I’m a fan of crawling.
If you’ve read any of my books or seen many of my movement videos, you have probably guessed that. But there is a good reason to see the beauty in that childish movement because it is literally the miracle movement. It ties all of you together, all of you, spirit, soul, and body. Again, if you’ve read my books, you have already been exposed to those wonders of crawling. I won’t go into those here. Instead, I want to tell you three benefits to crawling that you may not have thought about.
#1: Crawling strengthens your hands
Have you ever thought about how important your hands are, or have you ever contemplated the wonderful things they do? They touch, express, grab, release, draw, operate, caress and feed. They are so amazing that they can literally be the sight of a blind person. Anyway, your hands are probably your greatest life enhancing members of your body – that is, healthy hands do equal a healthy, robust body.
Your hands and fingers are meant to do so much more than text tweets, hold a cup of coffee, or guide a steering wheel. Yet, those things are predominantly all many of our hands get exposed to in this modern world. As wonderful as these activities can be, they don’t necessarily challenge the hands in a way that will keep them vibrant throughout your life. Your hands need strength challenges to remain strong. They need to bear load, they need to retain the ability to support your body, and they need to be fully mobilized to retain their ability to express our thoughts, whether through gestures or tweets.
Crawling strengthens and articulates your hands, just as walking strengthens and mobilizes the feet (barefoot walking). When you crawl, you are gently strengthening your hands, which also helps to strengthen your shoulders (there is major connection between the hands and shoulders). You are also mobilizing the joints in your wrists, hands, and fingers, taking them through a range of motion that they typically don’t get in this modern world.
The bottom line is, crawling can keep your hands strong and healthy. Strong and healthy hands are correlated with bodies that remain strong and healthy as they age. We all want that. We are all supposed to have that.
#2: Crawling gets your head up, on the horizon.
Look around and notice where people hold their heads. What do you see? Many of us have forgotten that our heads are designed to be inline with the horizon AND inline with our shoulders. In our world today, many heads hang down and in front of the body. Heads enter the room before bodies do. Do to our modern world or our lack of honoring our design, many of us have lost the strength in our necks and we just let our heads “hang out” flexed down or in front of our bodies.
Crawling helps to strengthen our necks, especially if we return our gaze to the horizon, where it belongs. It’s really hard to crawl and text on a smartphone, by the way. Anyway, crawling helps reset the head as it challenges the modern day use, or non-use, of the head. It strengthens the muscles in the back of the neck and helps the head remember where it belongs, especially if you are looking where you’re going while you crawl! Just remember, all four legged animals only look down at the ground when they are eating. Otherwise, their heads are up on the horizon, like yours should be, whether you are on four legs or two legs. Remember where your head belongs when you crawl you’ll reset where your head resides when you are upright.
#3: Crawling develops balance, posture, and coordination
Balance is not gained by trying to stand on one foot. It’s gained by engaging in and mastering your movement patterns, especially your gait patterns. Crawling with the intent to own the pattern, builds amazing stability throughout your entire body.
Posture, human posture, is set and determined when we are on “all fours.” The position of the spine when crawling is where we develop our cervical and lumbar curves, it’s where we build “good” posture. This posture can be restored, refined, or remembered by crawling around on your hands and knees. Just remember, keep your head up!
Coordination is a necessity to effortlessly move throughout our lives. It’s how we successfully learn and master new skills, we coordinate our movements. Crawling develops the rhythm and coordination of our opposing limbs along with all the muscles that are required to stabilize and mobilize them. In other words, crawling is like the composer of the symphony that is your body. It teaches your body how to move masterfully by coordinating and syncing everything about your body together in unison. It’s is the movement that becomes poetry in motion.
Without balance, posture, and coordination, you cannot live a healthy, happy, life. But you are meant to. You’re meant to be robust, energetic, and awesome throughout all your sun cycles. Crawling, your natural miracle movement that is programmed INSIDE your own body, is the movement pattern you can use to keep or gain what you were always meant to have.
So there it is. Three more wonderful reasons why you should consider crawling once in a while, if not often in mini spurts sprinkled here and there. Just 20 steps a few times a day might be all it takes to help you feel amazing and live your best life.
A health and fitness author, teacher, and doer
Tim (co-founder of Original Strength Systems and Original Strength Institute) has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years. In that time, Tim has had the privilege of learning from some of the most gifted leaders in both industries. He has authored numerous books including, The Becoming Bulletproof Project, Habitual Strength, and co-authored Pressing Reset: Original Strength Reloaded.
Tim has a passion for helping people regain the bodies they were meant to have through remembering how they were designed to move.