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Crawling – Once we learned how to walk, we thought we would never go back.
We’d found a much easier more efficient way to get around and we could run, which got us places faster.
So why on earth would we go back to crawling?!?
Because it is a great full body cardio exercise! And it’s a really hard one at that! (Plus you can do it anywhere even if you don’t have a ton of space!)
It’s so hard that many of us can’t really remember how to get our bodies to do the movement. We lack the coordination we once had.
Once we learn how to crawl again, not only can we improve our coordination, but we can also strengthen our core and improve our cardiovascular conditioning.
Here’s how to do a basic crawl and some regressions and fun variations to get you started!
Basic Table Top Crawl:
I often call this a bear crawl to clients but it truly isn’t one. A traditional bear crawl is done with the butt up in the air.
The basic crawl I teach is actually more of a table top crawl. It is a great move to really engage the core.
To do the Table Top Crawl, set up on your hands and knees with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Then flex your feet and lift up onto your toes. Take a step forward with your left foot and right hand, keeping your knees close to the ground and your back flat. Then step forward with your right foot and left hand. Keep alternating moving the opposite arm and opposite leg together. Take small steps with your feet so that you don’t get too spread out and your hips start to wiggle. Keep your core tight and still.
The Table Top Crawl can also be done backward. You will repeat the same movement, but step back with the opposite arm and leg.
THE BACKWARD CRAWL IS MUCH HARDER FOR PEOPLE!
Make sure you don’t get too spread out as you crawl backward. If you reach too far back with your feet and get stretched out, your going to put a lot of pressure on your shoulders and you can’t going to be able to move fluidly. Keep you steps nice and short and compact to start with.
The basic Table Top Crawl is not an easy move. To start, many of us may need to do the Baby Crawl.
The Baby Crawl is the same contralateral movement as the Table Top Crawl (opposite arm and opposite leg working together), but it is done from your hands and knees instead of from your hands and toes.
If you are learning the Table Top Crawl and having trouble with the contralateral movement, you may find it helps to start on your knees and then lift up onto your toes as you move.
To advance the Table Top Crawl, you can place sliders or a power wheel on your feet and crawl with straightened legs. The Power Wheel Crawl is a more advanced variation of the slider crawl.
To do the Power Wheel Crawl, place your feet in the PW straps. Then flip over onto your hands and knees. Push up into a high plank position on the wheel with your hands under your shoulders and your core tight. Keep your legs straight and step forward with your right hand and then your left hand. Keep your body in a nice straight line as you walk forward with your hands. Do not let your hips sag or rock side to side. Moving forward will probably be easier than backward, but you can crawl backward using the power wheel if you want to work your shoulders even more!
The Power Wheel is a very tough core move. Make sure you’ve mastered the basic and slider variations before adding in the wheel!
You can also mix up the Table Top Crawl by moving in different directions. Try a lateral crawl or even a circle crawl!