If your a rehab chiropractor then you’ll probably know what the bird dog exercise and bear crawl exercise are all about. Otherwise they might sound like some strange animal movement or yoga pose if this is your first time exposed to this way of rehabilitation movement.
I came across a very interesting video on Facebook from Dr Craig Liebenson, who you would have seen in the bending forward causes low back pain article. Craig felt this was a good example of good human form and movement that even Russian personal trainer, Pavel Tsatsouline, would share this video. Craig follows the rehabilitation exercise school of thought from the Prague school of rehabilitation using Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization. I have just finished the DNS A course and about to do DNS B CPD course at the AECC later this month. The bear crawl position is one of the DNS rehab postures and active exercises. Watch the video below to learn more.
How to Combine Bear Crawl and Bird Dog Movements
Below you can watch kettle bell trainer, Jeff Sokol, training at Kettlebility in Seattle, perform a very impressive combination of bird dog exercise and the bear crawl exercise whilst balancing a ball on his lower back whilst going forwards and backwards. Well done Jeff!
Benefits of the Bear Crawl Movement
I’m sure you found the video very interesting, but also, it’s likely weird for you to watch someone crawl this way, right?
I’m of the camp that believes you need to regress to progress when it comes to your movement behaviour. The reason why you would do this crawling exercise is if you would want to get rid of pain when moving or improve athletic performance. Elite and professional athletes should be able to do this.
What Jeff achieves is not only great body awareness in order to balance the ball on his lower back, but also perfect core stability seen when he lifts his opposite arm and leg in a stable way and the great proprioceptive feedback from his clawed hands and feet. The rhythmic movement at the wrists and fingers with crawling forward and backward would be firing movement neurons in his brain at the homunculus giving him lots of primitive movement feedback.
Conditions To Use This Rehabilitation Exercise
Knowing how to move like a baby or kid again is something adults should be able to do. As you know in nutrition you need a minimum level of vitamins and minerals and it’s the same needing a basic movement base from which to build advanced movements like running, throwing, jumping etc…
I would recommend you try this rehabilitation exercise if you:
- Have pain between your shoulders from poor posture,
- Get lower back pain from sitting too long,
- Want to exercise your core muscles properly,
- Need to strengthen your rotator cuff muscles,
- Want to improve your sense of balance,
- Need tennis elbow treatment,
- Feel you have a trapped nerve in the wrist.
This is an advanced form of exercise, but a load of fun to challenge yourself. People who wear vibram five finger shoes will love this. If you go to gym regularly to improve your health I would suggest go to the muscle stretching area and give this primitive crawling exercise a go. Trust me it is a major workout. This is my workout of the day challenge. Enjoy 🙂