Crawling, a right of passage as an infant, but did you know that crawling is one of the most beneficial full body exercises that any age/ability can take advantage of? Crawling has a lot of the same benefits for adults as it provided at a developmental stage for an infant. Unfortunately, as adults, we tend to avoid getting down on the ground because our modern day lives and environments don’t require this type of movement from us anymore. When you re-introduce such a natural movement like crawling into your routine, you will reap a wealth of benefits. Some of these benefits include: improved shoulder stability, core stability/strength/awareness, hip mobility, as well as stimulating your proprioceptive systems (awareness of where your body is in space). In all, this will help make you a better overall mover.
As I said before, crawling can be introduced to any age/ability in an exercise routine. A good place to start if you are new to crawling is the 6-Point Crawl. As in the name, there will be 6 points of contact: Hands, Knees, and Feet. This positioning allows for more stability with 6 points of contact while still challenging your body to be exposed to the neurological challenges of coordinating a contralateral gait pattern. Watch this video below to get technique tips and the how-to’s of the 6-point crawl.
The next progression would be to move on to the 4-point crawl. We are now adding a bit more intensity as we decrease the number of body contact points to the ground, therefore challenging stability even more. It is the same movement pattern as the 6-point crawl, but with the knees lifted approximately 1inch off the ground. This makes the 4-points of contact now only the Hands and Feet. This new progression will really start to challenge your stability along with your strength and coordination a bit more than the 6-point version. Watch the below video to get technique tips and the how-to’s of the 4-point crawl.
Further Progressions of the 4-point crawl include adding weight to the crawl. You can do this by wearing a weighted vest or placing a weight plate on your back. The addition of the weighted plate will not only challenge your strength, but is also a good tool to use to make sure you are maintaining that squared hip/shoulder positioning to the floor and not allowing your hips or shoulders to rotate throughout the movement. If you have too much movements in your hips and/or shoulders, you will find the plate will slip off during your crawling.
Crawl Matrix: this is a great way to add the Crawl into your Warm-Up or as part of your Main workout. Watch the video below to see how you can incorporate the Crawl Matrix into your routine even if you have limited space to work with.
Whether your goals include moving well and pain-free, improving the health of your joints, improving your core awareness/strength, increased athletic performance, and/or reducing your risk of injury, crawling is an all inclusive exercise that should be programmed into your training. Challenge your body today, and try something new, you might just surprise yourself!
At EVOLVE by Melissa, we specialize in designing programs that not only fit your goals, interests, and equipment availability, but also also prioritize the health of your body in all of our programs. As many of my clients can attest to, you will definitely see some variation of crawling in your programs at some point, because everyone can benefit from this simple, but effective movement. Contact us today to get started with your own personalized fitness program delivered to you via our easy-to use app!