• Why do we Crawl? So we can Get Up!

    by Colin Cooley
    on Jan 2nd, 2017

Crawling is great. We LOVE crawling. If you have spent any amount of time at GYBTH or read our blog, check our social media updates, or maybe you've seen Dr. J or Colin crawling around the sidewalks and hills in Spring Valley: you know how we feel about crawling. It is a powerful and extremely important part of the entire neurodevelopmental sequence (the progressive development of movement patterns and strength that begins at birth and continues until we are vertical and throughout life). Crawling's greatest gift to the world of movement is the neurological adaptation it promotes. But why do we crawl beyond the physiological and neurological benefits? We believe we crawl so we can GET UP!  

Why the Get Up?

The Get Up hits virtually every human movement pattern in the Neuro-Developmental Sequence. We all need to "get on up" (James Brown singing) in the morning from our beds, don't we? We go from being supine on our back, to rolling to our side in an asymmetrical position, to being in a single leg stance, and finally, symmetrical stance. Additionally, as a loaded movement, you can proceed to add weight to the get up to enhance the strength and stability elements. This is where crawling offers some limitations in that the orientation of the body never changes (crawling is always done on all 4's with the trunk parallel to the ground.  During childhood, once an infant has succeeded at crawling and has acquired enough strength and stability, they “get up” and progress to walking. Being vertical, while more challenging, is a much better posture to develop strength, power, metabolic loading, etc.

In a study first published by The European Journal of Preventative Cardiology 1 by Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo, he predicted a subject/patient's risk of dying in the next 5 years was directly correlated to their ability to get up and get down off the ground effortlessly. It’s called the Sitting-Rising Test (SRT).  And you simply stand up, cross your feet, sit down. Without using your hands for balance or stability. That’s half the test. The other half? Standing back up. Again without using your upper body to help. You score 5 points for going all the way down without a hand or arm touching or losing your balance. And you score another 5 for standing up without using your hands to push off or losing your balance. Each time a hand, arm, or knee is used for support, you lose a point. You lose half a point when you lose your balance at any time during the test.


Interested in learning the get up? Drop in any time on Tuesdays and Thursdays for open gym hours between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. You can also work on skills you’d like to improve, do a pre-planned “training of the day”, or get help with whatever movement you’d like to learn or improve.

Author Colin Cooley Chief Movement Officer

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