Every year, it seems like a new fitness craze sweeps the nation, whether it's barre, aerial yoga, rowing, or cycling/spinning. But 2017 may see one of the weirdest exercises of all—crawling like a baby. In October, The Washington Post declared that “crawling is the new plank,” and sites including Thrillist have predicted crawling will be a top workout trend this year. Even though the concept of crawling like a baby at your local gym seems a bit odd, there might just be something to it.
According to the Original Strength Training System, the company behind the movement, crawling is an effective way to build your core muscles, and babies crawl before they walk to develop a healthy gait pattern. Original Strength co-founder Tim Anderson says crawling as an adult hits the “reset button” on your body. By pressing reset, The Washington Post explains, Anderson believes people can return to the strength and mobility of their younger years.
“Without engaging in rolling, crawling, walking, climbing or running regularly, we allow the superhighways of neural connections in our brains and throughout our bodies to erode and fade away,” Anderson explains in his blog. “We become less efficient [at] sending and receiving information throughout our nervous system, our focus wanes, our creativity dies, our reflexes slow and become dull, and our mobility and strength become imprisoned.”
After all, a baby builds strength by first learning to roll, and then crawls before walking. Crawling, as Anderson explains, “teaches opposite limbs to work together in rhythm” to prepare the body for other movements such as walking, climbing and running. For a serious challenge, Anderson suggests the Uphill Backwards Spider-man Crawl, or The UBSC. Anderson refers to UBSC as the ultimate crawl because of its intensity on your lats and obliques. We can also imagine that “crunning,” a separate crawl-run craze that swept Australia in 2015, is quite a difficult workout.
Keep in mind that, as with any new exercise craze, you should be mindful of how your body is responding in order to reduce your risk of injury. But trying a wacky workout is a great way to spice up your stale exercise routine and make it feel more like fun than work. And in the process, you may just discover muscles you had neglected for years!
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