Primal Move Workout #2 - Mobility & Crawling
Welcome to my four part video series of Primal Move workouts. Primal Move is an approach to human movement that prioritizes basic, natural movement. Through movements we learned as a baby we can help our bodies gain flexibility, repair and prevent injury, and build strength and skills. You can read more about it in my article about what primal movement is and why you need it.
If you missed the other segments:
- The beginning of each workout begins with the Primal Flow Evaluation. Our immediate assessment of how our body is moving today. We begin with ankle mobility drills as described.
- We follow that with some Active Straight Leg raise drills, both active and assisted. Focus on pushing the straight leg away from you and on lowering the calf to the ground instead of the heel.
- The next position – straight leg sitting – will require decent hamstring flexibility. If you cannot sit in this position with good posture it should be a warning sign about how much hip mobility you have for the day. From here we will perform some shoulder mobility drills. These are the same movement as the FMS shoulder mobility test and give us an accurate idea of how much internal and external rotation we have as well as how much thoracic extension. If you struggle with these it is a sign that today may not be the day for heavy pressing or other overhead work because of the limited mobility you have.
- Moving into Figure 4 we swap from side to side and then move into some variations of the Figure 4 position that get me into the seated get up position. This works some more hip mobility as well as continuing to work on my straight leg flexibility.
- Moving into cobra to work on some back mobility as well as low-level pressing work by doing what amounts to half body weight push ups. It’s not evident in the video but I take a deep breath in as I push up and my body expands before blowing it all out on the way down.
- We then move into some more S waves, which is just giving us another look at shoulder mobility. Movement can differ from one position to another and the same as I’ve used three different checks for hamstring flexibility today with two different leg raise variations and then another test in my get up position I am doing the same for shoulder mobility. These two actions – straight leg flexibility and shoulder mobility are high priorities usually when screening people via the FMS so we make sure to assess ourselves thoroughly and also warm these areas up well.
- Moving from prone to rocking I repeat this a number of times. Again, the movement from the ground to knees is a low-level strength move and rocking is another step in the developmental pattern that comes before crawling.
- Staying in the quadruped position we creep on the spot touching my hand to the opposite shoulder. This is low level cross body patterning. If you struggle to hold your balance here it is a good sign of high CNS fatigue if you’ve been training hard or an inactive “soft” core.
- We then move into part of Form 1. The beginning movement is head rolls. As babies develop the first thing they do from their back is begin to turn their head and see their world. This sets up the start of rolling patterns too. One thing I find is that when I lie down my neck is far less tight than it is when I try to mobilize from standing.
- The next step after head rolls is basic sweep rolls. While I am using one hand to help roll me over my legs are removed from the movement. When I roll from my back to my stomach I don’t throw my arm and use the momentum to roll I reach out and use gentle movement to roll over. The roll is initiated by a turn of the head – either by watching the arm sweep or by turning to look through the hole in your arm as you cup your head.
- Moving into happy baby I grab hold of my toes and rock side to side extending my top leg and further working on my active hamstring flexibility.
- Moving through cobra again I expect that this time my back should feel a little more mobile and my movement should be smoother.
- Before I start creeping and crawling I check my quadruped position again by rocking gently. The rocking position forms the basis of our squat position and, for many, having a good squat is a good test of mobility for daily life.
- Following we do a creeping and crawling series of three steps forward and back, three times for both patterns, slowly building the intensity going from hands, feet and knees supporting weight to just hands and feet on the ground for crawling.
- Finally a test of the squat itself – showing hamstring flexibility, thoracic extension, ankle dorsiflexion, hip mobility as well as core activation. This is paired with some more low level strength work in the push up and the movement to standing.
Check back the next two Fridays for the rest of the videos and workouts in our Primal Move series.
If you missed the other segments: