And now a guest article from OS Pro, Tristan Phillips:

Low hanging fruit – Noun – a thing or person that can be won, obtained, or persuaded with little effort.

What if I told you that you could improve your mobility, stability, and brain function with one easy to perform RESET?  And when I say easy, I mean REALLY easy.  This RESET can be done virtually anywhere, and it can be done standing, sitting, lying down, and more.

Would that interest you?  I’m going to assume it would.

This “low hanging fruit” that I’m talking about is the Cross-Crawl.  It’s super easy, and you would be hard pressed to find someone who couldn’t do Cross-Crawls in some shape or form.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the cross-crawl is when you touch some part of your right leg with some part of your left arm, and vice versa.  For those of you that are a little tight, you will probably be touching your hand to your knee in the beginning.  Once that begins to get easier, you will start to touch your knee with your forearm, as close to your elbow as you can.  Eventually you will be getting your opposite elbow to your opposite knee. Sounds too simple to be effective, right?  But trust me when I tell you that there is a lot going on within the Cross-Crawl.

1) Crossing midline, which means both hemispheres of your brain are active
2) Gentle spinal rotation
3) Gentle spinal flexion and extension
4) Hip flexion and extension
5) Single leg balance
6) Core activation

Now first, let’s determine if the cross-crawl is worth your time.  Let’s do a quick movement test.  In fact, I want you to do 3 movement tests.  These will help set a baseline for where you are right now.

1) With your feet together and your knees locked out, try to touch your toes.   Make note of how far you get, and how it feels. If you can already touch your toes, try to touch your first knuckle to the floor, or your closed fist, or your palm.
2) Shoulder flexion.  With your elbows locked out, slowly extend your arms straight overhead.  Make note of how far you get, and how loose or tight it feels.
3) Balance on 1 leg for about 10 seconds.  Then try the same thing on the other leg.

Ok, now that you’ve done those tests, perform 10 cross-crawls on each side.

Easy, right?

Next, re-try those 3 movement tests.  Did they improve?  I’ll bet that they did. And how long did that take?  15 seconds?  And if performing 10 cross-crawls made an improvement in your movement patterns, what do you think would happen if you did them intermittently throughout the day?  I’ll tell you.  You will experience an even bigger change to your movements.  Movements that are tough for you will get easier, and movements that are easy for you will become almost effortless.

Cross-crawls are ridiculously easy to implement throughout your day. One way that I like to do my cross-crawls, is whenever I stand up from sitting for any length of time.  When you are sitting in a chair your reflexive system is pretty shut down; your core isn’t functioning too well, your hips may be tight, back may be stiff, etc. So performing cross-crawls after sitting is a like a refreshing movement elixir that sets the body back to good.

If you don’t know what I’m Talking about, the next time that you are planning on sitting down to binge watch a Netflix series, check your movement baseline beforehand.  After you are done watching your series, stand up and re-test your baseline.  What happened?  Was it worse?

Just think, if sitting down to watch TV for a few hours has an immediate negative effect on your mobility and stability, what do you think happens over weeks, months, and years of sitting? So getting in a few cross-crawls right after you stand up will go a long way to helping undo some of the detriments that sitting can cause us over time.

Anyway, I want to offer a simple 4-week plan that is too easy not to do and also so effective that you won’t want to skip it. Here it is; 4-weeks.  Cross-crawls every day.  No days off.

Week 1: You will perform 10 cross-crawls on each side.  Once in the morning, and once in the evening.  I suggest tieing your cross-crawls to another activity.  For instance, if you brew coffee in the morning, you can perform your cross-crawls right after you press start.  Or maybe you are heating up your breakfast.  10 cross-crawls literally takes about 15 seconds, so figure out where it fits in the most effortlessly.

Week 2: You will perform 10 – 15 cross-crawls on each side 3 x a day.  That is 1 time in the morning, 1 time around lunchtime, and 1 time in the evening.  Do you watch TV at night?  A commercial break is a perfect time to get them in!

Week 3: For week 3 we are going to step up the reps a little bit.  So now your goal is 3 sets of 15-20 reps on each side, at least 3 times during the day.

Week 4:  Ok, now we are going to get a little crazy.  For the last week, I want you to perform your cross-crawls 4 – 5 times a day.  20 reps on each side each time.  So your goal is to perform 80 – 100 cross crawls over the course of the day.

Think you can do that?  I think you can.  Scratch that, I know you can. Seriously, 100 cross-crawls will probably take you less than 3 minutes total over the course of the day.

Please come back in four weeks and comment to share what you discover. You’re looking for better movement, better mood, and just simply feeling good all around. Report back!

 

 

 

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