Crawling is one of the first movements most of us master as babies. However, as soon as we learn to stand and walk, we tend to forget the total body coordination that helps us perform crawling. And, for most of us, the bear crawl was our first attempt at exercising and challenging ourselves.
So, is bear crawl a good exercise? Bear crawls are a great all-in-one workout that targets all the major muscle groups together and gives you a real full-body challenge. Adding bear crawls to your training routine is an excellent way to build power and strength, boost your metabolism, and take your cardio fitness to the next level. Additionally, the bear crawls workouts strengthen your mental toughness, as you focus your brain on maintaining balance while you keep all your limbs moving at once.
Also, this type of exercise setting encourages adherence to an exercise program, according to a 2016 study.
Read on to discover all the benefits of bear crawls workouts. What is bear crawl? And how to do the bear crawl the proper way?
See also: How Exercise Impacts Learning
Table of Contents
What is The Bear Crawl?
The bear crawl is crawling on all fours without letting your knees touch the ground. We all did this workout all the time when we were a child, but trust me – this killer movement is anything but child’s play.
All you need is your body weight, a little bit of floor space, and plenty of stamina, and YES, you are going to need it. It is an excellent exercise that works your upper body for toned arms, a firmer chest, and defined shoulders.
You might ask if they are other benefits of the bear crawl. I am glad you ask, and the answer is YES.
I encourage you to watch the video below to learn how to do the Bear crawl exercise properly.
Top 8 Bear Crawl Benefits
Adding the bear crawl to your workout will tremendously benefit your body and mind. Let’s explore the top bear crawl benefits.
1- Bear Crawl Strength Endurance
One of the benefits of the bear crawl is that it increases strength and endurance, particularly throughout the core. While crawling, you are under continuous tension.
It develops endurance that allows you to exert strength for a long time without getting exhausted, which might be crucial whether doing manual labor housework or competing in any sport.
The bear crawl with push-up is another excellent way to add intensity to your workout routine. This powerful combo increases the upper body’s demand and requires even more core strength as you transition from a bear crawl to a push-up.
Overall, a bear crawls workout strengthens and improves endurance in your arms, shoulders, and chest.
2- Bear Crawl Offers Better Workout Efficiency
Lack of time is one of the common reasons people either avoid exercising or quit their workout program, according to research. With high demands from our job and our family, we will usually postpone or miss our daily workout plans.
Exercises such as the bear crawl help you gain more benefits in less time because it works for multiple muscle groups simultaneously. For instance, performing a bear crawl session for 1–2 minutes can work your abdominal muscles, shoulders, chest, and lower body.
So, you don’t really have to spend a lot of time doing individual exercises to target each of those body areas. You can also combine the bear crawl with other workouts like jumping jacks and push-ups to complete 5-minute mini-workouts during the day.
3- Bear Crawl Strengthens your Core
Strengthening endurance in the core can make you more athletic and potentially prevent injury. Including the bear crawl workout in your training will help you develop to strengthen your core.
The bear crawl exercise is like a plank or any other isometric where you hold your torso to keep the core under constant tension.
It works the endurance of the hip extensors and erector spinae, which often get overlooked and more critical. Bear crawls workout improves your total core function and stability.
4- The Bear Crawl Helps Develop Mobility
Another benefit of the bear crawl is that it enhances mobility. A bear crawl workout is an excellent workout for developing your shoulders and developing mobility.
Agility training may help reduce the risk of falling in older women, found a study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. While older exercisers may not be comfortable performing the full bear crawl, modifications may be beneficial and appropriate.
5- Bear Crawl Helps Develop Coordination
The bear crawl workout is a “cross-body movement,” which makes it excellent for coordination. Crawling is a move we perform in childhood, and this helps us develop the essential connection between the right shoulder and left hip, and vice versa. We recognize this connection in the serape effect whenever we go to throw a ball or walk.
Bear crawls also target the serratus anterior muscle, a vital muscle located on the side of your chest (by your armpit) that aids in respiration by assisting in lifting the ribs.
6- Bear crawl Improves Daily Performance and Athletic
Athletes in many different sports and at various levels benefit from agility training exercises like the bear crawl. Many athletes’ sports programs, such as volleyball, soccer, and football, include agility exercises to boost performance.
Studies recommend that youth incorporate balance exercises into their training.
However, you don’t have to be an athlete to gain benefits. Everyone can benefit from performing the bear crawl, according to the American Council on Exercise.
7- Bear Crawl Improves Balance
Bear crawl workout also improves the balance aspect. When resting on all fours and reaching forward and back with contralateral limbs, which is fantastic for stabilizing the core while balancing on two points.
The bear crawl training effectively allows you to improve your balance and coordination even further because this exercise utilizes many muscle groups and joints to improve general coordination and athletic application of strength.
Studies have found quadrupedal movement training to improve both proprioception and “markers of cognition!”
8- Bear Crawl May Boost Cognitive Functioning
Agility exercises like the bear crawl help you improve your physical performance and mental performance. Agility training improves physical fitness, enhanced visual vigilance, listening skills, and working memory, found research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning.
Remember, improving your cognitive functioning may help you navigate traffic, chase down toddlers, or even manage boardroom negotiations.
See also: Are Fitness Trackers Accurate?
How to Do the Bear Crawl
- Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders, your knees beneath your hips, and lifted off the floor.
- Keep your hips slightly higher than your shoulders, chin tucked in, and head in a neutral posture.
- With your right arm, reach with your left foot, so the opposite arm and leg work together.
- Exhale each time your foot and hand land on the floor
- Keep your hips even as much as possible during the movement
- Start with very small steps until you develop the correct movement and coordination, and gradually increase your steps.
Aim to continuously do this workout for one minute when you begin your training to help you activate many essential muscles that stabilize the body.
Are Bear Crawls Bad For You?
Bear crawls are great exercise for you. It is almost impossible to get hurt doing this exercise, and not a lot of activities can match the benefits provided by the bear crawls workout. It is an effective total body workout that can help rehabilitate and strengthen your shoulder joints, improve cardiovascular conditioning and develop the core and leg muscles. You can practice the bear crawl anywhere with zero equipment.
Additionally, the skills you gained from performing this exercise are tremendous. They include improved strength and coordination. And all you need is your body weight and space.
However, this type of exercise isn’t for everyone. You shouldn’t try it if you are starting your fitness journey. And also, you should be in good health.
When done the right way, the bear crawl workout is one of the most effective movements that you can do for both beginners and more advanced exercisers.
Regularly doing the bear crawl will help you build strength and endurance in your shoulders, chest, and back, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and core. It will also allow you to increase or maintain an elevated heart rate. It may also help you improve your cardiovascular fitness—mainly if you include it in a more extended total body training session.
Try out the bear crawl in your next workout.