Cross crawl refers to movements which we make which require opposite sides of the body to work together in co-ordination. Movements such as crawling, walking, running and swimming require cross crawling. When we do these actions we are using our right arm and left leg at the same time then our left arm and right leg at the same time.
Cross crawl therapy is when we intentionally use this cross-lateral activity, whereby we cross the midline of the body. For example, touching the opposite hand, knee or foot.
When we do cross crawl regularly it builds and strengthens the bridge between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. This lets the electrical impulses and information to pass freely between the two. This is necessary for physical co-ordination and activities such as reading, hand eye co-ordination and learning a language.
When we begin to crawl it stimulates the cross lateral neural pathways and stimulates brain and nervous system integration and development. Every time we do cross crawl we are re-integrating the brain, nervous system and stabilising our mind and body connections. Adding cross crawl to your daily exercise program can help balance your body holistically which is incredibly important in the 21st century where we are constantly bombarded with various stimuli.
We know that physical co-ordination precedes cognitive co-ordination. By doing simple cross lateral movements such as marching on the spot, lifting your knees high and tapping your opposite hand on your knee when it is at its highest; or by bending your knee and lifting your foot behind your back and tapping your opposite hand on your foot when it is at its highest point. This will set a foundation for your cognitive function in your daily life such as problem solving or fine motor skills.
Cross crawl is not hard cardio work and can be a fun simple exercise but at the same time you are doing making massive changes in your body, such as:
1. Stabilising your walking gait coordination – builds core strength
2. Energising your body and calming your mind – releases tension and stress
3. Improving your eye teaming skills – essential for focus, reading, and writing
4. Enhancing whole-brain thinking – your left and right hemispheres work together
5. Developing proprioception – your spatial and kinaesthetic awareness
Cross crawl is a great way to recharge your nervous system and re-integrate your mind and body. The exercise has significant emotional benefits such as:
1. Increased self-awareness
2. Situational insight
3. Clarity of thought
4. Impulse control
5. Improvements in general physical coordination to help with social skills, sport and recreation.
How do I cross crawl now?