Free Movement Snack - Overs & Unders

Free movement is playful, practical, and personal. It’s a means of exploring the world at large. The ability to move with confidence and to adapt to any environment. Free movement comes from dedicated physical preparation and holding a child-like mindset of curiosity.  These Free Movement Snacks are meant to give you some philosophy and some to structure to help you see the world in opportunities and begin to take movement out of the box.

The Philosophical

We are the sum of our patterns.  Sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 10 years...your desk becomes your prison.  Spend a lifetime playing it safe, refusing to believe in your own greatness...your mind becomes your prison.

When continuous effort yields no change in scenery.  When every thought is edited and every action is scripted.  When every step is forgotten before it was ever taken.  This is the treadmill.   Whether we're speaking in terms of movement or living,  the treadmill is not the optimal environment in which to grow.

Spend enough time on a treadmill, your life will become one.

Movement is how we interact with the world.  If these interactions are solely outcome-dependent or mechanically-assisted we are patterning an existence of disconnection.

How you move matters.  Not just to your body, but to your being.  Through movement we can break the patterns of fear and limitation that are restricting our human experience.  The process of moving naturally can lead us to different patterns.  Limitation can turn into opportunity, doubt can transform into confidence.

Day-to-day, the way in which we move patterns what we expect out of this life.

Expect to be a dynamic being. You are capable, adaptable, passionate, and authentic.

Expect to be mindful.  Be conscious of your environment and the other organisms you share space with.

Expect to create your existence.  Your current circumstances do not dictate who you are or what you are worth.  Accept responsibility for living your own truth.


The Practical

Overs & Unders are a simple practice that promote mobility, balance, spatial awareness and foster the process of moving intuitively. Commonly seen at higher levels in the parkour world, the practice can be scaled to any level.  Isolated techniques of vaulting, crawling, jumping, and low gait provide a greater array or options to move through the given context - here I'm playing within a scaffolding rig we have at our gym, but it could easily be a park bench, bike rack, or hand rail.

The fluid quality of the movement (and the conditioning from this practice) is earned from basic mastery of a few techniques.  Mindfulness in practice leads to skill. Skill leads to options. Options lead to expression and flow.  Begin with training the following three techniques and gradually transitioning between them.

  • Duck under. Pass under the obstacle by hinging at the hips and maintaining a flat back position with hips and head at the same level.  Practice passing just under the obstacles and close and quickly as possible without making contact.  Lower obstacles will demand greater hip mobility and challenge posture.
  • Tripod Vault.  Support is created on the hand and opposite foot.  Approach the obstacle, place the support hand followed by the support foot.  The free leg passes under the body and over the obstacle to contact the ground and continue movement.  As the speed increases, the support leg will bear far less weight only touching the obstacle for a brief moment in transition.
  • Turn Vault. Place two hands on the bar offset from the midline of the body.  Jump upwards and tuck the knees.  As the body elevates over the bar, twist towards your hands.  Hands will release from the bar briefly and reposition as you change orientation 180˚.  You land facing the opposite direction.

Pattern an existence that reflects your greatness and live that shit