly have to stand up, you will feel pain in your lower back. This is just one of many examples of our “unnatural” way of living.
By training with MovNat, you will develop a strong foundation of natural movement. This will allow you to perform other exercises and activities with greater ease.
More importantly, this will also prevent pain and injury down the road.
Somewhere along the way, exercise became “work”. If you’re like me, then you hate working out all the time.
Fortunately, exercise doesn’t have to be like that. By playing games in nature, you can get in shape and have fun at the same time!
We’re humans, which means that we were meant to live and thrive in a natural environment.
Unfortunately, nowadays many of us only experience a small fraction of the natural world. We spend nearly all our time indoors.
By exercising and playing outside, you will strengthen your mind and body in the way that nature intended.
The 5 principles of MovNat
So now that we’ve got the basic concepts out of the way, let’s talk about some specific exercises.
1. Playful Movement
Have you ever seen children at play?
They seem to get excited about the most random and silly things. What they’re doing looks ridiculous most of the time. They run around screaming and laughing, jump up and down, roll around on the ground, and do all kinds of weird stuff.
In many ways, this is the most important type of exercise. It is through playful movement that we discover our natural abilities.
When we’re children, our bodies are free from pain and our minds are free from worries. This is the way that nature intended us to be. Through playful movement, we can experience this state once again.
This principle involves playing games in your daily life. These games can be as simple as jumping and dancing when you get the chance.
Or they can be as complex as playing catch with friends, going on hikes, or swimming in a lake.
2. Natural Movements
There is an exercise trend that involves using your body in its natural ways. Some examples of this are yoga, tai-chi, and qigong.
These exercises are great for developing “mindfulness”. They are also great for increasing your awareness of your body. In the city, we tend to sit in desks all day and only move our body when commuting to and from work. By developing mindful exercises like these, you can reconnect with your body in a positive way.
These exercises also strengthen your awareness of yourself in relation to others and nature around you. When we become more aware, our movements become more efficient.
They also become more “accurate” or “precise”.
MovNat is made up of a wide variety of natural movements. Some are very simple, others are more complex.
And still others push the limits of your endurance and stamina. Through these movements, you can experience the natural world in many different ways. You can enjoy yourself while getting the chance to exercise. And as you get stronger and fitter, you can explore more and more.
3. Functional Movements
Our bodies are designed to move in many different ways. We climb, crawl, balance, jump, twist, push, pull, carry, etc.
Throughout the day we use these movements in a number of different ways. However, when we go to the gym, we tend to only do exercises that focus on a very small range of motion. We may use the elliptical to work on our legs, or maybe lift weights for our chest, but these exercises don’t really mimic the functional movements that we would use in real life.
Take running as an example. If you run in place on your tiptoes, you will look very nice while you’re doing it.
But if you were to actually run in place like that, you would fall on your face very quickly. On the other hand, if you were to sprint in place with a more flat footed style, you wouldn’t look as “pretty”, but you would be able to perform the movement much better.
The concept of functional movements is that you want to utilize exercises that more closely mimic the movements that you would use in real life. So instead of using the elliptical machine for your legs, you might want to go on a hike or play a sport like soccer or basketball.
Instead of bench pressing for your chest, you might want to climb a tree or lift something out of the cupboard.
The goal is to train your body in a more natural way. You can also gain a more well-rounded exercise from these functional movements.
By just focusing on your arms, you’re really only training one part of your body. But by working different parts in different ways, you’re giving yourself a more balanced routine.
4. Getting Dirty
Many of us grew up playing in the mud and getting dirty. We would fall and scrape our knees, get into fights with our friends, and generally enjoy ourselves outside.
However, as we got older, we began to focus a lot more on keeping ourselves clean and presentable. Gone are the days of jumping in puddles or going out in the rain without an umbrella.
But why is this? What purpose does it serve to keep ourselves so clean all the time?
We really don’t know. But the good thing is that there’s no reason that we can’t go out and get dirty every once in a while. In fact, some people are realizing some great benefits from getting back to nature and reconnecting with the earth in that way.
The benefits of getting dirty are numerous. It can help to calm you down, relax you, and make you feel more at ease.
Studies have even shown that it can lower your blood pressure and help to relieve stress.
So find a nice patch of dirt and get dirty. Work with your hands in the soil.
Throw some mud. Get it all over yourself. The dirtier you get, the healthier you’re going to be.
5. Pick Something Up
Our world is filled with things. Cars, televisions, computers, books, bottles, chairs, etc.
We see these things every day, use these things every day, but we almost never actually pick these things up. As a result, our bodies have almost completely stopped doing the things that they used to do in order to help us pick these things up.
We don’t need to use these things on a regular basis in order for them to be beneficial for us. In fact, we can use them in order to maintain the abilities that we already have.
By changing our environment and switching things up every once in a while, we can continue to benefit from these things without having to focus so much on the task at hand.
When you go to the store, pick up a can of soup that you wouldn’t normally eat just so you can strengthen your grip. When you’re walking down the sidewalk, pick up rocks and practice throwing them.
When you’re waiting for the bus, stand and do some squats to get your legs in tip-top shape. Do these things in order to remind your body of what it’s capable of and to keep those skills sharp.
Taking care of yourself isn’t just about eating right and exercising every once in a while. It’s about living a lifestyle that keeps you healthy every single day of your life.
Pick up some rocks, go get dirty, and lift something for a change. Your body will thank you for it.
Life is an adventure, don’t just sit there and watch it pass you by. Get out there and do something!
We hope you enjoy our articles and encourage you to share them with your friends. Please visit our store for more helpful products.
Sources & references used in this article:
The Movement movement by W McNeill – Journal of Bodywork and Movement …, 2017 – bodyworkmovementtherapies.com
Breaking Muscle by B Taylor, RL Movement – breakingmuscle.com
Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by AJ Jacobs – 2012 – books.google.com
Nature and Religion in America by B Grainger – Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion, 2018 – oxfordre.com
Adaptation and diffusion of renovations: The case of the paleo diet by B Ertimur, S Chen – Journal of Business Research, 2020 – Elsevier
Cybernetic Principles of Aging and Rejuvenation: the buffering-challenging strategy for life extension by F Heylighen – Current aging science, 2014 – ingentaconnect.com
Natureculture Origined: An intersectional feminist study of notions of the natural, the healthy and the Palaeolithic past in the popular science imaginary of … by Å Johansson – 2015 – diva-portal.org