Movement symbolizes life.
It’s at the core of our early growth and development and remains the central theme throughout our being. It’s how we survive, communicate, procreate and thrive.
Human movement arises from patterns designed to protect and feed us i.e. to help us receive pleasure and avoid pain.
Movement patterns are purposeful combinations of mobile and stable segments working in harmony to produce effective sequences. These linked sequences give us a command of physical posture during activity and movement through our surroundings.
Basic and advanced full-body movements include crawling, running, jumping and climbing. But less talking, let us get moving!
Here are your six movements:
- Lunge with a knee up
Take an easy step forward and then drop the knee of the rear leg towards the ground just behind the heel of the lead foot, but do not let the knee make contact with the ground. This is your lunge position. Then bring the knee up towards your chest as you come to standing, balancing on the lead foot/leg. Bring the lifted leg down as you take step, which is now your leading foot/leg, and drop the opposite knee down. Move forward in this sequence.
- Bear crawl
Get in a toddler crawling position and lift the knees (still bent) off the ground. Move forward by taking a step with your opposite hand and foot (e.g. right hand, left foot). Keep the knees low throughout the movement.
- Walking kicks
Standing upright, kick your foot/leg out in front of you as you reach with the opposite hand/arm to touch your foot. Get on your toes on the opposite foot. Once you make contact with the ground with the kicking foot, swing the rear foot up to kick and reach for the foot with the opposite hand. Continue moving forward in this sequence.
- Side steppers
Turn to your side and bent your knees to get into a squat position, hold the position. Take a step to the side with the lead foot and follow with the rear foot. Once you reach the marked destination, step back to the starting position in the squatting position.
- Bunny hops
In a deep squat position, place your arms between your feet/leg. Take a leap forward with your arms, then resting on your arms, kick off with your legs towards your hands/arms to bring you back into that deep squat position. Move forward in this pattern.
Turn to your side and get into a push-up or straight arm plank position, hold this position. With your rear hand reach over the leading hand, and simultaneously take step with the opposite foot/leg. Move the leading hand under the rear hand and take a step with the opposite foot/leg to return to starting position. Move in this sequence. Once you reach the marked destination, move back to your starting point in the same sequence.
Do each exercise 2-3 times over 15-30m. The movements should be controlled and intentional, so do not rush through them. The aim is to move.
Our bodies are miracles capable of unbelievable durability and resilience, with an amazing performance and physical capacity. We are made to age gracefully. Reclamation of authentic movement is the starting point. We cannot simply have better fitness, conditioning and sports performance. We must cultivate it. – Gray Cook.
Author: Oupa Mollo
Oupa is an exercise specialist and personal trainer at ETA Fitness College in Cape Town. He also has credentials in functional patterns and nutrition, providing his clients with holistic fitness programs. When he’s not coaching his clients, working up a sweat outdoors, or researching fitness innovations, he can be found sniffing ground coffees and making his own biltong.