Fitness Friday: Three new exercises from Jordan Spieth's trainer

September 04, 2015

Humans move in contralateral patterns. When you step forward with your left foot, your right hand moves forward, too. The opposite happens if you step with your right foot. This coordinated movement should happen subconsciously—it's a sign of a healthy nervous system—and it's typically learned in infancy when we start to crawl across the carpet.

It's for this reason that many fitness trainers have turned to exercises inspired by crawling as a way to improve their athletes' coordination and dexterity, shoulder and core stability, and generally their proprioception (body awareness). Golfers certainly move contralaterally when they swing, which is why golf/fitness instructor Damon Goddard (@DamonGoddard) uses crawling exercises when he trains his clients like PGA Tour star Jordan Spieth. Goddard has worked with Spieth for the past six years. You can see more of his work at

"Crawling patterns help reset the primal movement patterns in the body neurologically," Goddard says.

Even better, when you perform new exercises such as bear crawls, your nerve cells develop new connections with other nerve cells and enable the body to perform activities proficiently. From a golf-training perspective, improved function in the nervous system will allow you to do things that might have seemed awkward in year's past such as unwinding the lower body while the upper body is still completing the backswing. Better stability in the core and shoulders also will allow you to make a better turn and swing the club safely at faster speeds.

Hopefully you'll incorporate crawling exercises into your workout routine. Click on the video to watch Goddard demonstrate three that emphasize cross-body patterning.