Movement is learned from the ground up, and one of the firsts things we discover as infants is our ability to crawl about creation like little critters. I mean we should early learn to crawl, but some infants skip the phase entirely, and I think it is to their undeserved detriment. But is never too late to go back and learn how to be a critter.
Crawling is the perfect human exercise, if I may so boldly presume that such a thing exists. And you will be glad to know that crawling explodes body fat, literally, into outer space, and builds a gaudy and somewhat distasteful amount of circus-like mobility, and helps to reset old, mildewed connections in the festering, fossilized way-back parts of your brain.
Crawling is wildly inefficient, and any movement so inefficient as crawling is sure to burn a pile of calories the size of Lola’s morning delectations. Crawling challenges all the major and minor muscle groups of the body, the thighs, the glutes, the abs, the shoulders, everything and anything that is anatomically identifiable is worked through crawling, and toned and strengthened.
If your movement is dysfunctional, crawling can restore it. Cross-crawls link the hemispheres of the brain, crank the volume on your deep inner core stabilizers, and work to re-assign the roles of the tonic and phasic muscles to their original objectives (phasic = movers, tonic = stabilizers, predominantly). Many clients of mine have used crawling as a way to improve their deep squat, and to fix nuisancey little aches and pains in their knees, and hips, and low-backs and face.
How to Crawl
- Get down on all fours
- Assume a comfortable stance, and point your hands and feet slightly out
- Your knees should only be slightly above the ground, butt not too high in the air
- March forward, matching the movement of your opposite arm and leg
- March backwards, also matching the movement of your opposite arm and leg
5-minutes of continuous crawling: move forwards, backwards, side-to-side, as fast as you can, as slow as you can, but don’t stop moving. If you are already pretty good at this, then go for ten minutes, and I will consider you something worthy.
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