Why Men Over 40 Should Go Back to Basics and Crawl Before Their Toughest Training

·2 min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Milo Bryant is a performance coach as well as an experienced journalist. He’s also in his 50s—and his book Unstoppable After 40 gives you the roadmap to do more than merely remain active as you "mature." Milo trains hard and recovers even better so he can do what he wants, when he wants. Get ready to use his methods to become unstoppable. This isn’t your dad’s middle age.

Before you can walk, you crawl. In some cases, the same should be true of your workout sessions. You should crawl before you train to prep for more complicated movement patterns. This may sound crazy, and I totally get it if it does. But I am not here to give you the same ol’ same ol’. I am here to give you what works.

If you're not crawling, you're missing out on a lot of benefits that can be had from this seemingly simple movement. Yes, I am talking about the type of crawling many of us did as toddlers—on our hands, knees, and feet. Move your right arm along with your left leg, while the left arm moves with the right leg.

Mother Nature taught us how to move correctly the first time around. I am a huge proponent of never leaving the fundamentals. Crawling is one of the most basic movement patterns we can do.

One of the biggest advantages crawling gives us is a neurological one. The corpus callosum is a part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres—the right side of the brain communicates with the left side of the body and the left side of the brain communicates with the right side of the body through the corpus callosum. Crawling helps activate the corpus callosum and provides a neurological “reset,” helping us think more clearly and move more efficiently.

How to Crawl

Start on all fours with your wrists directly below your shoulders and your knees positioned beneath your hips. Shift your knees shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and move forward, moving your right hand and left leg together, and left hand and right leg together. Start by going 10 steps per side, then reverse the movement and move backwards.

Best Coaching Cue for Crawls

● Don't try to hold up your head while you’re crawling forward or backward. That may be too much strain on the neck if you haven’t crawled in a long time. Try to keep the cervical spine neutral throughout the movement.

Helpful Tips for Better Crawling

● It might have been a few decades since some of you have crawled. Your wrists and your knees may not be prepared for it. Wearing knee pads might look goofy but they will help out in a huge way. Crawling on carpet or grass may be helpful as well because of the soft surface.

● As far as the wrists are concerned, crawling on the fingertips, with arched palms, will be beneficial until the wrists are strong enough to handle your weight while they are in extension.

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