I am a student of the Ido Portal Method®, a Movement Training protocol with one simple credo: Live life dynamically. MOVE. MORE.
Drawing from Brazilian Capoeira, Western gymnastics, dance, yoga, and Eastern martial arts, the Ido Portal Method challenges students to move with natural strength and grace. Although Movement Training has recently been popularized by elite athletes, individuals of all ages and abilities are embracing movement culture workouts as a new way to improve mobility, reduce pain, and dramatically build functional strength and coordination.
What is Movement Training?
As part of a movement practice, the following disciplines build mobility throughout the hips, spine, shoulders, and neck while simultaneously developing superior rhythm, strength, proprioception, and body control. Movement Training combines each of these elements in a unique way every day, creating training sessions that force the brain to rewire in response to unique and dynamic physical challenges.
Flow like a Capoeirista. Sometimes referred to as Brazilian breakdance fighting, Capoeira combines elements of fight, music, and acrobatics to create a unique martial art that resembles an elegant dance between the fighters. Always smiling, Capoeiraistas (those who practice Capoeira) flow from side to side, lunging, spinning, kicking, and flipping in a way that demands strength, control, and fluidity.
Glide like a dancer. In any form, dance is a seductive art that frees the body from the confines of ordinary, often self-critical control. Dance carves new neural pathways in the brain, triggering the release of feel good chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine. Yet dance is more than a means of celebrating and bonding; to dance is to connect with something larger than oneself, a deep universal rhythm shared by all living things.
Move like an animal. Modern culture subverts primal skills like crawling, lunging, diving, and swinging. Bad posture, joint pain, and neurotic thought patterns are just a few side effects of disconnecting from our primal roots. Through animal-inspired locomotion, the mind and muscle are forced to work together to move in unique and challenging ways.
Control your body like a gymnast. Few athletes have more strength, agility, flexibility, and control than gymnasts. Movement culture borrows essential training elements from gymnastics— like handstands, planches, floor routines, parallel bars, and ring work— to maximize strength, flexibility, and body control.
Stretch your mind and body like a yogi. Movement Training and Vinyasa-based yoga share many core concepts, like fluidity, flexibility, breath control, and mental focus.
The Benefits of Movement Training
Movement Training begins with an assessment of the body’s strength, flexibility, and balance capabilities. By exploring these areas, specific issues are identified that contribute to poor posture, joint pain, and inefficient movement (loss of strength). Movement Training protocols are then developed to improve posture, reduce pain, and build functional strength and coordination.
Identify & Correct Postural Issues
Below is a list of common postural issues that often lead to decreased mobility, starting with the feet and working up toward the head. With ongoing Movement Training, each of these issues can be identified and corrected.
- Flat Feet – Characterized by loss of arch in the foot and over pronation (ankle collapses inward when foot is relaxed).
- Forward Hips – Felt as a “butt out” sensation, with an over-arching lower back.
- Hunched Shoulders – Seen as an overarched upper back, with the spine curving more than 45 degrees between the shoulder blades.
- Rounded Shoulders – Felt as a “shoulders forward” sensation in the upper arms and chest.
- Forward Head – Characterized by neck pain resulting from a persistent “head forward” sensation (from a side view, the ear lobes align over the collar bones rather than the AC joint/ midline of the shoulders).
Joint pain is often caused (and worsened) by the postural issues outlined above. This is partly due to fascia, the thin sheet of fibrous tissue that envelopes every muscle, bone, and connective tissue in the body. Muscles and connective tissue do not exist apart from one another, but rather operate as units of a larger whole— an arrangement that means suboptimal alignment in one area of the body will cause a chain reaction that strains and causes pain in another area.
Below is a list of common ways postural issues cause stress and pain throughout the body. With ongoing Movement Training, each of these alignment issues can be corrected to reduce mild to severe joint pain.
- Flat feet may cause the legs to bow inward, stressing the knee and hip joints on each leg.
- Forward hips may cause the lower back to over-arch, placing extreme stress on the lower vertebrae during standing exercises like squats, lunges, and other Olympic/power lifts.
- Hunched shoulders cause the chest muscles to tighten while the postural muscles of the back loosen, hanging the head forward while stressing the upper back and neck.
- Rounded shoulders cause similar issues as hunched shoulders, reducing mobility and strength during certain raising, pressing, and supinating arm motions.
- Forward head tilt may stiffen the neck over time, causing pain and limited mobility that affects sleep, work, and athletic performance.
Build Functional Strength & Coordination
Functional strength is defined by the ability of load joints— ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders— to move through full range of motion efficiently and without any pain. This type of coordinated movement improves the body’s ability to maximize efficiency during heavily-loaded movements, like Olympic lifts, as well as mundane movements, like walking a mile without feeling aches in the legs or lower back.
For elite athletes, this type of training can expedite sports-specific skill acquisition while dramatically improving reaction time and overall performance. For everyone else, Movement Training lengthens, strengthens, and unites the body in a way that adds vitality to everyday life. Below are a few of the most popular training methodologies that benefit from integration with Movement Training.
- Martial Arts
- Power Lifting
- Strength Training
- Bodybuilding/ Hypertrophy Training
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Movement Training is a novel approach to dynamic exercise, always challenging the body to unique movements that naturally build coordination and strength.