How To Move Well: See Movement As A Language

If you’ve never learned a language, you wouldn’t begin by reading a novel.

You’d begin instead by learning the alphabet, followed by common words, and eventually sentence structure.

The alphabet is the foundation for basic language-learning.

When you know various letters, you can put them together to make words.

The same is true for movement.

When you know various positions you can shape your body into, you can put those body-position shapes together to make ‘exercises’, ‘activities’, and ‘sports’.

Without letters, words are not a thing.

Without movement patterns & body-position shapes, well-organized, high-quality movement is not a thing.

If you are unaware of all the shapes your body can make, it’s like operating with a partial alphabet. The volume of movements you can create will be less.

You want to be able to move, play, jump, run, and live well – without pain and feeling great.

You will have far greater potential of doing so, and writing a great movement novel for yourself, if you have a robust movement pattern alphabet.

Explore the shapes your body can make. Then explore all the ways you can use that shape. I’ve begun the shapes & patterns alphabet below for you. Explore the body-position shapes and see which ones you’ve already got down, and which you will want to begin practicing.

Your ‘movement alphabet’ is the foundation for every other activity you’d like to use your body to do.

Enrich your movement language by increasing the robustness of your movement alphabet at your next workout.

Check your own movement alphabet with the following body-position shapes. An injury-free, mobile and durable body is supported by these shapes – if yours aren’t up to par, simply practice your movement alphabet until you are satisfied with your body-position shaping capabilities.

Arch & Hollow body shape

Arch_Hollow (2)

Lateral flexion

Lateral_Side_Bend (1)

Crawling: forwards, backwards, sideways



Squat: Non-traditionally, corkscrew, stepping up





Pull(FYI this is the rarely used but highly awesome Hinge Row!
Helps tremendously in getting you a better pull-up)






Remember that your movement alphabet is the foundation for your movement novel. You may not need every shape every single time, but sooner or later you’re going to need to call on each shape your body is built to create. Help it learn how to make those shapes now, rather than once it’s too late.

If you struggled with these movements, you’re not yet durable and resilient. You may want to consider my foundational strength and mobility program, The Unbreakable Body, to help you dial in to exactly what movements, stretches, and exercises you need to build your own unbreakable body.


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Want to understand, once and for all, how to start feeling good and moving well?
My book, The Movement Manifesto, will help you get started on the right foot.



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