Hébertism – Méthode Naturelle – Principles

The Méthode Naturelle is not well known and even George Hébert is not famous for creating a complete method of training because his project hasn’t been used to its full capacity but more as a obstacle course in the forest.

It seemed to us important to recall this “discipline ” here, hoping that by presenting it, you may want to try it yourself and start training using this physical activity.

To start, we would like however, to clear up any misunderstanding, by point out that George HEBERT developed “his” method of physical education, others than him, at other time and other places, drew inspiration from habitual gestures and from nature to define the principles of a natural gymnastic as well.


We pointed it out before, George HEBERT drew his inspiration from habitual gestures noticed from the primitive small tribes to work out the principles of natural gymnastics. These “primitives” were men living in nature and according to nature. They ran to hunt animals, jumped to cross an obstacle. They threw the spear on their preys and climbed trees to pick fruits there necessary for their feeding. All this physical activity was made of course, without research of a particular style, without useless attachments or objects; because these men obeyed nature, their nature, their instinct. They had so a consistent activity which conditioned their subsistence, that also depended on their capacity to face up situations of any types which were obvious to them. The development of their strength, their agility, their dexterity, which made beings having a complete physical condition, or even ideal. When he noticed them, HEBERT considered that it was possible to arrive at a high degree of physical development without the help of devices, installations or facilities, simply by imitating the natural gestures of the men living in the nature.

Since then, the method of physical education developed by HEBERT is based on natural and useful movements. Having inspired by the continuously activity of primitives, they are made by moving.


The ten families: All forms of activity pointed out as being part of the physical education of the primitive meets, as for efforts which they claim, in the ten listed fundamental groups and named “families” by George HEBERT: the step, running, jump, to quadrupedal, to climb it, balance, throwing, survey, defense, swimming.

Continuity of the training: Like the primitive hunting in lowland, they jump over a stream, continues their hunt by climbing a rock to cross a torrent then progress on a trunk, the hébertiste he is invited to work in one uninterrupted flow/movement. Run and do things to work your arms for instance, continue by walking and advance then by small jumps this time. And it will go on suchlike, alternating “active” moments, where you do intensive workout, with “cooler phases” who allow recovery.

The continuity of training is necessary to develop general resistance and particularly the breathing, by producing a sufficient session and using it the time of the session to do the most of it.

Outdoor training: The training by Natural method is therefore a continuous displacement during which we walk, we run, we jump, we climb, we throw, etc. The whole in open air, as much undressed as the temperature allows it and decency. Running is the basic of it all.

Freedom of action: Each “works” according to his rhythm and his capacities. It is wanted to allow the individualization of efforts, to regulate personal training.

Alternation of opposite efforts: The Natural Method recommends constant displacement, under any form. But if lesson continues without any absolute resting, there are however periods of rests. It is relaxation which are acquired by the continuous alternation of opposite efforts. An intense effort succeeds to a less intense effort, a movement of arms succeeds to a movement of legs, an effort in extension is followed by an effort in inflection.

Variety: There is a infinite combinations of movements based on the ten enunciated families that can be done. It only depends on your imagination.

The following video demontrates some of the movement from Method Naturelle


This article is translated. The original can be found here: