About this time two years ago, I was anxiously awaiting the birth of my first grandchild. I still can’t believe I’m a grandmother, but here I am again this summer looking forward to the birth of a second grandchild. So, I thought it was a good time to emphasize just what can be learned from babies about fitness.
If you watch a baby (like my adorable grandson) during tummy time, you’ll see him lift up his head to strengthen his neck and back muscles and kick his feet to strengthen the glutes. He can teach us a lot about movement and strength if we just observe. Lying on his tummy he moves his arms and legs back and forth, not quite sure why he’s not moving, but intent on trying anyway.
This reminds me of an excellent exercise I like to do, often called Superman. Hold arms and legs up as shown then “swim” by kicking your legs and arms up and down a few inches.
This work is practice for the next phase: crawling. And, it turns out that crawling is not just for babies, but it’s a great exercise for adults as well—on many levels. What it does for babies, it can do for grownups, too. According to the American Council on Fitness, crawling:
- helps link the right and left sides of the brain, building neural connections and helping coordination and learning (great for young and old alike).
- stimulates and strengthens the shoulder complex, adding flexibility and stability at the same time.
- strengthens the hands and improves dexterity.
- builds core strength, supporting the back and good posture.
- stretches and strengthens the hip complex, which is tight from sitting far too much.
Well, I don’t know if I’ll start crawling around the gym, but if you see me crawling around my house and up the stairs, don’t worry about my mental state or sobriety. I’m just doing my exercises!
Copyright © by Bobbi Mullins
Klika, B. “Why Crawling Fixes Everything.” American Council of Fitness. January 2018.