Mark Cheng: Cross Crawling

Mark Cheng gives great coaching cues for cross crawling and explains why you should be using it to engage your clients’ mobile stability.

As you’re in the crawling position, you’re already engaging all four of the four knots at the same time. Your shoulders and your hips are engaged, but then once we start cross-crawling in place, you now have both mobility and stability working. You have to stabilize and you have to be able to mobilize.

The side that comes up is the side that’s mobile. The side you’re based on is stable.

As far as the line of sight, ideally you want to be looking at someone about the same height as you, in front of your body. A baby would crawl because it’s trying to look at something and get toward something it sees.

Often when you work the cross crawl, you’ll see people looking straight down. That’s not the same level of benefit. The whole idea is you’re moving because you see something you want to get to, so it’s about the head, neck and the torso. The hips also move, but the eyes are important. I can’t emphasize this point enough. Where you’re looking is super important.

If you’re working this on an upward slant, it becomes close to climbing, which is another fundamental movement pattern. We’re alternating between mobility and stability back and forth between left and right in a diagonal pattern. We’re engaging the eyes, the head and the neck from different contexts relative to the ground—mobile stability, as well as reactive mobility, keeping the head and chest high off of the ground. If you start sagging the chest down toward the ground, your shoulders are not stabilizing.

Let’s go through the crawling progressions. We start off with six points of contact—head, neck and arm movements and drills, just like we did before. Let’s come up. Drop the chest. Re-prime those shoulder stabilizers, locking at the elbow and looking forward. Drop and lift.

From here, turn to the left, keeping the chest high off of the ground. Back to neutral. Drop and lift again, looking up as high as you can up the wall and then looking over to the right. Back to center. Drop and lift, looking as high up as you can off the wall and then rotate to the left. Back to center. Drop and lift, line of sight is high. Look to the right. Back to center.

The beauty of working on these progressions is it allows you to feel firsthand what’s difficult.

Want more groundwork progressions from Mark Cheng?
mark cheng prehab rehab video, mark cheng groundwork progressions, mark cheng corrective exercise video

More on crawling from OTP:
tim anderson crawling, benefits of crawling, what does crawling do