Before we walk we must crawl. Before we crawl we must make sure our body is prepared. Crawling is an activity that many of us haven’t done since we were children. Once we learned to walk as our primary mean of manual transport we only revisited crawling during time of play. As we grew up our forms of play changed and rarely was crawling apart of this play. Even though we were once able to crawl with very little issue, we need to progress back to this primitive movement pattern.
Crawling requires strength, stability and mobility in the hands, wrists, shoulders and core. If someone has an issue within these areas, that issue must be addressed first before the actual progression begins. In the beginning of the progression the crawl will not quite look like a crawl, but rather derivatives of the crawl that match this definition: “To advance in a prone or supine position where hands and feet are in contact with the ground.”
The progression of the crawl depends on which variation of a crawl you would like to do. The amount of progression and how long you stay in each progression will depend on the clients starting point and ability level. Since there are so many variations of crawl I will start pretty basic to stay within the scope of a blog format. I will use the lateral bear crawl as an example.
Here are some pictures with a brief description of each progression.
Quadruped Position– on your hands and knees with hands under shoulders and knees as wide as hands.
Straight Arm Plank Position– at the top of a push-up position. Hands should be under shoulders and body line should be straight.
Quadruped Single Arm/Leg Reach– In quadruped position. Lift arm of ground and support body weight with three points of contact. Then go to the other arm, then the right leg and finish with the left leg.
Quadruped Bird Dog– Lift opposite arm and leg at the same time and support body weight with two points of contact.
Straight Arm Plank Single Arm/Leg Reach– in a straight arm plank position (yes, I realize this image is a regular plank position but I couldn’t find an image for a straight arm position) lift one leg off the ground to support yourself with three points of contact. Lift the other leg, then the right arm and finish with the left.
Straight Arm Bird Dog– In a straight arm plank position lift opposite arm and opposite leg to support yourself with two points of contact.
Knee Push-ups– Support yourself with your hands and knees and do a push up. Maintain a straight body line from shoulder to knees.
Straight Leg Push-ups – support yourself with your hands and knees and do a push up. Maintain a straight body line from shoulder to ankles.
Lateral Knee Push-ups– (Sorry, couldn’t find a picture for this one, but look below at the lateral straight leg push-up.) In a knee push-up position, step you right hand and knee to the right and do a push-up. Recover your left hand and knee to your right hand and knee and do a push-up. Continue this pattern for a determined distance and then return to the starting point.
Lateral Straight Leg Push-ups– In a straight arm push-up position, step you right hand and foot to the right and do a push-up. Recover your left hand and foot to your right hand and foot and do a push-up. Continue this pattern for a determined distance and then return to the starting point.
Lateral Bear Crawl– Get into a bear crawl position (hands under shoulder, knees tucked under hips with feet in contact to the ground). Step your right hand and right foot to the right side and then recover your left hand and foot to the right. Continue this pattern for a determined distance and then return to the start. (The picture that best represents this is the bottom guy)
For a video of the progressions check out the Pursuit Institute facebook page.