The Bear Crawl

THE BEAR CRAWL

WHAT IS A BEAR CRAWL?

The Bear Crawl is basically crawling on all fours without using your knees. You certainly would have had fun doing this as a kid and it is an animal move that is becoming a staple of indoor or outdoor workout programs for adults too. All you need is your own bodyweight and enough floor space to give it a whirl.

BENEFITS OF A BEAR CRAWL:

The bear crawl is an exercise that works your upper and lower body, the coordination required also gives the brain quite a workout too! Bear crawls strengthen and increase muscular endurance in your arms, back, shoulders, chest and legs (you will especially feel it in the quads) plus they also improve your core stability and overall mobility too.

HOW TO DO A BEAR CRAWL:

  1. Start in a crouched position and drop onto all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders. Fully extend your arms and rise onto the balls of the feet. Keep your knees off the ground.

  2. The movement should be contralateral - that is, moving the opposite arm and leg. For example, start moving the right hand, then the left leg, left hand then the right leg to move forward. Crawling using all four limbs is quadrupedal movement.

  3. Other pointers: Keep a flat back, be light on your hands and feet and don't have your hips too high.

  4. Strap on a weight vest or wear a loaded backpack to increase the intensity.

  5. You’ll also find crawling up an incline (up a hill or a staircase) will increase the difficulty. Going downhill or down stairs adds another level of focus and control - or even try a Bear Crawl on a treadmill for an extra challenge!

  6. Aim to move with grace and control whether slow or at speed.