One of my favorite exercises to improve your overall health, strength and fitness is crawling. Crawl for core strength and stability. For most adults it has been decades since you have been on all 4’s crawling around. If you watch how babies and kids move, they are pliable, nimble and agile. The can spend extended time in a deep squat, they can fall down and bounce right back up, and they crawl around on the ground. All of these movements are natural human movements that we should continue to perform even into adulthood.
When performing the crawling exercise, not only are you engaging your full body musculature, you are also firing neurons in your brain. The cross crawl pattern of moving your opposite extremities at the same time has been shown in numerous studies to be beneficial to the brain. Patients that suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia have been shown to have positive effects of practicing cross crawl exercises. Anytime we can find exercises that benefit both brain and body…I’m a fan.
I use crawling mostly as a warm up before my other workouts. I set a timer for 5 minutes and try to keep crawling for that whole time. Beware, it takes time to work yourself up to a 5 minute crawl. If you are not ready for that yet, start small. I recommend crawl for one minute, rest for 2 minutes. Repeat 3-5 times. Sometimes, if I am not working out or if it’s a rest day, I will still get down on all 4’s and crawl. I feel so much better physically after I crawl for core, and it also wakes me up. I always feel more alert after.
There is no shortage of ways to incorporate crawling into your routine. Please give it a try and let me know your thoughts.
Your Chicago Chiropractor,
Dr. Steven Bourdage DC