Come Crawling Back for More!

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This entire week I’ve been playing with cross crawl and crawling exercises my private clients, from age 25-75, and have seen rapid improvement in balance, coordination, rhythm, flow, strength, and endurance. (Learn more about the benefits of crawling in my last article) The best part is that there is something incredibly joyful about these natural movements. No matter how challenging the variation, every client was smiling and/or giggling through out (bonus abdominal work!). As promised in my previous article, below are images and descriptions of two of my favorite YTU exercises for you to start playing with cross-crawl patterns and crawling.

Frog Crawls:
Sara Frog Crawl 2You will need a blanket and a hard surface floor.
Begin face down with your inner knees on a generously folded blanket (just the ends, for extra padding). Prop yourself up on your forearms with your hips, knees, and ankles at a 90 degree angle. Your spine is straight, and your tubular core is activated to maintain spinal stability. Crawl (opposite arm and leg), propelling yourself from the strength of your glutes and deep hip flexors, as you pull with your arm. Continue crawling forward, always maintaining the cross crawl pattern (opposite leg and arm crawling forward).
This is an excellent strengthener for the obliques, transverse abdominus, lats, serratus, glutes, psoas, and more!

Bicycle:
Sara Bicycle 2Begin lying on your back with your hands interlaced underneath your head, and your legs at tabletop.
Inhale and curl your entire body into a flexed shape, pulling your elbows and knees together like a cannonball. Exhale and twist the left elbow towards the right knee, as you straighten the left and hover it above the mat.
Inhale to pull back to your cannonball shape, and then exhale to twist towards the left, as you straighten your right leg.
Continue to alternate sides.

 

Hopefully both of these exercises will help to strengthen the cross-crawl pattern in all of your movement exercises. Happy crawling!

 

Enjoyed this article? Read Pelvic Floor Dysfunction No More!

Sara Kay

Through her creative integration of Pilates, Yoga Tune Up, Yoga, and meditation, Sara Kay helps her clients transform obstacles into possibilities. Whether the perceived limitation is time, age, ability, etc. Sara will help you discover the strength and power just waiting to be called out of you! Her teaching combines an extensive knowledge of the body, creativity, deep connection to intuition, and a passionate spirit; resulting in sessions that are innovative, educational, and transformative. Sara continues to expand her health and healing "toolbox" with the study of Chi Gong, Reiki, essential oils, and yearly journeys to Hawaii. In private sessions, group classes, and specialty workshops students always leave feeling rejuvenated and empowered in mind, body, and spirit.

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Prudence Lee Brewster

I would add that head/tail coordination (head mirroring what the tail is doing) in crawling help build a supple core. And it’s a supple core that provides well organized movement through the periphery. These YTU exercises definitely help contribute to a supple, strong core and make for good peripheral movement.

Clarissa

Love these exercises! I need to remember frog crawls next time I teach! My students will love them ! And I’m sure it will add some laughs to my class !

kathie

Frog Crawls is a funny exercice! Very good core exercice!

Ann Donachey

Definitely missing class giggles in the virtual world, where microphones tend to be off! Can’t wait to feel the energy of a room full of people crawling around like frogs again too.

Question- would a crocodile pushup/walk fall into the crawling category, as a progression for Frog Crawls? Trying to think of outdoor substitutions!

Thank you for sharing, love these fun crawls and (perhaps more accessible) bicycles.

Priscilla Daniel

Can’t agree more. I love all the activation of these exercises.

Toni Dee

Thanks Sara,
Like a few others, I never really thought of the Bicycle as a crawl exercise…. you are so right.
I also love the YTU Frog Crawl for some more fun in my classes. If Athletic Performance and Bootcamps classes can have there participants doing Frog hops and bear crawls, why cant we!

RAUL

Crawls is really good for improve strenght in core, on my view is joyful and better than common abs, i like so much frog crawls and also frog crawls in the wall and no less then bicycles of course. As i see JOYFULLY is the Key ingredient on crawls.

Melanie

I love these exercises! Simple, effective and fun! I have tried the frog crawls in classes and the students seems to love it.

Melanie

There something about theses poses that provide a youthful exploration of the body. For many people it takes them back to childhood and potentially a time in which they didn’t overthink every thing and knew how to just be in the moment. I think most of us could benefit for more fun in our daily lives, some more giggles and laughter in movement is a healing power.

deborah liu

this was a great article. the benefits of doing effective but fun exercises that make one laugh cannot be underestimated. i’m going to try this with my students!

Colleen Flaherty

Crawling is such an integral foundation that many of us and/or our bodies have forgotten. Like you said in your previous article, the reflexive strength/stability is vital to our anticipation of movements and reactions through life and exercise. How can we dodge the person in front of us at the grocery store with our cart loaded up or have the stability and coordination to hit the tennis ball without increased risk of injuries? Crawling and cross body work! I’m trying to figure out a solution to frog crawl on grass! Any recommendations?

nahanni

This is such a wonderful way to get embodied! As well a fun distraction from what the brain is saying because it is such a childlike movement. The proprioception has got to be a top favorite of all of us who need to remember to be more playful in our movement.

M Dickenson

Yes, thank you. Light bulb moment, bicyle is crawling upside down! Love it

Nathania

The best part of YTU is the introduction of exercises like this! What a great way to get clients to strengthen and become aware of some of these muscles. There are so many teaching moments here and man are they hard!!!

Tracy Wagner

The frog crawl is such a different exercise to share with clients, I think it’s really fun as well, working the abdominal muscles and having a great laugh as well. Thanks for sharing.

Catherine RL

Love the bicycle however find it often hurts my neck (previous injury). Do you or any one else have a suggestion for supporting the neck? I have been told to place a rolled up blanket under it for a passive stretch and support of the neck. Others have said to keep it on the floor. However this does not seem to engage the abdominal muscles as much.
Would love suggestions

Anik B

This will be so fun to do with the kids and teens.

Helen

Frog crawls are my new favorite hip opener – I come from a functional/corrective trading background and I frequently do cross crawl patterns with clients, but frog was new to me (in the middle of tune up training right now) and I am excited to go home and try it with two of my clients who have both very tight hips and gait/balance issues. Thanks for getting the word out about the importance of the cross crawl movement pattern!

Kaitlynn

Never even thought about bicycle as being a cross crawl pattern. thanks for info!

Joann Burnham

Frog Crawls are so wonderful for opening up tight hips. they are also fun! Great way to encourage those stuck in a chair most of the day to regain some mobility. I am looking forward to sharing this one in my next class.

laura

As well as the cross body work to help balance and stability, being able to get students to smile means connecting with them in the present moment and that is a cool thing. Joy can be so simple 🙂

Janice McFarland

Excellent photos and descriptions, Sara. My husband and I went crawling across the floor, laughing and realizing the strength this moves takes. A baby makes it look so easy. We are back on the floor for more crawling.

robbie

This is how we start out in life….we crawl before we can walk! Always good to go back to the start!

Jeanne

Great descriptions of these two sequences and they are harder than they appear. I look forward to trying more crawling movements with my clients who really have challenges with balance.

Paula Bishop

The frog crawls are harder than they look on paper because of the degree to which you have to engage the sidebody muscles. But it’s really powerful for helping you experiences where they are and analyze their strength or need for strengthening. Plus it’s just fun to play on the floor!

Willow

Wow, super strengthening excercises! The frog crawl is fun. How rewarding to see improvement throughout the age range of your clients.

Juliana Attilio

I came crawling back for more:) In the past I would statically holding this pose lengthening my adductors, but the Level 1 training, and this article have introduced me to the dynamic movement of the frog crawl and bicycle. It is a game changer for me and something I look forward to sharing! So many people are going to benefit from these movements! Thanks!