Add This to Your Workout Program

Stephen Holt, Timonium personal trainer

Millions of readers of national fitness magazines including Shape, Women's Health, Fitness. Woman's Day, Family Circle, Runner's World, (and many others) have made their exercise programs both more effective AND more efficient with fitness and nutrition advice from "America's Baby Boomer Expert," Stephen Holt.

Crawling, done correctly, is the next step (so to speak), in doing planks.

It fact, the Washington Post calling Crawling “the new plank.”

The Standard Plank is a great place to get started with core training, but once you can handle more than 30-45 seconds (that’s our absolute limit with clients) with perfect form. it’s time to move on.

I look askance at “trainers” on Instagram showing pictures of clients doing personal records with planks of 3, 4, even 5 minutes.

What did those last 20 seconds or so look like before that client flopped down on her face? That’s certainly not the form we’re trying to promote, right? So why would you ever take a plank to fall-on-your-face failure?

The point of Crawling — and the point of any core stabilization exercise — should be to challenge the stability of your core (or Thoraco Pelvic Canister as Dr. Evan Osar likes to say — an apt analogy) WHILE your arms and/or legs are moving.

That’s what your core has to do in the real world. NOT hold a boring static plank.

Plus, on a fancy-pants developmental training level (why I get the big bucks), Crawling reinforces fundamental movement patterns you learned (or more accurately, taught yourself) as a baby.

Sitting on your butt all day tends to “un-develop” those natural patterns.


It’s as simple as it looks – kinda.

The trick is to keep your spine neutral — natural arch in your low back, hips level, shoulders level — as you move. If you’re like most people, you’ll find it really easy to do with sloppy form, but challenging to do with great form.

If Crawling is too difficult to do without your hips dropping or swaying from side-to-side, regress to an easier exercise that uses the same principles. Try a Plank with Alternating Legs or a the Alternating Diagonal Arm Reach.


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