4/29/16 - Crawling First; Not Just a Metaphor
How many times have you heard “you’ve got to crawl before you can walk, right?” Well the metaphor may have roots deeper than just orderly progress. Crawling is actually one of the most basic, critical motor patterns we need to express athleticism.
As an aside, not only is this motor pattern key for athletic movement, researchers find that it’s also foundational in basic skills like reading, language, and social skills!
Crawling happens when we reach our hand opposite of the reaching leg in alternating succession. A baby’s first crawling steps are etching this “cross crawl pattern” in his/her brain. Though we don’t realize it at the time, we will lean on this experience later to understand walking, running, jumping, skipping, and many other movements.
Do an experiment with me. Stand up with two feet under your hips. While relaxed, slowly raise your right knee, pulling your foot off the ground. With one foot off the ground — FREEZE!
Which are your hands even? No? Which is more out front?
You left hand is out front as a counter balance. This is exaggerated with the speed and intensity of running. It is the same cross crawl pattern with learn as rug rats on the floor. Now, we’ve just progressed to balancing on one foot. Running would express this on one foot, with motion, and even in flight. This basic idea is more important that you think.
Just the other day, I had my classes prepare for shuttle sprints with some simple A-Skips. You’d be amazed at how quickly the cross crawl pattern goes out the door. Men and women were found awkwardly skipping across the yard raising their right hand in the air along with their right knee, wondering why things didn’t feel natural. Call it a lack of crawling development as a baby (SEE: ridiculous things like this), lack of coordination, or a sedentary life putting proper movement patterns in the rear of our minds as a distant memory, the results were alarming. Don’t agree? Try going for a jog lifting your same side arm and your leg while running.
Remember, if you’re alive you immediately have a vest interest in movement. Cross crawl patterns are universally important and if you’re lacking in this area, you’re in luck. There are a number of strategies to address it. Friends don’t let friends misunderstand crawling.
Complete 7 rounds for time of:
1 Deadlift (AHAP)
1 Turkish Getup (AHAP)
1 Rope Climb