Yep, crawling is now an exercise that full-grown humans are doing at the gym.
Despite the fact that adults who crawl around on the floor can look utterly ridiculous, fitness experts are big fans of this infantile activity. That's because re-learning child-like movements can build strength just like it did when mini-you first crawled around to muster up the strength to walk.
Crawling also engages your core, big time — an especially good thing if you happen to have back pain. Core strength can help prevent your back muscles from tensing up, a defense mechanism your body uses to counter weakness and protect itself from injury, according to a guide written by certified personal trainer Tim Anderson, co-founder of the Original Strength fitness movement.
While crawling for fitness sounds simple enough — and much preferable to HIIT moves that have been popular for a while now — it's surprisingly challenging for those who are out of practice (so all adults, really).
But practicing your crawl and other exercises that involve moving opposing arms and legs (aka contralateral movements) for as little as three minutes a day at a slow and controlled pace can deliver big benefits, according to Anderson. Try 60 seconds a piece of basic crawling, bicycle crunches, and marching in place while bringing your opposite elbow to opposite knee.
So long as you're cool with receiving some strange looks, you can do these moves almost anywhere, so there's really no excuse not to try them. And once you master the simple stuff, you can take things to the next level by attempting the reverse crawl, crawling on your palms and toes with the knees elevated, or, with a trainer's supervision, crawling while dragging a weight behind you (for major props).
And of course you can even recruit your squad to join you.