Crawling can be easily dismissed because it looks so simple and for something that simple how is it useful in your fitness training programme. That is my thought years ago before I hurt my low back. It was until 9 months into waking up every morning of low back soreness that I had a re-look at crawling as being part of my training programme. And it started off me reading a book called Pressing Reset-Original Strength Reloaded written by Tim Anderson and Geoff Neupert. There is absolutely no doubt that this book got me on the ground crawling like I was a baby many years ago. The best part has been waking up with no even an ounce of low back soreness 3 months into applying a few things in this book. That certainly brought smiles back to my face when it seems like I am doomed for a lifetime of low back pain and my training was headed to nowhere. In fact, crawling has certainly made my body and made many people that I trained at Stronger For Life Gym stronger and more resilience. Here are how crawling can make you stronger.
Crawling is restorative. It will help you regain the core strength you somehow lost maybe due to past or current injuries or maybe long hours of sitting. We are linked functionally from the finger tips of our one hand to the toes of the opposite leg. If you think about it, we have a big X in our body. As described in the Pressing Reset book, the crossroad of the big X is your core and it is where forces that you generate from your body cross over efficiently from one side to the other. When the core or the crossroad is not working properly, the forces will not flow properly and that can create movement dysfunctions and unnecessary stresses to the wrong part of the body. But crawling can help you strengthen your X in your body and hold the body together and regain the efficient energy flow in the core. You will feel restored. When you feel restored you will perform better.
Strengthen The Big X
As mentioned, crawling will strengthen up the big X in your body. The more you crawl the more strength you get in the X and the forces you developed from your movement can flow from one side of the body to the other more efficiently. And you will start moving better and move with more flow.
Regain Reflexive Strength
What is reflexive strength? According to the Pressing Reset Workshop manual, it is the body’s ability to anticipate, prepare, and response to movement before and as it happens. What that means is how quickly your body can switch on the muscles to deal with movements required in a given situation. And this is not only important for injury prevention but also for enhancing physical performance. Imagine you have low reflexive strength and slow to react to a fall. Crawling can help you regain the reflexiveness in your body. When you crawl, you cannot really fake it. The arms, the legs and the core muscles will have to turn on. When you crawl well enough and do enough quality crawling, crawling will become more efficient and you will start gaining more reflexive strength. Having more reflexive strength will certainly help in your whatever physical training that you do. It has certainly helped the people we trained performed better at their gym lifts.
Improved Flexibility And Mobility
Strangely enough crawling can make you more flexible and mobile. When your joints are more mobile, there is less restriction in your movement. When there is less restriction in your joints you will become stronger because there is one less resistance (restrictions in your joint) to overcome. It is like removing the parking brake in the car. You simply cannot get stronger if you feel your body all shackled up or when you have your “parking brake” on. You need good level of freedom of movement in the joints to become stronger. Crawling on the ground has got many people I trained at Stronger For Life Gym to be able to touch their toes and most of them said they have not done that for the longest time. And that was all achieved without doing stretching. Improved toe touch can be a sign of improved flexibility and mobility.
To learn more about crawling for better health and a stronger body, I recommend reading the Pressing Reset book.