Crocodile Crawling: The Bizarre Back Relief Exercise Taking China by Storm

Thousands of people in China are taking up “crocodile crawling” — a strange type of back relief exercise inspired by the movement of the reptiles. The new health trend has dozens of people joining large groups moving around on all fours. Dressed identically and wearing industrial gloves to protect their hands, the groups slowly move around in hopes of strengthening their back muscles and relieving back pain. Zhu Zhengliang took up crocodile crawling after struggling with spine problems in the past. After practicing crocodile crawling for about 8 months, his pain completely disappeared. It looks similar to doing push-ups and moving forward at the same time, which reduces pressure on the intervertebral disc and helps improve peripheral strength. Orthopedic surgeon Chen Xin warns, however, that crocodile crawling isn’t suitable for people suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease because the exercise raises blood pressure quickly and puts more pressure on the heart than walking.