Joseph 'Da Rulk' Sakoda doing a bear crawl exercise in a gym.
Da Rulk

Da Rulk: Why everyone needs to crawl before they walk

Da Rulk

Crawling, rocking and rolling are some of the first movement patterns that we learn in life. As babies, we use these foundational movements to strengthen muscles and joints and to begin building neural pathways to control more complex movement. When we first begin to stand, we hold onto stable objects and move around in what often resembles a deep squat. Then we walk, and then we run.

Fast forward 20 years, and crawling, rocking and rolling have disappeared. For many of us, walking and running are almost as uncommon. And then we decide to get into shape. From sitting at a chair at university, or in an office, or in a car, we jump straight into high-intensity training with kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells and medicine balls. We have forgotten what we previously knew innately – that good movement comes from practice, and progression can take time.

We begin to lose some weight, we feel a little better, and then BANG! We get injured. Whether it’s your hip, knee, ankle or shoulder, the cause is often the same: an inability to move correctly and confidently. And then we stop moving again. We sit back into our chairs, thinking that our bodies aren’t made for exercise.


By re-learning how to crawl, roll, rock, and squat, we can teach our bodies to perform better not just when exercising, but in everyday activities too.


However, it shouldn’t be this way. My functional training workouts featured on Centr incorporate foundational movement patterns such as crawling and squatting to help you wind back the clock on stiff joints and uncooperative muscles. By re-learning how to crawl, roll, rock, and squat, we can teach our bodies to perform better not just when exercising, but in everyday activities too.

Functional training has proven benefits including:

  • Improved joint mobility: While improved mobility will improve your gym work such as squats, presses, and lunges, it will also give you more freedom of movement to enjoy your day-to-day life. Getting down onto the floor to play with your dog or your kids should be easy and fun!

  • Increased strength for your sport or work: Elite athletes, first responders and military personnel utilize functional training to improve their task-specific strength. Because the movements are foundational, training them improves performance in a variety of arenas. If you work in a physical job, play a sport, or do work around your home, then the increased strength will be of benefit to you!

  • Cardiovascular health and fitness: Try a functional training workout and you might be surprised at how much your heart and lungs respond. Aside from the obvious health benefits, improved cardiovascular fitness will translate to greater energy levels in your day-to-day life.

  • Body composition changes: Functional training works some of the largest muscle groups in the body through full ranges of motion. Consequently, the body expends huge amounts of energy to supply these movements. Additionally, chemicals are released which stimulate muscle building. Therefore, if your goals are to lose weight and tone up, functional training will fit well into your training.

  • Better posture: Learning to control your body’s movement will provide you with an increased awareness of your posture. For some people, this can be effective in reducing pain associated with poor posture. In others, it helps to project confidence in their workplace, on the sporting field, or at social events.

When beginning functional training with me, take your time to get the movements right. You’ll find my 9 Key Movements guide in the Features section of the program. Elite athletes and first responders don’t settle for second best, and you shouldn’t either. Practice the movements and the results will follow.

Everyone should crawl before they walk.

Da Rulk
FUNCTIONAL TRAINING • MASTERCLASS

Functional training expert Da Rulk trains superheroes: Navy SEALs, fire fighters, law enforcement… and Chris Hemsworth. A certified strength and conditioning specialist with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, he is the creator of Raw Functional Training (RFT), a revolutionary approach to movement. He’s the trainer you’ll love to hate, who will transform the way you move.

Da Rulk
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