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Moving on all fours

30/11/2010

This will be a 12 part look into the 12 basics of movement. To summarize the 12 movements are;

Walking – part I

Running – part II

Jumping – part III

Moving on all fours – part IV

Balancing

Climbing

Lifting

Carrying

Throwing

Catching

Defending

Swimming

This week we will look into the Fourth of the essential movements.

Moving on all fours

Moving on all fours tends to be called bear crawls. But, like everything else, there is more to it than that.

Moving on all fours is easily one of the best full body work outs you can do for yourself. It is another of the body weight routines I do weekly. I am going to discuss here, the few iterations of the all four movements.

When we talk about moving on all fours, it means just as you see here, the most animalistic of mimicry we as humans can do. As kids we do this all the time. As our hunter gatherer kin would need to stalk their prey they could have utilized any form of this movement. Bear crawling under tree limbs, crab walking down a steep hill, low crawls through the tall grass.

Low crawl/fireman’s crawl

We can start off with one of my least favorites. The low crawl is a lot like an army crawl, but you’re further off the ground. You may recognize this crawl from last week’s WOW, where we did the Auroch Stalk. So how do we do it? Starting in the push up position, start walking slowly. Using your hands and arms as support only, not for locomotion. Just like a push up, keep your spine in line with your legs. Once you start to compromise your form, stop and regroup. Again, like last week’s WOW, you want to do this for a set time. We did it for five minutes last week. This is a very good time frame. Now, to mix things up, I would encourage the use of the environment. Up and down a hill, over rocks, through the woods, the list goes on and on. The biggest key though is to do it slowly, just like your stalking your prey.

Crab walk

I like crab walking more than the low crawl, because it is actually more difficult for me. Whether it is my arms that don’t move that way or that my whole body rebels against this movement. Because of this, I like it. Just like the picture shows. Get on your hands and feet and move. Keeping your butt low and your torso at a 90 degree angle from your legs. A lot like the low crawl I prefer to do this over a rough terrain. This helps the hand eye coordination a lot. But, don’t discount the open field work out. We have seen the bear crawl in a lot of older WOW’s. Try and substitute a crab walk for a bear crawl and you will still feel the effects.

Bear crawl

Bear crawls are personally my favorite. I love to get down on my kids level and run around with them. We play “choo, choo” in the bear crawl position, or we just simply run around the house. Bear crawls, like I said in the last section, have been a very big part of past WOW’s. This is for a really good reason. Not only are they easy, they are a great full body work out. Like all of the previous crawls, this too is best run over a rough terrain. I love to crawl over rock piles and debris at a local rock quarry.

So, that’s it for moving on all fours. I know there is more to it than these three, but these are my favorites. There are more than one or a hundred ways to change these up. Make sure to incorporate as many of these as you can into your routine or obstacle course. Or just get down and crawl along with your kids to the play room. Gradually work your way up to crawling up or down stairs, cliffs etc…

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