Hands and Knees Crawling Challenge

Categories: Blog May 09, 2022


I still crawl on my hands and knees, like a kid. Twice a week, a set aside 10 minutes and crawl around my living room. I crawl in every direction: forward, backward, sideways, and in circles. Sometimes I pretend like I’m a lion, majestically pacing back and forth. Sometimes I pretend like I’m a silverback gorilla, moving with a gentle yet powerful strength. The pretending gives the crawling an entirely different feeling, and I like that I can experience the grace of a lion and the strength of a gorilla. Anyway, I crawl like this for two reasons: I know it’s good for me, and it actually feels good. 

I used to call this baby crawling. But I learned over time, that calling something “baby crawling” was an immediate obstacle to getting people to do it. Everyone wanted to skip to the “harder” varieties of crawls on the hands and feet even though their bodies weren’t ready for that. So now, I just call this hands and knees crawling. And while babies do crawl this way, it’s a fantastic way for adults to crawl, too. 

Like I said, I do this twice a week for 10 minutes at a time. Mainly, I use this time to explore how I’m moving. Sometimes I close my eyes to “see” what I feel in my body as it moves. But always, I’m feeling and exploring. Can I move fluidly? Does something feel stiff or stuck? Do I have equal balance and control from side to side? Can my head rotate as equally from side to side as I crawl? Can I let go of unneeded tension while I move? Can I feel the gorilla moving? Can I feel the lion? Can I feel the human move freely in any direction?

Crawling is a fantastic way to set your body free. It unlocks your body by removing inhibitions, or boundaries, set by your brain. When we crawl, even on our hands and knees, we flood the brain with rich information that allows the brain to feel safe. When the brain feels safe, it removes “safety” restrictions from the body. This allows the body to more freely move and being able to freely move feels GOOD. 

It feels good to move well. AND, it feels good to feel good. This is why I keep my hands and knees crawling appointment twice a week. It’s so ridiculously simple and easy to do, yet the reward is huge. It allows me to move well and feel good. And that’s what I want. 

Have you done this? Do you explore crawling on your hands and knees for any length of time? If not, it’s worth investigating. Try it a couple of times a week. Notice how your body feels as you crawl. Notice how it makes you feel in your emotions, in your thoughts. Take the brakes off your body. Be a lion. Be a gorilla. Be a human. 


Comments (4)

  1. Onn:
    May 09, 2022 at 09:53 PM

    Hi Tim,
    Great article.

    I've been crawling for the last couple of years, and there's something I'd like to ask about the hands and knees variation.

    When I do it on the floor (no mattres or anything alike) I feel discomfort in my knees because of the direct pressure on my kneecaps. After no more then few minutes the discomfort gradually changes to some kind of pain.
    That's why I mostly crawl with knees in the air.

    Do you have any suggestions for ways to avoid/decrease the knee issues mentioned above?

    Thanks in advance,
    Onn ????

    Reply

    1. Tim Anderson:
      May 12, 2022 at 02:53 PM

      Hey Omn,

      I actually encourage my clients to wear knee pads if the floor is bothering their knees. Otherwise, the pain takes away the goodness of the movement. At the studio, we use gardener’s knee pads that I found for about $3.00. they are just foam pads with Velcro but they seem to do the trick to allow people to crawl on our concrete floor.

      Reply

  2. Giovanni:
    May 11, 2022 at 11:38 AM

    I also noted that a fast progression to leopard and spider crawl put aside something useful.
    I crawl (baby crawl) a couple of minutes after dinner. Slowly, than a dozen of very slow and calm rocking and after, some lazy rolls. It is my rite to approach the bed, I sleep better.
    So not as a workout but more a cool down.
    For knees, I have noted that depends on how much forward my knee touch the ground. If it is beyond the hip, I feel no discomfort.

    Reply

    1. Tim Anderson:
      May 12, 2022 at 02:54 PM

      Wow, I love your evening and bedtime routine. That’s really good stuff! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply


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