It’s everyone’s fear.
Some kind of situation will arise and we won’t be capable enough to deal with it.
At some point life will require us to overcome an obstacle, climb to reach safety or defend against an enemy.
We need to be ready, and many of us as modern men feel like we’re not.
I don’t know about you, but I want to feel strong, mobile and agile in my body. I want to know I can handle myself in a fight. I want to know I can pick up my wife and throw her onto the bed without throwing out my back. Most of all, I want to be able to play and have fun using my body.
The problem is that we often jump straight from the couch into superhuman training. Crossfit, P90x, you know the drill. We neglect the fact that human movement must come before superhuman movement.
So, what are the most basic primal movements most humans are deficient in?
These are six bodyweight skills I believe everyone should master:
1. Learn How to Take a Fall (and Get Back Up)
If you’re afraid of falling, you’ll never take any risks. You’ll play it safe, even with the most basic of movements, with your body and life choices.
To get over this, we need to inoculate our fear of falling and failure.
Make a regular practice of falling with control, gradually increasing the unpredictability. The more you fall when you mean to, the more prepared you’ll be when you don’t.
2. Master the Primal Squat for Unbreakable Hips
This is one of the most basic positions every human should know how to get into. It unlocks many doors with crawling, stalking and quadrepedal climbing.
Squatting should be practiced very frequently, in short doses throughout the days. Aim for accumulating 30 minutes of deep squatting on a daily basis.
If you can’t yet get into the squat, watch this video.
3. Know How to Throw a Clean Punch
Everyone should be able to throw a clean shot to the chin. If there comes a time you must defend yourself, you want to be confident that you know what to do.
The jab is the longest range punch, which makes it great for creating distance and disengaging. Because it’s the most basic strike, it should be the first one you learn.
4. Overcome Any Obstacle in Your Path
The life beyond the template and safe, well-lit path is filled with obstacles and challenges. Going off the terrain and creating your own path will require you to master the art of overcoming obstacles.
The step-vault is one of the most basic techniques for getting over a mid-sized obstruction.
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5. Get a Grip to Unlock Climbing Mastery
Hanging is one of the most vital movement we are all extremely deficient in as modern humans. Our shoulders are meant to climb trees, reach over head and swing from branches.
The more we practice basic hanging, and hanging from a variety of surfaces, the stronger our grip will be.
Bonus: Breathe Deeper for More Presence and Focus
Your capacity to breathe deeply determines your ability to be present, grounded and focused. The more present we are with others, the more they will trust us, relax with us and open up to us.
The simple act of breathing deeper immediately drops you more into your body. When you breathe with intention, you can’t help but be here, right now.
Warming up our primal movement practice with a breath practice can improve the quality of our training dramatically. And awareness of our breath throughout each movement can increase the quality of every repetition.
Challenge: Do these six movements every single day to grow stronger
My challenge to you is to do these movements every day for a week. See if you feel stronger, more flexible, and more confident than you ever have. I believe you will.
And remember, these are the most rudimentary “elements.” They lead to many other more advanced skills and movement opportunities.
The more you master these, the more doors they will open to further primal movement skill.
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