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Cross Pattern Crawl

Kicking our opposite hand forwards is a pattern that’s already there, waiting to be discovered!

A lot of Alexander Technique teachers encourage pupils to crawl.  This is a good idea because crawling, as babies know, is fundamental to human coordination. A favourite activity of mine is walking, up hills with my dog Ned.

If I’m walking and talking, with other people, not thinking about my coordination, I don’t enjoy it. I lose my balance as I turn my head to communicate. But when I’m conscious of the cross patterns working, like in crawling, walking’s great for me. As the left arm goes forward, the right leg goes forward.  So in proper walking, the arms and legs balance each other. There’s lots of rotation going on and it’s an activity which involves the whole musculature of the body. It is thought to be good for the organisation of the brain because it synchronises left and right sides.

The same thing happens when front crawl is properly coordinated. There is a balancing kick with the right leg as the left arm enters the water and extends into a glide. So there’s a nice big rotation throughout the body with each stroke, with the head still, in the centre , until it’s time to inhale, when more rotation is required and the head follows the body out of the water.

So, explore cross patterns when crawling, walking and swimming front (and back) crawl. They’re there to be discovered and if you allow them to, they’ll  work for you. ‘Cross Pattern Crawl’…. Sounds good…..It’s nothing to do with me!

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