Creeping… for walking?

There persists a debate as to if walking on all 4 (creeping) has any impact on how we walk and how we run. Some state that since walking on all 4 is a part of our phylogenetic heritage, it is necessarily an important component of how we learn to do anything that comes thereafter.

Others state that if we figure a way to stand upright anyways, it can’t be that important to walk on all 4 beforehand.

I’ll share my bias: I believe that if it is not essential to walk on all 4 before walking and running, what I have witnessed in the last few year is that if you are looking to improve your capacity at doing these very activities, it is best that you have mastered walking on all 4 as it can be seen as somewhat of a prerequisite. Maybe working this way goes beyond utilizing what has been shown to work scientifically, yet, when reaching for top level performances, one can’t rely exclusively on the literature, I believe. A little dose of reasoning with physiology in mind can go a long way!

In this regard, in 2011, a study was published accounting for the relative importance of walking on all 4 as it can be seen as a component of walking. We state that, despite the importance of the development in humans of the cortico-spinal tract for motor control of the arm and hand, there persists the influence of the creeping pattern in how we walk.

We think of ourselves at times as very evolved creatures… just how true is that?


2 replies
  1. Adam
    Adam says:

    Anecdotally speaking, I can as the word suggests, only speak for myself and the way I have improved my bodily awareness, by utilizing crawling/creeping to complement my other exercise regimens, for example yoga, weightlifting, walking and running. Without the creeping, my runs and walks become very inefficient, leading to less endurance. I agree with Matt here by saying that if you want to try any of these other funky animal movements that are trendy on social media, try to get working on all fours right first and develop a cross-crawl reflex before going on to anything more complicated!


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