Free the Zoo Humans: Workouts and Wisdom From Erwan Le Corre
When Erwan Le Corre first came on board as one of our featured coaches a few years back, he brought a whole new perspective on fitness and training. Erwan’s system is unlike many fitness trends out there, and it’s no surprise that his message has caught on and spread like wildfire over the last decade.
What Is MovNat?
Erwan is the founder of MovNat, an innovative system that encourages people to reconnect with their movement roots. Erwan explained his vision for MovNat in part one of our interviews, The Roots of MovNat:
My mission with MovNat is like a move nation. A nation of people who would wake up and every day do some natural human movement. Imagine a nation and the empowerment, on a personal level, a communal level, a national level, if every day people were to run, jump, climb, and do all those things solo or together. Imagine the radical change of energy, of health, and think about it in America.
A Movement Revolution
MovNat is based on the idea that what lies at the basis of all fitness is human movement. The thirteen basic movements taught in MovNat are:
Crawling and Rolling
Obviously, training these movements is much different from typical globo-gym fare. Erwan distinguished his approach from mainstream fitness trends in part two of our interview:
The commercial fitness industry, what we see on TV and in magazines, has most people believing that being in shape is about looking fit and not being fit. It’s about discipline and pushing yourself hard so you can burn calories for a weight loss kind of thing, mostly for cosmetic, superficial results. It is mechanistic and reductionist. It is such a radical impoverishment of our true potential.
I’m sorry, but it’s absurd. What is the way a wild tiger, eagle, or horse stay fit? Do they go to a gym, isolating muscles and doing cardio on a treadmill? I know it makes people laugh because it is laughable. I have a question: why would it be any different in us? What they do is they practice a full range of their own species-specific movement. The horse will run and jump. The tiger will also walk and crawl, balance, climb, jump. The eagle will fly. That’s all because of evolution, or creation if that is your personal belief. In any case, the reason those animals are the way they are and move the way they do is that it’s just their nature. They don’t come up with super complicated, sophisticated drills presented in fitness experiments. It’s something completely basic, yet powerfully effective and real.
This might all sound philosophically sound, but what does it look like in real life? If you’re wondering how to apply the MovNat approach in your gym, home, or other workout space, look no further than the MovNat workouts Erwan wrote for us.
Cycle One: MovNat Basics
In the first cycle, Erwan provided videos and programming for a four-week introduction to MovNat. Here’s an example from the first day of workouts:
Week 1, Day 1
- Stepping Over x 4: Perform dynamically, avoid counterbalancing with the upper body. Switch sides.
- Stepping Under x 4: Perform dynamically, avoid rounding the back. Switch sides.
- Lateral Figure Four Sitting Reverse x 4
- Assisted Squat x 8: Hold at the bottom and bounce softly a few times before standing up.
- Split Squat x 4: Keep front knee stable, switch sides.
- Deep Knee Bend x 4: Maintain a tall posture.
- Deep Knee Bend Stances x 4: Hold stance for about 10 seconds each time. Maintain a tall posture and stable ankles and knees.
- Medium Kneeling to Tall Kneeling x 4
- Deep Knee Bend to Tall Half-kneeling x 4: Switch sides.
Cycle Two: Leveled Combo Workout Videos
Erwan also wrote a series of combo workouts for various levels, starting with beginner and ending with advanced videos. Here’s a sample video from the Intermediate series of videos:
Reconnect to the Nature in You
If you think these workouts look simple, you're right. If you think they look easy, you may be in for a surprise. But ultimately, as Erwan expressed in his article, Reconnect to the Nature in You, Become Powerful, and Create the Reality You Want, the real purpose of MovNat is to reconnect people with nature, movement, and themselves:
Practical, adaptable, efficient movement. Looks like I have been talking about the original human fitness method indeed. This is not the latest fitness trend, but the timeless expression and perpetuation of universal and natural human movement patterns. This is about movement authenticity. It is about reacquiring the most ancient movement skills set and forming physically and mentally capable human beings, who are strong and useful. Express your true nature and become powerful, because if you can't empower yourself, who will?