Updated on March 30, 2015
MovNat: A Potentially Awesome Exercise Program for Scoliotics
What’s MovNat? According to the website (which I’ve linked to), MovNat’s premise is to “Train the whole, not the parts.” You train the whole body in an integrated way, never isolating muscle groups but instead trying to mindfully engage your whole body as you work through natural movements, like crawling, leaping, running, swimming, climbing, etc.
Check out the super awesome video of MovNat founder, Erwin Le Corre, performing MovNat movements in a natural environment. If this doesn’t get your blood pumping, you might not be human.
You should also check out this great article from The Art of Manliness, where I first heard about MovNat.
Why might this be good for scoliosis? From what I’ve learned so far, some scoliosis conditions arise when one muscle group inexplicably gets stronger or more tense than its corresponding muscle group on the other side which can result in scoliosis.
My reasoning is, for those of us who have scoliosis, it could have a particularly negative impact on our bodies to engage in exercises that isolate one muscle group while neglecting another, as this can create an imbalance in our bodies, and since exercise is crucial to general health, finding a good workout that also does not cause imbalance in our muscle groups is probably a good idea!
(It’s worth mentioning here that I’ve also had success with Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the past, likely due to the “integrated movements” inherent to the sport, and I’ve always been curious about yoga and Pilates for the same reason, but have yet to find a good yoga/Pilates studio in my area.)
Granted, I don’t think doing MovNat can necessarily help heal scoliosis—MovNat certainly doesn’t make that claim, either—but I’m wondering if it could be a great management tool.
So what’s the plan? The truth is, I would love to sign up for one of the sessions, but I don’t have the money.
However, there seems to be a good workaround near my area. There is a parkour gym in Houston called Urban Movement, where at least one (possibly more) of the parkour instructors is also a certified MovNat instructor, (in fact, I’m fairly sure he leads MovNat certification courses at times during the year) and they have “drop-in classes” for $15, with a class on Saturday.
My thinking is, I would love to try a class (yes, I think parkour + MovNat could also be a great combo) and also speak with this instructor about his thoughts for learning MovNat, particularly for use as a management tool for scoliosis.
Did I mention that Urban Movement also has a class specifically for people with spinal cord injuries called Adaptive Movement? While my spine isn’t “injured,” I’m a little excited and relieved to try a place that seems to have some understanding of and sensitivity toward spinal issues.
When I finally get to go, I will report with a post the following week about my experience. Can’t wait to give it a try!