Workout Wednesday

You have-to go to the gym… But, you do not want-to.

Do these words sound familiar?

Make fitness FUN. Be a kid again!

There are countless games and activities to play at the gym to embrace your inner child, jump rope, hopscotch, four square, and dodge ball, to name a few. Another activity to try is crawling, or Bear Crawls. 

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Crawling can heal many of our common aches and pains: Have you ever met a baby with back pain or a toddler with tight hips? Some of the key movements of our childhood help “grease the groove”  to build strength, stability, and mobility. Crawling is a very diverse fitness tool; it can be use from ADHD treatments to vigorous, fat-blasting workouts.

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Crawling like a baby can offer strong results for an adult. Here’s how!

Crawling… and the Brain

The brain and body have a back-and-forth, plastic relationship. The brain develops so the neural system can tell the body to do more stuff. The body does more stuff, which sends feedback to the brain and causes the brain to develop more. This relationship continues for life.

Crawling requires both sides of the brain to work together, because limbs on both sides of the body have to move synchronously (called a contralateral movement pattern). To make this happen, information must be passed through a “highway” that links the two sides or hemispheres of the brain called the corpus callosum.

When a lot of information has to be passed through the corpus callosum (as it does during a crawl pattern), new neural connections must be formed and strengthened. It appears this can help improve coordination, learning, and even behavior in both kids and adults.

— Brett Klika, CEO of SPIDERfit Kids

Crawling… and the Shoulder Complex

Unfortunately, becoming an adult is often synonymous with sitting at desks and cars. Joints that don’t move become stiff, painful and unhappy. Additionally, the muscles around inactive joints become weak and unable to properly stabilize and mobilize. Other muscles are often recruited to do the work.

Crawling requires the scapulae and other joints involved with shoulder movement to move in a proper pattern. At the same time, a small amount of compression is placed on these joints while supporting the upper body against gravity. This small amount of compression is often just enough to fire proprioceptors that reignite muscles involved with stability and mobility. The result is more mobility, less rigidity and pain.

— Brett Klika, CEO of SPIDERfit Kids

Crawling… and the Hands

Our hands have a disproportionate supply of nerves compared to much of the rest of the body. Manual dexterity is extremely important to being human. Unfortunately, the hands that were once used to chop wood, pick up heavy stuff and thread needles now spend most of the time striking a keyboard.

Crawling (particularly when actively gripping the ground) provides proprioceptive feedback from the palms of the hands, which keep these valuable appendages strong and dexterous.

— Brett Klika, CEO of SPIDERfit Kids

Crawling… and the Core

You know that the core is not so much a muscle, but a relationship of the anterior/posterior shoulder, hip and trunk. During contralateral patterns, this entire relationship is engaged. As the hand makes contact with the floor and the shoulder extensors engage, the alternate hip must also engage. The “core” relationship is responsible for making sure energy is transferred across the midline of the body smoothly and synchronously.

Those with poor core stability will display a pronounced “wagging” of the hips as they crawl. This could be an underlying issue stemming from a variety of issues.

— Brett Klika, CEO of SPIDERfit Kids

Crawling… and the Hip Complex

Again, all sitting and no play makes for unhappy joints. Inactivity makes the muscles that flex, extend, rotate, adduct and abduct the hips stop firing properly. Merely getting into the crawl position and rocking the hips back toward the heels, like an infant does prior to crawling, functions to help the mobility of the hip complex.

Initiating a moving crawl triggers dormant muscles in the hips to mobilize and stabilize to match and accommodate the upper-body motions on the other side of the midline. This helps the hips move better, which results in not only healthier hips, but also a healthier lumbar spine.

— Brett Klika, CEO of SPIDERfit Kids

To start, place your knees on the floor (like an infant) and progress to knees above floor.

DisclaimerCrawling is not recommend for individuals with inflexible wrists, painful knees, or other medical conditions that makes this movement painful.

Return to the basics and move forward.

Feel, move, and live healthier.






Klika, B. (2018). Why crawling fixes everything. ACE Fitness. doi:// Accessed on January 16, 2018.

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