My 7-month-old is starting to work on crawling. She pushes with her arms, wiggles her legs, and tries really hard to get her body off the ground, but it is so difficult! The effort of crawling will require not only the activation of her entire body but some extreme coordination as well. While crawling is obviously difficult for a baby, it doesn’t seem all that hard for an adult, right?
I have recently been introduced to the trend of crawling for exercise. I was skeptical, thinking – ‘what will crawling around on the floor really do for me’? Well, I definitely gained some sympathy for my poor daughter in her effort to learn to crawl.
Crawling engages your entire body! Your arms and legs are worked as they support your weight off the ground; your shoulders and hips are stressed as you reach and pull with alternating limbs; your entire core is engaged as you stabilize your body; and even your coordination is challenged as you try to keep your arms and legs from tripping up on each other.
"Crawling engages your entire body!"
In my search for information on crawling exercises, I found many, many crawling variations. Some of them might be familiar to you, like the Bear Crawl and the Crab Walk. Others, like the Gorilla Crawl and the Inchworm, might be new. You can create your own crawling workout by experimenting with how fast or slow you crawl, whether your knees are on the ground or not, if your back is flat or peaked, etc.
The great thing about crawling is that you can do it anywhere. You can do it by yourself at home, with your workout group in the gym, or with friends at the park (although you might get some strange looks). Crawling can be used as your entire workout or it can become part of your overall routine.
You will definitely be training for strength and endurance while you crawl, but you can also incorporate crawling into your cardio days. To crawl for cardiovascular benefits, just find a crawling variation that challenges you and crawl for a longer period of time to get your heart rate up.
If you, like me, are skeptical about the idea of crawling for exercise, give it a try. Experiment with the various types of crawling and pay attention to how it is working your body. You just might find that you’re exercising muscles you’ve never worked before!