Could The Newest Workout Trend Be...Crawling?

Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Too often, adults think of getting active as something that has to be tedious. But when we were little, we had fun exercising. Babies, for example, crawl all over the place unprompted.

If we could recapture that urge to crawl, to "squat down to pick things up, [and] look up in the sky to watch birds or see shapes in clouds" the way we did as kids, we might just be stronger, happier, and pain-free. At least, that's the thinking behind Original Strength, a fitness philosophy that sounds like some mumbo jumbo, but is gaining traction — and getting grown people to crawl around on the floor as part of Pressing Reset workshops all across the country.
Cosmopolitan reports that Original Strength cofounders Geoff Neupert and Tim Anderson say crawling is like pressing reset on our bodies and undoing the physical ailments we've accumulated over the years.

Earlier this month, chiropractor Justin Klein, who asks all his patients to crawl to help rehabilitate injuries, told The Washington Post that "crawling is the new plank." Last weekend, he hosted Crawl on the Mall in Washington, D.C. "When you press reset with us for one hour, you will join an elite group of movers with a unique and truly mindful understanding of how your own body works at its BEST!" the event's Meetup page reads.

But is crawling really a good workout?

It can be part of one, says Anna Maltby, Refinery29's deputy health and wellness editor and an ACE-certified personal trainer. "Overall, I'm into exercise that breaks you out of your typical movement patterns," she says. "We've heard a billion times that we spend too much time sitting, but it's also cool to try something new exercise-wise that isn't just jogging or walking."
"The nice thing about crawling — including more animalistic movements, like a crab walk or a bear crawl — is that it gets your arms and core in on the action, too, so the power isn't just coming from your legs," she adds.

It looks like there's a pretty complicated philosophy surrounding the current trend. Anderson, who has worked as a personal trainer for 16 years, has authored four books on Amazon about his ideas on "Pressing Reset." But Anderson's basic argument seems to be that crawling and similar movements work your core, which helps prevent back problems. He also suggests marching in place while you bring your right elbow to your left knee, and vice versa, to obtain similar benefits in addition to other movements like "cross-crawls."

People are usually quick to embrace the exercise, Anderson told The Post. "The cool thing," Original Strength's vice president of business development, Dani Almeyda, added, "is pretty much everyone has crawled before."

The fact that babies do it makes it seem easy, but Maltby says you should probably ease into it if you're interested. "Don't go for a 30-minute 'crawl' right off the bat, because you might not have the core strength to handle it, not to mention how your knees will probably feel. I'd suggest trying it as a five-minute warm-up before a cardio or strength workout."

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