| Article written on January 14th, 2015 at 09:16am | Follow Garrett on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram |
It seems like in the last month alone, tons of people have been asking, “What does crawling do?” We are in such a feel the burn and lift heavy mindset, that some of these basic locomotor skills are often looked upon with skepticism. Here’s to the misunderstood!
Infants learn to crawl between the ages of 6 and 12 months, so why does this innate process become more difficult as we age? As we age and develop our postural muscles, we lose the need to be on all fours. But, that doesn’t mean crawling is no longer of value.
Crawling is a staple in the neurodevelopment process, which allows for learning of coordination, joint mobility, core stability, scapular and shoulder stability, spatial understanding, physical strength, and motor learning. That’s kind of a big deal, right? Many of us walk and/or run for miles each and every day, yet lack the ability to complete one of our first stages of locomotion, crawling.
The cross crawl pattern is essential for locomotion. By coordinating our opposite limbs, we are engaging the musculoskeletal system in a way that develops it’s spiral myofascial line. This connection is vital in human movement as it’s utilized in most athletic events and daily motion.
The improvement in neural timing, coordination, and spatial understanding, found in crawling, means it impacts not just the muscles but the brain and nervous system. Studies show greater communication between both sides of the brain during crawling. By developing these neuromuscular pathways, we create improved function and efficiency within the human body that carries over to better performance.
Next time you hear someone ask, “What is the bear crawl working?” Tell them, everything!
By: Garrett McLaughlin, MS, ATC, CSCS, ART