If you're bored with old-fashioned running, or if you feel that it's not a complete workout, you might want to try crunning, a new fitness craze that's taking Australia by storm. No, it does not mean crying while running, it's actually a cross between crawling and running that involves getting down on all fours and moving as fast as you can.
The bizarre workout, best described as your thighs' worst nightmare, was invented by Australian fitness enthusiast Shaun McCarthy. We're not sure what prompted him to come up with the bizarre activity, but he seems convinced that it will revolutionize fitness as we know it. "The only thing that crunning's changed about fitness… is that it's changed everything about fitness," he says.
The short video of him crunning through Melbourne that he posted on Facebook makes the activity look more like a spoof than a serious workout, but it seems to have inspired others to take up running on all fours as well. McCarthy only went public with crunning five weeks, but it has been getting quite a lot of attention online and he claims there is now a steadily-growing movement in Australia.
But is crunning a better fitness activity than jogging or running? It would appear so, as McCarthy has been saying in interviews that crunning is a more complete workout because it includes the upper body as well. “It really works your thighs and shoulders at the same time,” he said, adding that he believes it burns more calories as well.
Some fitness experts believe that McCarthy might just be onto something there. According to Kim Baylor, a certified personal trainer, “any exercise that involves full body motions leaves the chance to develop a lot of strength.”
However, others think it's just a fad and might even be harmful if done incorrectly. “Physiologically, humans weren't built for quadruped mobility like apes,” fitness coach Kevin Dean told Gothamist.“Because we're bipedal/upright, our wrists have different structures than our ankles (whereas a quadruped animal would have four of roughly the same joint). Outside of learning something new, I can see broken noses, bad wrist/repetitive injuries, and shoulder problems (arising from crunning).”
McCarthy suggests wearing protective gloves to avoid damage to your hands while crunning, and taking things slow. “Do not outcrun yourself – it could be bad for your neck or back,” he said. Or, you could just stick to traditional running.