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Embrace your inner indigenous athlete
April 20, 2009 7:40 PM   Subscribe

Inspired by the Natural Method of Georges Hébert and trained in Parkour, Frenchman Erwan Le Corre has developed his own curious brand of back-to-nature physical fitness training called MovNat. As this awesome/humorous video shows, MovNat basically consists of running around in the woods, climbing trees, jumping over and under obstacles, swimming, and moving heavy objects.

Part child's play, part workout, I must admit it looks like an odd sort of fun. If they promised not to videotape me, I'd consider going on one of these Brazilian retreats.
posted by subpixel (24 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
So, basically it's weak parkour, mixed with French back-to-nature ethos... which smells like patchouli and sounds a lot like watered down Enigma?!

Clearly, this is gonna be huge.
posted by markkraft at 8:02 PM on April 20, 2009


These kinds of workouts are awesome, and I have personally been trying to get into them (but with shoes). This is the kind of stuff the human body evolved to do. You may never get as huge and ripped as a body builder, and may never match the speed of a sprinter, but these kind of movements and routines require many, many muscles to be working for an extended period. Exactly what we evolved to do.

"The human body is evolved to haul firewood one day, run a marathon the next, then spend a day smashing rocks, followed by a day of gathering food." repeat forever. I don't know where the quote came from or what it's true form is, but I think it carries the truth. We are incredible multi-tools.
posted by Science! at 8:11 PM on April 20, 2009


I believe there was an article about this guy recently in either Men's Health or GQ.

...um, says my friend.

also, cuffed shorts are in this season.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:30 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


running around in the woods, climbing trees, jumping over and under obstacles, swimming

sounds exactly like my childhood. at what point does he reinvent the wheel?
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:55 PM on April 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I thought 'natural' was going to mean 'au naturel.' Naked parkour would not be a good idea, although it would be probably best confined to forests and glens rather than urban railings and such.
posted by grounded at 8:57 PM on April 20, 2009


is there something about bare feet that is actually practical and not just an affectation akin to a meershaum pipe or a soul patch?
posted by docpops at 9:30 PM on April 20, 2009


You can do this in already-destroyed habitats, where it's also more fun.
posted by Camofrog at 9:45 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree with Science!, but I also agree this was kind of weak. Not incredibly practical unless you have nature on your doorstep. Which I have, and indeed between xc skiing, mountain biking, snowboarding, chainsawing, bridge-building, snow clearing and all the other good stuff you get a pretty awesome workout. But I don't do too much swimming with logs.

100% agree on the versatility factor of the human bod.
posted by unSane at 9:56 PM on April 20, 2009


We used to do this when I was a kid. We called it something like PlayIng.
posted by humannaire at 10:29 PM on April 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Being out in nature is fine if you're not fucking up nature. If this gets people to go to the most beautiful places only to rip them up -- dislodging and heaving boulders, moving logs, and generally increasing erosion -- I wish they'd go to the gym instead.
posted by pracowity at 10:51 PM on April 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Can't say I'd really want them shifting the equipment around in the gym, either.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:31 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


That guy lives in a nice neighborhood.
posted by creasy boy at 11:31 PM on April 20, 2009



is there something about bare feet that is actually practical and not just an affectation akin to a meershaum pipe or a soul patch?


I've tossed my shoes during more than one urban climb because curl and grip are useful.

And you know where to find you shoes.

/practiced urban explorer
posted by sourwookie at 11:46 PM on April 20, 2009


Are you sure I'm not just watching the opening sequence of Commando?
posted by PenDevil at 12:06 AM on April 21, 2009




Being out in nature is fine if you're not fucking up nature. If this gets people to go to the most beautiful places only to rip them up -- dislodging and heaving boulders, moving logs, and generally increasing erosion -- I wish they'd go to the gym instead.


You can do this without messing up nature. In fact, you can help nature using some of these exercises. It may not be as pretty, but if you live in the US, odds are that your local park district has a volunteer program to clean up parks and whatnot. I did invasive species removal as my primary form of exercise for some time. I was hacking up buckthorn, dragging it into piles, and burning it. FuN!

Ifyou want to mess around with boulders, there are lots of farmers and foresters out there that would be happy for you to clear rocks from fields.
posted by melissam at 12:28 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


It could be the new CCC, but rather than paying people to build the conservation infrastructure, they would pay a monthly fee for their "workout," which would go back into environmental conservation programs. Activities could be overseen by a "trainer" who would tell them which muscle groups they're working and advise them on proper form as they haul boulders and logs to build trails and clean up trash.

EVERYONE WINS.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:51 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


As I get older my body has transitioned from versatile to versatired. I am constantly surprised at the number of different ways I feel exhausted.
posted by srboisvert at 1:10 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Great stuff. This is similar to Ginástica Natural.

No surprise Erwan Le Corre lists BJJ as a hobby.
posted by the cuban at 2:05 AM on April 21, 2009


Awesome! Much like that guy, I've found the perfect tree, which I will now start carrying around with me until I find the perfect river to ford with it.

Finally also a new justification and application of my showing up to work barefoot... Got this tree...

(also an FYI for those wondering about the barefoot...previously)
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:59 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would settle for being able to take a leisurely stroll through the area where the video was filmed. And to be able to watch that jack-off bounding around barefooted would only be icing on the cake.
posted by digsrus at 4:56 AM on April 21, 2009


Great fun, but it's probably a little pathetic that the first thing I thought was "ouch! jesus, my arches would kill me jumping around on those rocks"... otherwise, looks like a good old time in the woods.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 7:56 AM on April 21, 2009


leotrotsky It was Men's Health... Uh, dentist waiting room.
posted by mdaugherty82 at 8:52 AM on April 21, 2009


I have a friend who wanted to get people to do manual labor instead of going inside to work out in gyms. Through your efforts, you could help build things and tear them down, all the while strengthening yourself. Sure, bulldozers and cranes are built to push and pull, but so are we. Add in some simple machines, and a lot of people can provide sufficient lifting force to move beams into place and such.

My gripe with labeling this Move Natural / Movement in Nature / Movement for Nature "education system" as the way people should work out means a lot more people will be charging into the "wilds." While gyms might provide overly muscle-specific work-outs, they're also efficient at getting a lot of people to work out in a confined space. Nature is made up of more than stationary objects for people to push, pull and climb.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:58 AM on April 21, 2009


WAIT JUST A MINUTE! This is precisely the sort of scam my mom used to use to trick us into yard work. And now that i think about it so did my Uncle Dick when he wanted us to help him on the ranch.
posted by tkchrist at 1:55 PM on April 21, 2009


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