Movement training – what is it?
Vik shares his thoughts on the fitness industry and on movement training, a core part of our methods at AIM...
There are many trends that come and go in fitness industry. Some of which are great and some… well… let’s not get into them! Over the last few years there’s been a buzz about ‘Movement Training’. I’d like to share my thoughts on its origins and as a training approach.
We all move!! We have been doing it since the dawn of time to hunt and gather, dance, walk, climb, run, jump, crawl, lift, swim, fight and even breathe! Suffice it to say that movement is essential to express ourselves as individuals and for survival.
Think of a young child who progresses naturally over time to crawl, squat, lunge, bend, twist, push, pull, walk, run, jump, climb, throw, carry and thrive. We start developing these movement patterns instinctively in our first year as we learn to move, interact with the environment and play. Our joints are mobile, move in a variety of directions and we develop attributes such as balance, body awareness, coordination, strength and control. Then we start school where we sit still for short periods. However we endure years of sitting in school, then university and work. These stationary periods get longer and longer. Then throw in modern technology, where we spend increasing amounts of time watching, browsing, swiping..I think you get me. You can see the evolution of a human race that moves less and less.
How does this sound? We sit for up to 12-18 hours a day in the car, train, bus, ferry, couch and work station and stare at our computer, tablet or mobile phone? It is no surprise the end result are stiff joints, muscles and tendons with diminished coordination, balance, reaction and body awareness.
So what do we do?! Ahhh yes…. exercise!! Dedicate 1 to 4 hours a week running or doing strength training to counteract years of sedentary lifestyle and lack of movement. Don’t get me wrong, this is great and a lot of us are doing this at some level. However, the typical fitness industry spin centres on cosmetic motivation. Everyone wants to look good… and why shouldn’t they?!! Unfortunately this drive to purely improve our appearance is physically harming ourselves by moving less.
Fortunately there has been a shift in paradigm.
Humans are realising that we need more than to exercise for aesthetic purposes. We need to shift the focus back onto learning skills we once knew and moving in a functional way – pure human movement.
Cue movement training.
Our traditional forms of training are important because after all we are moving, which is what’s essential. I am not recommending you replace or divorce your first love for the barbell, CrossFit, martials arts, favourite class or workout routine. But if you hang onto the belief of one approach or discipline being the best, then you are losing out on a huge opportunity to expand on your physical range and to evolve into a well-rounded individual and/or athlete.
Movement training is different – it does not fit into a neat little box. People see handstands or work on gymnastic rings so think it’s gymnastics. Some people see animal inspired patterns so think its primal training. Some people see flow and rhythm based movement so think its dance. Some see aggressive partner work and think its grappling or martial arts. Some people see backflips and acrobatics so think its circus training. Some people see out of alignment work like squatting with knees caved in so think its silly and dangerous. The point is, movement training isn’t one of these, but all of these; it bridges a gap through what has previously been seen as separate practices.
So, what is it?
To us, movement training is about developing your physical repertoire to nourish the mind and body so you are able to be self-dominant; have the awareness, freedom, control and strength to express what you want, when you want. This is achieved through learning and continually working on new skills, implementing movement complexity into your life, keeping the standard and quality of your practice high, and most importantly, allowing yourself to explore different forms of movement practices.
It is more than just taking you out of your sedentary lifestyle and more than that awesome workout you did… it is about taking it back to your roots and reconnecting you with what it means to be human! Giving you the tools to move freely again, giving you guidelines to grow to your full physical potential, let you feel, express and enjoy movement.
Humans are moving less, it’s causing us more aches and pains. Our typical exercise regimes are not sufficient to alleviate our sedentary lifestyle and training which is driven by aesthetic motivations. Movement training aims to restore our physical capabilities, move like we used to, like we were intended.
Looking good should be part of everyone’s intention; when we see aesthetic gains it helps our confidence and there are many proven health benefits of having a body fat percentage within the healthy range. BUT be clear on your priorities and the long-term consequences of your choices.
AIM is about quality of life through quality movement. Our methods are unique; we combine strength, fun and movement. We are continually learning, working and exploring new ways to help our clients be a well-rounded individuals capable of moving strongly, freely and pain free for years to come. When you let go of the idea that fitness has to fit into a neat and tidy box, you reprogram your view of the world and uncover opportunities all around you to add movement into your life.
*Exercise is optional but Movement is essential*
Think about it.
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