Lucan Pilates Classes Crawling

Crawling as a Pilates exercise and movement pattern, I have introduced crawling into my Lucan Pilates classes as a warm up exercise.

Crawling is the first complex movement pattern that we learn as children. Crawling as an infant is very important to create strong shoulder and hip joints, co-ordination and core strength preparing us for walking.

Crawling teaches us functional core strength and movement. When crawling we are using our core muscles to stabilise our spine, hold our bodies in the air while also moving all our limbs. This is the way the core works naturally when running and swimming, which is in direct contrast to static exercises such as crunches and sit ups,

Types of crawls

There are various types of crawling and many newly named crawling patterns in primal movement circles, below are few:

Standard crawl

A typical crawl is left-hand, right-knee, right-hand, left-knee, or a hand, the diagonal knee, the other hand then its diagonal knee. This is the first gait most humans learn, and is mainly used during early childhood, or when looking for something on the floor or under low relief. This is the most natural of the crawls and is the one that requires the least effort.

Bear crawl:

The bear crawl is almost identical to the standard crawl, but the feet are used instead of the knees, which creates an arched or squatted body posture. This works as a faster crawl but requires more effort to maintain.

Crab crawl

The crab crawl is an upside down bear crawl. This is the most unnatural of the crawls, requiring the most effort, and is used in crab soccer. The crab crawl starts by sitting down with the feet and hands flat on the ground, the hips are then raised off the ground and the chest faces the sky.

Leopard crawl/High crawl

The leopard crawl is a military-specific crawl. This is a two-beat gait like a trot: an arm/elbow is advanced with the diagonal knee. This is designed for the smallest silhouette possible, and the body is often nearly or actually touching the ground, and although the elbow and knee are the main focus, most of the respective limbs touch the ground.

Tiger crawl

The tiger crawl is essentially a highly accelerated combination between crawl and leopard crawl. It uses the hands and the knees/feet depending upon the situation, while maintaining a silhouette almost as small as that of the leopard crawl. This is relatively fast gait but can take large amounts of energy.

Some of the benefits of crawling exercises:

  • Strengthen hip & shoulder joints
  • Unloads the spine
  • Rich tactile, visual, & sensory input
  • Fires almost every muscle in the body
  • Stimulates both sides of the brain (co ordination)
  • Works on reciprocal movement patterns
  • Improves ability to dynamically control core muslces
  • Takes advantage of primal movement system (“hard wired” in CNS)


Crawling is being used more and more as an exercise technique to help improve core strength, joint stability and co ordination among adults. Try it next time you are in the gym or working out in the local park, I use Spiderman Crawling as a warm up when training.


Range of Motion Physical Therapy Sept Newsletter

Pilates Classes

There is a 6 week block of Pilates classes starting Wed 3rd Sept - 8th Oct (inclusive). Classes will run 8-9pm, 6 classes €60 / Drop in places €13, classes suitable for Beginners and Improvers. Wednesday classes will be restricted to 10-12 people and I have quite a few confirmed so if you wish to attend please confirm ASAP.I am considering a Beginners Only class Wednesday 7-8pm but this is dependent on numbers interested.I am also working with Barefoot Yoga & Fitness Studio, as their Pilates instructor. This class is a beginner / improver class.So now there is no excuse for not attending one of my pilates classes, class details below:

- Wednesdays: Beginners / Improver's 8-9pm. Lucan Leisure Centre, Griffeen Park.
- Thursdays: 7:30-8:30pm Beginner / Improver, Barefoot Yoga & Fitness, 13 Millbank Bus Park, Lucan

If you would like to get involved and build your strength, please contact me to book a place in a class.

Text Neck SyndromeThis is a term was first coined by a chiropractor in Florida. It’s defined as overuse syndrome involving the head, neck and shoulders, usually resulting from excessive strain on the spine from looking in a down at mobile phones and laptops.I have written a few blogs on posture and how to help maintian good posture, check out this blog on ways to avoid Text Neck and other blogs on how to keep your posture strong and aligned correctly.Read more about about this condition Text Neck Syndrome Blog

Plantar Fasciitis

I recently came across a new research article on Planter Fasciitis and a study that has suggested a change to the treatment protocol, the study has reported some slight improvements when treating the condition.

Plantar Fasciitis can be a difficult issue to resolve and can take months to resolve fully. For any of you who have had Plantar Fasciitis you will know it is a frustrating condition that causes pain as you step out of bed first thing in the morning and can limit walking and exercise.

I have attached a link to the blog outlining the new research and the treatment protocol being suggested. The normal protocol is to stretch the plantar aspect of the foot, the additional element is to use high load strenght training while performing a heel raise.

I have outlined the treatment:

  • High-load strength training consisted of unilateral heel-raises with a towel inserted under the toes. The towel ensures that the toes are maximally dorsal flexed at the top of the heel-rise.
  • Client must perform the exercises every second day for three months.
  • Every heel-rise consisted of a three second concentric phase (going up) and a three second eccentric phase (coming down) with a 2 second isometric phase (pause at the top of the exercise).
  • The high-load strength training is slowly progressed started at 12 reps x 3 sets.
  • After two weeks, you increase the load by using a rucksack with books in it and reduce the number of repetitions to 10reps x 4 sets. After four weeks, 8 reps x 5 sets.
  • Client keeps adding books to the rucksack as they became stronger.
  • It is also advised that you continue this exercise even when the pain has subsided.

If you wish to learn more please feel free to call me for a chat.