Learn to Move Like a Baby and Your Back Will Thank You

Look at the baby in the image above… have you ever seen an adult with such perfect form? Not usually. The way babies and toddlers move is instinctual, anatomical and unfettered. Their form is perfect because they have not developed lifestyle habits and imbalances to warrant anything otherwise.

Compare this to the way we move as adults. Many of us are constrained, short, hunched and poorly conditioned. Our poor spinal columns are compressed from hours spent slouching at a desk or on a couch. Our sedentary lifestyles wreck true havoc on our spinal column. As a result, we, as a population are more hunched and hurt than ever before. I’m sure many of you have experienced back, neck or shoulder pain at some point, if not on a regular basis. How can we bring our vibrant spinal column back to life?

The answer lies in watching babies. As we age, the movements that were once so natural to us as toddlers become less culturally appropriate. No more crawling, rolling or squiggling for us adults. No fun playtime. No more grabbing your toes and pulling them towards your head. No more twisting, bending, running, jumping or spiraling. Instead, with age, we grow more and more stagnant. With that, comes discomfort and pain.

But worry not! You can begin to undo the unhealthy tendencies you have created by not using your body to its full capacity. Think of it as baby training. With 10 minutes a day, your computer-neck crick and slouched posture can soon be a thing of the past.

Steve Maxwell, a fitness guru, created a technique which he calls vestibular reset, which is designed to crack the exoskeleton of tension and stiffness you’ve accumulated to allow your body to function freely and limberly. With his system, he claims you can come closer to achieving the postural happiness you once had as a baby: the golden standard of spinal health.

What does his system entail? For starters, rolling, rocking and crawling. It is Maxwell’s belief that if more people included these simple movements into their daily lives, there would be fewer postural issues. This is because we would actually be engaging muscles like our rhomboids, which are essential for proper posture but remain disengaged and turned off when we are sitting at a desk for hours in front of a screen. They also work the full range of motion of our joints, which you probably won’t do unless you take a yoga class.

Here is a take on one of Maxwell’s exercises, adapted from Outside Magazine:

  • Get down on your hands and knees. Rock forward and backward, 16 to 20 times. This wakes up your core, spine and major joints.
  • Next, begin baby crawling forward. Make sure your hand and opposite knee touch the ground at the same time. Trust me, this is harder than it looks. Crawl for 16-20 paces, if you have the space. (If you can, get outside and do this on the grass for extra space and a little nature boost, too.)
  • Continue to repeat the crawling in various directions; crawling backwards, left and right, each for 16 to 20 paces. Keep your head long, forward and up, and your hips low. Don’t let yourself get too tense.

When you’re finished, stand up and notice how you feel. You’ll likely feel taller, with your head stacked more vertically on your shoulders and your shoulder rolling forward a little less. If you do this on a regular basis, it could drastically help combat the postural tendencies you may have developed over the years. It’s time to go back to basics; it’s time to learn from babies.

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60 comments

Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

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W. C.
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

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Kristi M.
Kristi Mabout a year ago

Very helpful!

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Ann M.
Ann Mabout a year ago

If someone is around to help me get up, I might be able to do this!

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federico bortoletto
federico babout a year ago

Grazie della condivisione.

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william Miller
william Millerabout a year ago

thanks

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Isa JOSSERAND HURE
Isa Jabout a year ago

True.........

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Patty L.
Patty Labout a year ago

tyfs

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Son Y.
Son Y.about a year ago

Guess it can't be any worse than lying like a corpse as one of the yoga poses suggest.

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