The Best Way to Exercise Your Brain and Body During Your Next Workout – Crawl…

…like a baby, but on your hands and feet.  So maybe more like Spiderman!  The diagonal pattern (right arm-left leg movement), instead of the lateral pattern (left arm-left leg), which most people will automatically start doing within a few steps.  Why is this important and how does it help your workouts?  Any time a cross midline activity is performed, both the right and left hemispheres of the brain are activated.  The two hemispheres function differently, but not independently.  Because the midline crossing seems to create more communication between the two hemispheres, the brain begins to form new neural connections.  With more neural connections comes more communication to the body.  The body begins to function better.  By encouraging new nerve cell growth in the brain, it has been instrumental in the successful treatment of patients recovering from stroke and helping children overcome ADD and ADHD1.

I’m sure there are plenty of gym rats, workout-aholics, and generally very fit individuals that think this is too remedial.  But as the brain becomes healthier so does the body.  And if you doubt that this could be difficult, try doing it correctly for 100yds: keeping your butt down, and opposite hands and feet moving. You’ll be amazed at how challenging it will be on your cardiovascular system as well as your coordination…or lack thereof, when your arms and legs start moving laterally instead of diagonally!  I’ve utilized this with former pro athletes and not only did it work them hard physically, but it forced them to really concentrate on their coordination.  When done barefoot, the nerve endings in the hands and feet promote reflexive core musculature activation…getting your shoulders and pelvis to work together.  It improves binocular vision, hand-eye coordination, and binaural hearing (perception of sound from both ears)2.  It also helps align the spine at the back of the neck.  Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, do it again.  And, again.  Add it to a warm-up, cool-down, or in between sets.  Whether you’re a professional Ironman participant, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu grappler, Kettlebell swinger or just getting back into training (especially if you’re just getting back into training!), every body and brain benefits from it.

Good luck!

One last thing.  The guy in the video is 6'5", 256lbs., and does a good job of it.




1 “Becoming Bulletproof” by Tim Anderson and Mike McNiff

2 “Becoming Bulletproof” by Tim Anderson and Mike McNiff