The Natural Method: Fundamental Exercises
I’ve been asked recently if one could benefit from the second installment of The Natural Method without reading or being familiar with the first book. “Of course” and “I supposed” could be (and have been) some of my answers. If one is not interested in History, or feels the need to follow their own instincts or desires in conducting their own training session and weave into it the fundamental exercises detailed inside, the second book works perfectly as a standalone exercise guide.
All the fundamental exercises are listed in the book, even some possible configurations and using one’s own judgment (especially for fitness enthusiasts) is acceptable.
Truth be told, I even started out of order myself and went straight to this section when I got my hands on this manuscript, ever the impatient enthusiast! The execution of movements, their benefits and understanding, the detailed cues are all I needed at the time (or so I thought). It wasn’t until I went through the process of assimilating all of the work and translating it that I saw the complete value behind each step in the method, each section and for my work, I found the first book invaluable.
Think about music for a second. You can learn a variety of chords on a guitar and strum them expertly, but it’s not until you put them together in a specific order that you create a tune. The seemingly improvised performance of Jazz music with a trio of a pianist, drummer and double bass player still stems from the knowledge of not just the notes or chords, but established and organized patterns, rhythms that are actually perfected and systemized before coming up with a tune. Conventions still apply. A boxer’s performance is more than a series of jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts, there is a plan as well, based on the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.
To return to the matter at hand, becoming familiar with the technique and basics described in this book are essential and indeed will take you far in your abilities. If your body is an instrument, you can metaphorically develop clear notes with a perfect pitch, but that still won’t make it a symphony. Every book builds on the previous. The more educated among us understand the concept of “linkage vs “leakage” that Pavel Tsatsouline frequently mentions in his teachings, where one move builds a foundation for the next move, as one instance of that concept.
This isn’t about the symphony, the melody, though. This installment in the trilogy is a clear technical description of each category of the educational exercises whose function is to prime the body through all angles, muscles, joints and foundational keys to good movement.
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