This month I am going to highlight the Bear Crawl. The Bear Crawl is an amazing e-cise that almost everyone can do, but many people do it incorrectly.
When done correctly, the Bear Crawl has many benefits and can improve movement, posture, and performance. When done incorrectly, the Bear Crawl can reinforce bad movement patterns, poor posture, and cause pain and injury.
Nature designed a beautiful and fool-proof way for newborn infants to develop into strong and capable children and then adults. A newborn human baby goes from completely helpless to walking in the first year of life because of this beautiful process. During the first year of life, this process involves 10 sequential yet overlapping phases of physical development which I discussed here. When this process happens as nature intended it, we get healthy, strong, and happy toddlers.
There are however 10 things that can hijack your baby's physical development which can mean your baby is not as healthy, happy, or strong as they could be. When this development is hijacked, your child might be more susceptible to injury, obesity, and chronic pain throughout life.
With 206 bones, over 300 joints, and over 600 muscles, the human body is designed to move. Movement is what keeps our bones, joints, and muscles healthy. When a joint stops moving things start to break down and get weaker. Bones lose density. Muscles lose strength and size. Cartilage thins. Bad things happen.
Yes, there are times when immobilization is helpful and a good idea. If you break your arm it's a good idea to get a cast to protect your arm as it heals. If you severely sprain your ankle it can be helpful to wear an ankle brace for a week or two. But most immobilization we experience is not that type, but rather body casts that we don't even think about. Anything that limits joint movement is a body cast and will have negative effects on the body.
Here are examples of things that cast or hold the body in a certain position or limit movement:
We've all heard the saying "move it or lose it" but what do you do with that information and why is it the key to lifelong health?
Many people think move it or lose it means exercise regularly to maintain fitness. And while that is true, our health would benefit if we look at it much more closely. Our body is very specific and particular in how it responds to our environment. The human body is a stimulus response organism. That means your body responds to each and every stimulus it is exposed to. If we want to maintain our health and function, we need to move each and every part of our body through different and varied stimulus on a regular basis in order to maintain that function or not lose it.
To maintain ankle function we might want to take our ankle through the many different motions and demands it is designed to do. This could look like:
About Matt Whitehead
I'm an Egoscue Institute certified Postural Alignment Specialist (PAS) and Advanced Exercise Therapist (AET), certified personal trainer, PatchFitness performer, FiveFingers wearer, trail runner, mountain biker, dad, music lover, environmentalist, and wanna-be slam dunk champion. I will be providing you with the latest posture exercises to help you live, play, and be pain free.