Child crawling in two-time.
A child crawling on the floor is a lovely sight; they're moving around at last, enjoying exploring (often to our annoyance!) and we delight in their pleasure and new experiences. Crawling is our first stage of being able to move around, but we can be excused for not realising the importance this phase plays on the development of our hand/eye co-ordination and overall dexterity and intelligence. Some children miss out the crawling stage and go straight from bum shuffling to standing. However, recent studies have shown a correlation between children who did not crawl and dyslexia. Crawling plays a huge part in our development.
I see crawling as a really important part of our development as children and all parents should encourage their children to do so. If they won't do it naturally by themselves, give them a good example; get on your hands and knees and show them! They may thank you for it when they're older.
However, crawling can have benefits to adults too. Yes, I'm not kidding. I've worked with adults who have co-ordinational difficulties and this little exercise helps enormously. It can also develop a strong back. I'd like to share with you a little exercise or 'game' we can do for ourselves which if done properly can bring big rewards. The key to this is to not rush at it haphazardly but to take our time and follow these instructions. Take care and you'll gain more benefit.
This exercise is especially good for women in all stages of pregnancy and particularly after 36 weeks to encourage the baby to rotate into the appropriate position. It will help improve your co-ordination and also help strengthen your back. The important thing is that the exercise is done accurately and not haphazardly.
Take your time.
1. Go down onto the floor onto your hands and knees. Your face should be looking at the floor and not ahead of you as doing so would cause you to pull you’re your head backwards and stiffen your neck.
2. Space your knees so that they are aligned under your hips
3. Place your hands palms down, spaced apart under your shoulders and with your fingers pointing forwards.
4. You should feel rather like a table with a flat straight back, your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
5. Rock slowly and gently backwards and forwards. The crown of your head leads the way forwards, then think of your bottom leading the way backwards. Think of your back lengthening as you rock. Do this a few times before crawling forwards.
6. Now you are going to crawl in four-time; hands and knees moving seperately one after the other. When you want to crawl forward, rock forward leading with your head and move your left knee forwards 9 inches. Follow this by moving your left hand forwards by the same amount. Then move your right knee by 9 inches then your right hand by the same amount. Think of leading with your head. Now repeat the sequence to move forwards….knee, hand, knee, hand, knee etc.
7. Each short ‘step’ should be made rhythmically like the regular tick of a clock. Do not rush and think of leading with the crown of your head and your back lengthening as you do this exercise.
This exercise can also be performed in two-time using diagonal opposite hands and knees moving together. i.e. left knee with right hand, then right knee with left hand.
Just do this exercise for a few minutes by crawling up and down a carpeted floor. Don't do too much. If you do this regularly you'll probably find it helps your back, your sense of being grounded and improved breathing and confidence.