Due to me becoming a father in a few weeks, and my recent fascination with what the human body is capable of, today’s post is going to be about natural human movement… or what should be natural human movement. Most of us have lost the majority of our movement for one reason or another.
I am the oldest of four kids, my wife is a nanny, and we have family and friends who already have kids so I have spent a lot of time around children as I am sure most of you have. I am also sure you are just as amazed at what they can do as I am. I have seen kids running all over a play ground jumping from piece to piece without touching the ground, climbing up nets, ladders, poles and slides… I haven’t been a kid in a while but I am confident that last thing is meant for going down. I have seen kids eat slices of watermelon while resting their arms on their knees and feet flat on the ground aka a deep squat. I have seen kids that can barely crawl, hold themselves on the monkey bars no problem. Even before they crawl kids learn how to roll from their bellies to their back and return to their bellies.
We all have heard of the show, “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” well I would love to see a show called “Can you move as well as a 1st grader?” With this in mind I would like to challenge you. I have come up with a bunch of body movements that I have seen done, done myself, or would like to be able to do. I would like to see what you are capable of; I bet it’s more than you think. I am not saying you should try every single thing on this list because it is a long list, but try a few and see what you can do. Share your results in the comments section, if 5 of you share your results with me, I will also share my results. Remember this is not a competition; it is a challenge to see what you can personally do. If you are a private person and don’t want to share your results no problem, make an attempt any ways.
If you read through this list and think to yourself I don’t care if I can do any of that it won’t help me reach my goals. I would ask you to look at it this way. The more of these movements you can do the more mobility, stability, motor control, power, and usable strength you have. This means you could train harder and more efficiently to work toward any goal while also reducing the chance of getting injured. That’s not enough for you? How about this, for all those same reasons you would also be capable to doing way more exercise variations and training methods so you wouldn’t “get bored” as easily!
Again I just came up with this list of random movements, basically whatever popped into my head, if you can think of anything else we can all attempt please also leave that in the comments section. I would love to try something new!
I have listed some of these movements in an A) B) C) fashion. In this case you should start with A) and only move on to the next if you can complete that movement efficiently. All movements should be accomplished with ZERO pain. Any pain, anywhere stop immediately!
Let the kid in you be unleashed!
Deep Squat – Touch armpits to knees with feet flat on the floor and hold for 30 seconds
A) Bird dog – 8 each side without losing balance.
B) Quadruped Iso Hold – get on all fours, hold knees 1 inch off ground 30 seconds
C) Bear Crawl – 50 yards
Broad Jump – compare your distance to how tall you are. Can you jump as far as you are tall?
A) Single leg balance - :30 seconds each leg
B) Balance beam walk – walk on something narrow, what is the thinnest you can walk on for 10 steps without falling?
A) Strait arm hang – hang on a bar :20 seconds
B) Stationary Brachiating – hold bar and swing body back and forth side ways: 20 seconds
C) Monkey bars – how many can you do?
Stand up – Lay flat on your back, get to feet without using momentum, or your hands
Body roll – roll from belly to back to belly without using hands or legs (both sides)
A) Forward roll
B) Kart wheel – both sides
C) Wall Hand stand – How long can you hold?
D) Free Hand stand – How long can you hold?
Jump and spin – how far can you get each direction and stick the landing, 90, 180, 360 degrees?
A) Skip – 100 yards
B) Sprint – 100 yards, how fast can you go?
Climb something – what was it? Tree, rock, ladder, rope, etc.
That’s all I have for now, remember have fun with this. If at first you don’t succeed try, try again!
I am excited to hear how everyone does! Move well, move often!
Mike Gilmore - Fitness Together Newtonville