Meet the trainer who broke the internet by working out on all fours

Some people stop or change their fitness routines when they experience ongoing pain, but this American trainer developed some interesting movements and methods to regulate his pain.

 Person doing push ups (illustrative) (photo credit: RAWPIXEL)
Person doing push ups (illustrative)
(photo credit: RAWPIXEL)

TikToker Nathaniel Nolan's account is filled with funny videos, so much so that audiences are finding them helpful in their lives. Nolan has about 1,000,000 followers and his training method where he crouches like an animal on all fours has gone viral. 

@xpmovement ⚠️trained professional⚠️ #gogetsomexp #training #strength #movement #mobility #grip #forearm #forearms #yoga #wristpain #hands #fypviralシ゚ #shoulders #challenge #crawling #handstands #all4s #allfours ♬ original sound - Nathaniel Nolan

Nolan is called "the guy who walks on all fours" — as seen in his videos. Since his unexpected success, he has said in many interviews that beginning to exercise in this way wasn't a planned gimmick to make himself popular. He told USA Today that his original goal was to help himself handle the tremendous pain he was suffering during workouts.

Nolan developed this unique training method to deal with severe joint pain as a result of intense training in more conventional sports such as jiu-jitsu, gymnastics and yoga.

@xpmovement ⚠️trained professional⚠️ #gogetsomexp #training #strength #movement #mobility #grip #forearm #forearms #yoga #wristpain #hands #fypviralシ゚ #shoulders #challenge #crawling #handstands #handstand #all4s #allfours ♬ original sound - Nathaniel Nolan

The strongest pain was in his wrists so he abandoned traditional fitness training. He then thought about how he could reduce pressure on his wrists, and started doing lots of isometric exercises like planks for one minute every day. Nolan says this formed the base for all the different and unique routines he now does which brought him this surprising publicity.

 Dumbells (illustrative) (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Dumbells (illustrative) (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Why should you 'train on all fours?'

Nolan has said that after one month of "training on all fours" the pain, stiffness and stress on his muscles almost completely disappeared.

Now, after almost a year of doing these methods, he trains every day and says that he has developed many more physical abilities that he previously didn't have.

Nolan has said that his routines developed thanks to this "training on all fours" method. Today, instead of doing a specific set or working for one muscle group he works his whole body at once which matches his goals and meets his expectations.

@xpmovement ⚠️trained professional⚠️ #gogetsomexp #training #strength #movement #mobility #grip #forearm #forearms #yoga #wristpain #hands #fypviralシ゚ #shoulders #challenge #crawling #handstands #all4s #allfours ♬ original sound - Nathaniel Nolan

Nolan says that "walking on all fours" is only one small part of his routine and that this training method helps one develop a deeper understanding of adapting routines to your body's situation in order to achieve fitness goals.

The videos show that his exercises are based on working with body weight and correcting balance in challenging situations. Nolan often performs creative handstands, stands on poles in unconventional ways and also performs a complex balance of the body on playground-like apparatus such as a "hamster wheel" or on fences and cages.

We all "train on all fours" from the day we're born

There's a good chance that these clichés and gimmicks will increase his followers yet other trainers have opinions.

Morit Summers, a fitness trainer who doesn't know Nolan told USA Today that she believes that a routine which combines standard movements with crawling and walking on all fours can be effective and meaningful but she feels that one shouldn't do a "Nolan workout" every day.

Summers also includes exercises on all fours in her warm-ups, yet she won't encourage trainees to avoid methods central to traditional training. This is because of the difficulty in Nolan's training, which she says requires a high skill level to achieve good results.

Summers said that she learned from well-known trainers like Tim Anderson and Mike Fitch, who wrote books that deal with ideas similar to those Nolan offers.

She says that from when we're born, we learn to crawl and walk on all fours, but unfortunately, as we grow older, we begin to lose this basic ability. Exercising on all fours has many benefits. To lead a long and healthy life, strive to remain as mobile, agile and strong as possible and there are many different methods to achieve these goals.