Natural movement is a system of exercise pioneered by the philosophy of George’s Herbert a physical Educator in the French military. Who travelled extensively throughout the world and was impressed by the development and movement skills of indigenous peoples in Africa and elsewhere. Co-ordinating escape and rescue while in service also gave him the belief that athletic skill should be combined with courage and altruism.
His lifetime work led to the development of fitness trails used by civilians as well as the military. He also was an influence on the development of parkour, which encompasses this system of movement. His system has influenced and also been developed by the Mov Nat system created by Erwan Le Corre.
A natural movement session is built around ten fundamental movements: walking, running, jumping, quadrupedal movement, climbing, equilibrium (Balance), throws, lifting, defending and swimming.
A training session consists of exercises preferably in an outdoor environment, perhaps a few hundred meters to several kilometres, during which one walks, runs, jumps, progresses quadrupedally, climbs, walks in unstable Balance, carries, throws, fights and swims.
These movements can be scaled to the individuals level, needs and progressions can be created. Natural movement reintroduces us to movement modalities that were intrinsic to us throughout our evolution as hunter gatherers going back thousands of years and are still relevant to us today. Although many people conditioned by sedentary living or unnatural fads and quick fix fitness systems have lost touch with these movements.
These natural movement modalities are also movement patterns that children instinctively carry out. We are led to believe that as adults we should stop moving as we did as children, so our movement capacity atrophies and we end up doing bicep curls in a gym when we could pull ourselves up a tree, a wall or bar on a fitness trail, which is much more beneficial, fun and the movement a flexion of the elbow joint was designed for.
As well as being fun, play, practical and in our dna, natural movement reconnects us to our environment whether urban or in nature, as well as can be practised in a spacious indoor environment. As well preparing us for real world situations, these movements are also the movements intrinsic in most sports.