The 101 on Crawling for Adults

Are you leaking strength?
(90 second read)

Stronger is not necessarily expressed by lifting bigger weights. Whilst I wholeheartedly adore strength training with barbells, kettlebells, pull up bars, other heavy stuff; it’s too easy to forget what made us strong in the first place and what still has a place to keep functioning better as adults. One such original strengthening movement was and still is ‘crawling’.

You may be thinking ‘yeah, but I can lift heavy stuff. I don’t need to do these other things!’

Keeping a fully functioning body allows us to demonstrate the impressive heavy lifting and with a much lower risk of injury to boot.

Crawling does have its role in rehabilitation but the restorative properties are well worth a few minutes every few days or so as part of a warming up routine.
Crawling will help restore the reflexive linkage between the upper and lower body. It will build coordination and very quickly indentify breaks in the linkage, or weaknesses where strength leaks out.

I prefer the slow crawl, like a sloth. Moving with speed it’s easy to hide or not get time to see imbalances or weakness, but move slowly and you’ll very quickly identify what’s going on.

I remember attending my Animal Flow certification weekend a few years ago. There was one jacked up guy with very impressive lifts. He could bench press 160kg, squat over 200kg and deadlift around 240kg. However, his connection with his body was poor by comparison, demonstrated by an inability to crawl on his hands and feet for more than 4 metres without blowing a gasket!

Getting back to basics and getting back to the moves that created our initial physicality is never a waste of time.

If you’re curious, get down on all fours and crawl slow. No pauses, just slow moving. Maybe balance a book on your back. It will give feedback about the stability in your hips and shoulders. Perhaps record yourself with your phone to see how you move.

Got any feedback? Did you try this and discover something interesting? I’d love to hear back from you.