It’s a locomotion pattern that can be used to apply one’s strength and mobility in a more organic manner. There are really two different exercises here, as creeping forwards or backwards develop different qualities and are of different difficulty levels. Let’s look at the two a little more closely:
Froward creep: this variation starts with a eccentric, or lowering Pistol Squat, then transitions forward into a concentric (raising) Skater Squat. This is easier and can be used by those able to control a Pistol to the bottom but cannot yet come back up. You are basically doing reps of a controlled eccentric Pistol, then transitioning into the Skater Squat to come back up, which is quite a bit easier.
Backward creep: this more difficult version starts with an eccentric Skater Squat, then transitions back over the ankle into the concentric Pistol. More control and strength is needed for this, plus more strength in the ankle and foot.
I use these as skill work, joint prep/pre-hab, and sometimes as part of lower intensity aerobic/mobility circuits. Locomotion patterns like this develop balance, proprioception, joint and connective tissue strength, stability, and coordination. Also, and not to be overlooked, they are a lot of fun – which has been shown to be beneficial for the brain.
Just like the Step-Up variation I featured last week, you should have the required mobility to do this before you put in in your routine. It can strengthen the range of motion you already have, but it isn’t a drill to develop it.
I typically don’t count reps with this, instead covering a certain distance. A simple recovery/aerobic workout might be:
Airbike 4 min @70%
10m forward/10m backward Pistol Squat Creep