Move Naturally, Move Like a Human by Coach Matt Nichols

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Blog Post by Coach Matt Nichols

Coach Jamie and I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday participating in the MovNat Level 1 seminar – a course designed to reintroduce participants to natural human movement. We had a fantastic time crawling, running, balancing and jumping in the gym and in the park. We were relearning skills and rediscovering a joy and curiosity about moving through our world that the children we shared the park with were experiencing intuitively.

It was a liberating weekend that really encouraged us to embrace the fun and the play inherent in human movement. There were some scary moments and some humorous ones, too. Some moments were both depending upon your perspective (i.e., my epic wipeout on max distance broad jump to head slam).

We learned some lessons that transcended simply how to balance on a beam and the most efficient method for jumping from one rock to another. In particular, our sessions focusing on the techniques of jumping and landing provided a very valuable insight – that in that mid-jump moment of high instability (when we are completely airborne and there is no turning back) as we leave one position of high stability and move to another, we have to find a way to simultaneously brace to create tension in the body yet maintain softness in our points of contact to deftly feel for a stable landing position. It requires a high degree of focus and control to find the proper distribution of tension and softness, but both are necessary to ensure a safe and accurate landing.

This simultaneous need for tension and softness while safely navigating a jump from rock to rock brought to my mind the jump we are making here from CFLA to Oak Park. We are leaving a position of high stability – a decade-plus legacy of fitness, community and personal growth which for many of us is a cherished part of our identities. We are landing at a target that may feel unknown – Oak Park and the soon-to-be expanded offering of classes and fitness options. If your instinct during this transition is to tense up at the uncertainty of where we are landing, I would encourage you to consider the lessons Coach Jamie and I learned through MoveNat – tension when you leap is natural and necessary, but look for a way to keep some softness in you so that you can feel out your landing with confidence. And have fun with this jump! Landing at Oak Park is going to feel new, but also more familiar than you might think.


Thursday’s Workout

A) Back Squat
75% x 5 reps
85% x 3 reps
95% x 1 rep or more

8 Strict Press (50-60% 1RM)
8 Supine Barbell Pull (feet on box)
16 Bob Weave Punch with MB
16 Box Up-n-Overs

Friday’s Workout

A) “Karen”
For time:
150 Wall Balls (20/16) (10ft/9ft)



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