Long before man became the only permanently bipedal animal on earth, we were quadrupedal like the rest of the animal kingdom. To a lot of people, the concept of quadrupedal movement is absurd and far-fetched. How can returning to our quadrupedal roots affect our predominantly bi-pedal lifestyles?
First, allow me to point out that babies who go from sitting to walking without going through the crawling phase, often face neuro-muscular co-ordination issues later on in life. They are unable to accurately use their joint positioning systems and proprioceptors to orient themselves in space.
This is because crawling affects two out of the three most important neural feedback zones of our body - our hands and feet. The third being our mouth. There's a reason babies crawl around and pick every new object up and bring it to their mouths. They are feeding information into the brain and exploring their environment.
Second, crawling in any pattern forces your body to engage various force slings or chains of movement. This means as an exercise and neural engager, quadrupedal movement is superior to any bipedal movement and is, in fact, known to augment the performance of all bipedal actions.
In a 2016 study, published in the Journal of Human Movement Science, entitled Quadrupedal Movement Training improves Markers of Cognition and Joint Repositioning, it was found that ‘performance of a novel, progressive, and challenging task, requiring the coordination of all 4 limbs, has a beneficial impact on cognitive flexibility, and in joint reposition sense’. To put it simply, quadrupedal movement rewires your brain and makes you more adaptive. Apart from the other benefit of being able to sense and react to your surroundings without visual input.
Third, it is an excellent all-round pattern of movement. Quadrupedal movement teaches you how to move in a fluid manner and control your body in all the planes of motion. It also enables you to train your cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, mobility, neural perception and absorb shock more effectively.
And at the end of it all, you don't need any equipment to practice this form of movement and develop a powerful and efficient physique.