Back to the roots

About two years ago, our small group trainer came up with the idea of having us compete in a crawl race for one minute at a station in our functional circuit training. Not on our knees, of course, but on our hands and toes. The booty and knees had to stay as low as possible (that is just above the ground) and we had to really put the pedal to the metal.

I can tell you – not only does the pulse literally explode, but after about half a minute you feel your thighs. Especially in the third or fourth round. So you slow down. And you sweat.

I always had a whole lot of fun with it – especially since I won almost every race, perhaps because of the combination of long arms & legs and relatively little weight, or simply because I am ambitious and simply wanted it more than my sports partners. 😀 This is why I thought it was a pity when we had no room for this exercise anymore after a renovation of the gym.

But yesterday this exercise came back to my mind and so I decided to compile some facts about crawling, or crunning (crawling + running) if it’s really about speed:

The special thing about crawling is that not only the muscles – especially our core, which has to stabilise us with every movement – are trained intensively, but that we also perform diagonal movements (crosswise) in addition to bending and stretching and thus the x-shaped muscle loops on the front and back of our body are strengthened, as well. The spine rotates, which is especially good for people who sit or stand a lot. In addition, coordination and mobility are improved.

Moreover, the cross movements train the brain, as both halves of it are used and have to work together. The Austrian physiotherapist and dance teacher Johannes Randolf even goes so far as to hope that he has found a preventive therapy against dementia.

By now, there are also variants of this great, functional exercise, such as the crab crawl (on the back), the inch worm (first the arms go forward, then the legs follow, etc.) or the side-bear crawl (sideways):

In my opinion, crawling is not really an oddity, but on the other hand, despite all these great benefits, it has not really been established in functional trainings – except perhaps in the personal training or small group area. In our Les Mills classes Grit, Bodyattack and CXWorx we sometimes find variations of crawling. But in the end it remains a somewhat unusual exercise, which deserves a place among the peculiarities.

Johannes Randolf recommends that adults crawl for 20 minutes every day, and now that I’ve written about it, I’ve decided to put it back into my training routine. Who cares if others laugh or not – after all, we know how good this is for us. And even if that were not the case – it is simply FIBEER to put the adult in the corner and let the child come out again.

So let’s crawl – back to the roots!


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