Bear crawls are a hugely underrated and under-utilized exercise. Assuming they’re done right – unlike the sloppy bear crawls that everyone did in 6th grade gym class – they can be an awesome tool for full-body “function,” stability, core stuff, coordination, and even strength (not to mention jack up your HR). If you think they’re a fluffy exercise, I’ll tell you that I’ve seen plenty of good athletes collapse like a pile of Jenga blocks trying to crawl for the first time.
Here’s why I like ’em:
⏩ They light up the “core.” By nature, crawls are an “anti” exercise in that you have to be efficient and resist excess (unwanted) movement every which way (in the usual culprits). Plus, they hammer the anterior core and lower abdominals especially hard.
⏩ They challenge dynamic stability throughout just about every joint.
⏩ They involve reciprocal movement (which is 👍🏻 for motor control). All four limbs have to move with control in an alternating/reciprocal pattern while maintaining balance, positional integrity, and staying coordinated (e.g., syncing up the extremities without full ground contact).
⏩ They’re versatile. Bear crawls can be effective as part of a warm-up to get everything moving, hammer home some good positions, encourage coordinated movement throughout the shoulders, hips, trunk, and pelvis, and/or be used within a workout as a core progression. They can also be an awesome conditioning tool (when done right).
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