Experts suggest crawling to increase fitness and strength

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Mimic a baby, then try spider, crab, and other positions to increase fitness and strength. (KABC)

At Breakthru Fitness in Pasadena, a group warmed up for an intensive strength and cardio interval workout. That's why owner Phil Dozois repeated the motto, "You've got to crawl before you can walk."

"As we move in life, as we progress in life our movement patterns get smaller not bigger," Dozois said.

That's because as a rule we become more sedentary, which is why Dozois said crawling is a good move.

"Anything that will expand your ability to move is really healthy, really good for you," he said. "So you have to work your upper and lower body together so there's a little coordination involved sometimes, which is really good too."

Mayo Clinic physical therapist Dani Johnson said getting back to basics like crawling fires up muscles that don't get used like they should.

"Crawling on your core for your shoulder girdle for your hips," Johnson said. "Really managing those developmental movement patterns, reciprocal movement back and forth."

"It works the stabilizers, the muscle groups that really hold the joint in the correct postural positions," said Dozois.

To get started, Dozois said to get on all fours, on a soft surface, just like babies do.

Once you get more advanced, you can get on your hands and toes, with your back flat and buttocks low.

If you can master that then you want to try the spider or the tiger.

Start with short distances moving straight forward. Then try crawling backwards, sideways, and maybe rotational moves.

While it's a small dose workout, it packs a punch like Dozois demonstrated in his class.

"It was five minutes, but it felt like 10 minutes. It was definitely challenging," said Dozois.

Warm up, get strong and stable. Put a little crawl into whatever workout you're doing.

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