What's the Deal With the 'Crunning' Fitness Craze?

Because nothing looks fun about running on your hands and feet.

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Meet "crunning."

It started with people crawling around parks in Zhengzhou, China, claiming the ancient medical practice benefits the back and spine. Now Australians have taken the bizarre-looking fitness craze to the next level, literally sprinting across the Melbourne countryside on their hands and feet. 

What is it? Well, it's basically the bear crawl exercise you used to hate doing in P.E. class as a kid but faster and in public. To crun, all you need to do is run on your hands and feet with your knees off the ground, using your hands to propel yourself forward — similar to how our ancestors got around, actually.

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Just looking at the exercise makes our backs hurt, so we had questions: Is it OK for your body? And is it actually effective? Marc Megna, body architect and co-owner of Anatomy at 1220, weighs in.

Megna thinks crunning could provide a safe workout that challenges the core and shoulders and burns calories, but it would have to be performed 100 percent correctly. Those who perform the exercise need to have the mobility, stability, and motor control needed to do it right, otherwise it could result in injury.

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"Back and neck injury can occur due to insufficient core strength and poor positioning of the spine, and shoulder and wrist injuries can occur since they're not accustomed to holding up the body and performing this movement," Megna says.

If someone does dare giving it a go, they should start with the basics to avoid hurting themselves. Because as the famous saying goes, you have to learn to crawl before you can crun... Or something like that.

Megna suggests learning to crawl with a straight back and proper technique beginning with 20 yards, then slowly increasing the distance of each set.

"Crunning comes from a good place. Crawling is a great activity for any fitness enthusiast — from those just starting out to professional athletes — and I think this is where anyone interested in the new trend should start out," Megna says.

His last words of advice to protect your body: "Wear gloves — very good gloves."

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