The Best Bodyweight Exercise Using the Most Muscle Groups and No Equipment!
Over here at Studio SWEAT onDemand, we’ve got a lot of favorite classes and moves, but the bear crawl is the one exercise that really checks all the boxes. Trainer Ang has some tips on why it’s so great, and how to do it properly.
Why is the bear crawl one of the most effective no-equipment exercises?
- Body weight only – you can literally do this anywhere with a little bit of space, even out in nature (although we don’t recommend doing so with a real bear).
- Works most muscle groups – done well, this works everything from delts, shoulders, back, and chest, all the way to the core, glutes, and hamstrings.
- Easy to regress or progress – Ang has simple ways to bring this down to a beginner level, as well as spice it up for a little challenge.
How can you maximize results and minimize injury doing the bear crawl?
- Start in structured tabletop:
- Wrists, elbows, and shoulders should be stacked in line. Fingers should be pointed forward. If your arms are stretched too far ahead of you, you’ll put too much strain on your shoulders.
- Hips and knees should line up, with knees about shoulder width apart.
- Engage your core and glutes. Imagine a string connecting your belly button up toward the sky. Trainers often hear people say this move strains their lower back. If that’s you, check your core and glutes to be sure they’re firing.
- Neck should be in a neutral position, not looking too far down or straining up.
- Elbow should be soft/neutral.
- With toes tucked under, lift your knees just about an inch off the ground.
- Travel (crawl) forward a few inches at a time, using alternate arm/leg movement.
- Left arm/right leg.
- Right arm/left leg.
What are some great bear crawl variations?
- Beginner Variation:
- Crawl without hovering your knees. This is like a traditional baby crawl.
- Advanced Variations:
- Pick up the pace of the regular bear crawl.
- Crawl in reverse. This can be tricky and great for your brain too. Start slower, and crawl to a rhythm to keep it moving.
- Lateral crawls. Crawl a few “steps” to the left and then a few to the right.
We hope you give the bear crawl – one of the best bodyweight exercises for all muscle groups – a try! And for more great body-sculpting, fat-torching workouts, check out a Free Trial over on Studio SWEAT onDemand! Download the app, or if you happen to live in southern California, visit us in our San Diego studio.