The Baseball Observer Feb 2015 vol 1 - Page 35

Third Most Damaging: Standard Bear Crawls Hitting all fours and putting your grill in the grass has become the latest conditioning craze. Crawling is one of the most primitive and foundational movement patterns people master in order to eventually walk on two legs. As we move through the typical, and by now brutally monotonous and overstated developmental process, crawling links up our body segments to enhance both mobility and stability to create our first form of locomotion. This all sounds great in theory. Get back to the basics with an ass-kicking workout, right? Not so fast. It only sounds amazing until people actually attempt to drop down on their hands and knees and start plodding away! With our everyday postural demands at an all-time high and our general level of body composition and movement abilities at an all-time low, the once natural crawling pattern may as well be a 150kilogram snatch. You're not going to be able to do it at first, and even if you are, it'll crush your body in the process. While the bear crawl involves ample hip and pelvic mobility in order to maintain a neutral spine, not many people meet these prerequisites to make the crawl a safe and effective method of conditioning. Decreased mobility translates to destructive stresses through the adjacent joints, in this case the five segments of your lumbar spine. This is why your back hurts after bear crawling your butt around the gym. It's no mystery, as your trainer might lead you to believe, just weak movement execution!