Of all the things you could try to improve your health and fitness, it’s a safe bet that you’ve probably never considered crawling. After all, crawling is for babies. It’s one of the first and easiest thing kids learn how to do! They learn it even before they stop breastfeeding, so how could getting on all fours and racing around the room be actual exercise?
Turns out, it might be better for you than you think.
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Here’s the deal: There’s no denying that crawling looks easy — and as anyone who’s ever been too drunk to walk can tell you, it can also feel easier than having to lug yourself up and amble — but it’s actually much more involved than you’d think. And there’s a good reason that Chiropractor Justin Klein, who’s trying to turn crawling into a movement, is referring to it as the “new plank.”
Klein, The Washington Post reports, takes his position on crawling from “Original Strength” a fitness method that focuses on mimicking the movement of young children (who haven’t yet been exposed to a lifetime of bad practices).
In Original Strength parlance, crawling is a “reset.” And by “pressing reset” on your body — the way you would on your phone — you can bring back the strength and mobility you’ve lost over the years, he explains.
Klein’s not the only one who believes in the power of getting on your hands and knees and mimicking the characters in The Human Centipede (except for the but stuff). People all over are crawling at home, at the gym, and in the area between The White House and The Washington Monument, where Klein just hosted an event called Crawl On the Mall.
Will people look at you weird if they see you crawling? Absolutely. Especially if you’re doing it outside — where people will undoubtedly think you’ve been hurt and maybe even rush to your aid. But according to Cosmopolitan, if you crawl for as little as three minutes per day, you could be building your core and healing back problems.
If this sounds too good to be true, you need to understand that crawling isn’t actually easy. Sure anyone can get from one end of the room to the other on their hands and knees, but there’s a certain method you need to follow in order for the crawling to work. According to Tim Anderson, one of the founders of the Original Strength system, adults who embrace crawling need to recognize that they’re supposed to move with all four limbs. That means that they need to keep their heads held high and their gaze straight ahead (try it, it’s actually pretty challenging!) and remember to move the opposite arm and leg. Okay, now that sounds like exercise.
How many do we have to do before we can eat a bag of caramel M&Ms?