How To Do Bear Crawl

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrating Bear Walks

The Bear Crawl is a strengthening, stabilizing and cardio exercise that involves nearly all your muscle groups including the ones in your lower body, upper body and core. This dynamic exercise fires up all three of these muscle groups which, in turn, fires up your heart rate and burns calories. Besides firing up your metabolism, this move is one of the most effective upper body moves around. The muscles in your chest, arms, shoulders, upper back and abdomen will be burning after you finish because your knees can’t touch the ground, so the pressure is constant on your upper body. Ready to give it a try?

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    How To Do Bear Crawl

    1. Crouch down with hands in front of you shoulder-width apart and feet behind you with hips up in the air and eyes forward.
    2. Crawl forward starting with your right hand and your left foot following with the left hand and the right foot. Take four steps or more depending on space, then turn around and bear walk back.

    The Benefits of Bear Crawl

    The movements will probably feel awkward at first, because they are not familiar, but stick with it because this exercise gets results! There are many reasons you should incorporate Bear Crawl into your workouts. Here are just a few:

    Sculpt Your Arms And Shoulders

    You don’t have to pick up heavy weights to shape your upper body and get strong. Bodyweight will do the trick. This move puts the majority of your weight into your upper body so you will notice it in your arms, shoulders, and upper back immediately. It’s a great way to tone your arms without using any equipment.

    Work Your Lower Body And Core

    While the weight of the body goes into the arms and shoulders, the legs and butt are pushing your along to get you moving, so you’ll definitely feel it in your legs. In order for the legs and arms to coordinate properly you also need a nice strong core to hold you up as you move the Bear Crawl across the floor. Learning how to do Bear Crawl is a great way to engage the internal obliques and the transverse abdominus—the muscles in your core that help keep your belly pulled in tight and your pelvis and spine straight for proper posture. This is because the Bear Crawl requires control and stabilization, while moving!

    Get Your Heart Pumping

    Moving the weight of your entire body across the floor is hard work! The Bear Crawl will get your heart pumping and your body burning calories. As much as this move will strengthen your muscles, it is a great cardio exercise as well.

    What Muscles Does Bear Crawl Work?

    Bear Crawl is an awesome full body exercise that works multiple muscles, including your arms, shoulders, chest, back, core and legs. Bear Crawl gets you to move your own bodyweight around on all fours so even though it is low-impact, it is high intensity and gets your heart rate up while it tones your muscles.

    How Many Calories Does a Bear Crawl Burn?

    People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts. Bear Crawl, along with other exercise, will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working. Just keep your intensity up and make sure you are breathing through your mouth. That won’t be a problem with the Bear Crawl!

    The Bear Crawl is a great exercise to add as a warm up, cool down or as part of circuit training. If you’re looking for a way to add this exercise into a robust workout routine, check out our Functional Fitness Total Body Workout!

    Incorporating Bear Crawl Into Your Workouts

    Bear Crawl is an amazing full body exercise all on its own! You could also incorporate Bear Crawl into other workouts to mix them up. Here are some ideas to make that happen.

    Use Bear Crawl In A Bodyweight-Only Cardio Workout

    You don’t need to go running or ride a bike to get your cardio in. You don’t even need to be in a gym or outside. Using basic bodyweight moves you can get a complete cardio workout that is simple, easy to do anywhere, and super effective. Try this:

    10-Minute Bodyweight-Only Cardio Challenge

    Start with 1 minute of jogging in place to warm up. Then, do each of the following for 45 seconds, with 15 seconds rest in between:

    Use Bear Crawl In Your Circuit Training

    Circuits are a fun way to workout and get your strength and cardio done all at the same time. The idea behind circuits are to go from one move, or one “station,” to the next. Check this out:

    Fat Blasting Circuit Training Workout

    Move directly from one exercise to the next with little to no break in between. Rest for 1 minute at the end then repeat the sequence.

    Rest 1 minute. Repeat. Stretch.

    Use Bear Crawl In Your Upper Body Strength Workout

    Get a pair of dumbbells and check out this upper body workout:

    Sculpt Your Upper Body Workout

    Here are 3 more workouts with Bear Crawl for you to try:

    Other Exercises Similar to Bear Crawl

    If you like the idea of getting all of your muscles toned and your heart rate up at the same time, using bodyweight alone, here are some other moves you might want to try:

    Targets: glutes, core, chest

    (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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