Leading off from my previous blog post, we came to realise that Movement does not equal Exercise. Today, we’re going further into human movement, more specifically looking at natural movement, how this compares to exercise and going to the gym, and what benefits it can have for you.
Natural movement makes use of a specific range of foundational movement patterns, that we need and use to navigate through our daily lives and in the natural world (eg. picking things up, climbing over objects, crawling, pulling yourself up, etc). On the other hand… exercise generally focuses on isolated specific muscle patterns and groups. Although these exercises do have their place, when last were you required to do 15 seated leg extensions during your day?
This raises the question: “Why are we doing isolated exercises when we could be doing full-body movements that train us to execute real-world skills”. For many of us, it is actually more motivating to learn and develop a movement pattern that we can use in our everyday lives and is applicable in the real world, rather than only at the gym. At it’s core, natural movement gives your body the skills it needs to move the way it was designed to – it allows you to walk longer; sit, stand or go up hills without pain.
Now don’t get me wrong… if you are an athlete or training for a specific sport, by all means you’re going to specialise and hone in on a specific skill set and isolated exercises to improve your performance (as you should), whether it’s weight lifting or marathon running. However, when this is not the case, lifting a set amount of weights at the gym isn’t going to help you with movements you should be doing daily, such as: walking, getting up from the ground with ease, carrying loads of varying weights, and being mobile for most of the day. Once again proving that going to the gym and exercising isn't the be all and end all. Before we can move stronger and better, first we must MOVE.
Keep your eye on the blog for the next few posts that will explore the range of foundational movement patterns we should all be including in our training, and you’ll also get to see how to incorporate these into your exercises at the gym – best of both worlds right there!