Why Should You Crawl?

Categories: Blog Nov 08, 2021

And now, a guest article from friend and OS Instructor, Richard MacCaulay...

I was having a conversation with Tim recently in which we discussed the time I have spent crawling since I found OS.

If you follow all things OS and this blog you will have read, seen, and heard many reasons to crawl...but as a recap:
Crawling is amazing...but in case you wanted more than that?

• Crawling challenges and loads our diaphragm (greater movement demand/potential - greater reflexive demand to keep us upright/moving etc - greater demand for oxygen - greater load on the diaphragm).

• Crawling strengthens our Vestibular System. Our righting reflex is challenged as we try and move and balance at the same time (hands lifting off and landing on the floor) and allows us to carefully place hands, feet where we want them - allowing for ongoing changes as our surface, surroundings potentially change. Crawling nourishes our brain - when we contact the ground with hands and feet, we send signals to our Cerebellum to assist with balance, coordination, and movement.

• Regardless of our age crawling allows us to explore and connect to the world around us - once we move past this stage we seldom have our hands on the floor. Crawling allowed us to feel hot/cold, rough/smooth, through our hands and feet.

• Crawling offers us a chance to load our wrists, elbows, and shoulders and support some portion/percentage of our own bodyweight. A skill that we want to hold onto if we ever fall or have to push ourselves up off the floor).

• Crawling teaches us depth perception (watch this video from a documentary - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WanGt1G6ScA)

• As the documentary tells us - crawling allows us/babies to 'Perceive actions between their bodies and their environment'.

• The learning curve for crawling is very small. This form of locomotion is hardwired into us. Within a few seconds of asking someone to crawl (and even if you have to remind them) how to, they are off and moving.

• With the exception of people carrying injuries - crawling is a safe way to fire almost every muscle in the body by simply taking a step forwards on both sides. This reflexive contraction doesn't require much in the way of cognitive thought (a baby wouldn't think about it....an adult might overthink it initially, out of fear of getting it wrong). We want to move forwards and the muscles fire....or we fall.

• The variations offered up for crawling are huge....whether it's forwards/backward/laterally. Indoors/outdoors - on grass/in the woods/on the beach - up and/or down hills - pulling sleds/chains/bands/sandbags. You are limited only by your imagination.

See ... amazing.

I read Dani's email last week and felt such a sense of hope from it. It also gave me a great 'short answer' to the question of 'why do you crawl'. It is the same answer I would like you to think about when I send you this Call to Crawl...Why not?

I would love to hear how you like to crawl, or some of your crawling stories.


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