Cross or animal crawl refers to movements in which we use opposition such as crawling, walking, running, and swimming. Opposition means that opposite sides of the body work together to coordinate the right arm and left leg, then the left arm and right leg.
Therapeutically, cross crawl refers to any intentional cross-lateral activity in which you cross the mid-line of the body, such as touching the opposite hand and knee or foot. Performing this movement builds the bridge between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, allowing for electrical impulses and information to pass freely between the two, which is essential for physical coordination as well as cerebral activities, such as learning language, reading, and hand-to-eye coordination. In short, any time you do cross crawl, you are re-integrating your brain and nervous system and re-organizing your mind-body connections. Practicing cross-crawl throughout the day is one of the best self-care activities you can do for yourself. Here’s what cross-crawl is doing for you physically and mentally:
stabilizes your walking gait coordination – builds core strength
energizes your body and calms your mind – releases tension and stress
improves your eye teaming skills – essential for focus, reading, and writing
enhances whole-brain thinking – your left and right hemispheres work together
develops proprioception – your spatial and kinesthetic awareness.
Cross crawl also offers an effective way to reboot your nervous system and re-integrate mind and body. You can use it regularly to both discharge and recharge your attention and energy. It’s a great break from over- focusing and it works just as well to bring body and mind online. As a stress buster or a warm-up for doing your best, the exercise has significant social-emotional benefits:
clarity of thought
improvements in general physical coordination to help with social skills during recess, gym class, and free play.
Source: Your Therapy Source