Your next best exercise doesn’t involve equipment, running, jumping or even standing.
“Make the floor your friend,” said Danielle Johnson, a physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program in Rochester.
As a working mom, Johnson is always looking for ways to challenge exercise norms.
“We’re looking for things that are a little outside of the box sometimes,” she said.
Crawling is one of those things.
She said it’s an “amazing core exercise” that also benefits the legs, shoulders, arms and chest.
It can also improve balance and coordination, she added.
“Crawling may seem silly and better left to children, but as a full body exercise it’s hard to beat,” Johnson said.
To start, get on your hands and knees and pull in your abdominal muscles, which is key, she said.
Next, she said to “hover your knees just an inch or two off the ground.” Use your hands and toes to support your body.
Keeping your bottom down, try to move, about 4 to 6 inches back and forth and side to side. She suggests setting a goal to work up from 30 seconds to five minutes.
“Crawling is really working all of those muscles,” she said. “It’s really catching almost all of the major muscles in your body at once.”
You can switch it up with a crab crawl — sit on the ground, raise your hips up with your hands to the side and move side to side or back and forth.
“It’s a little bit more fun,” added Johnson.