The bear crawl as a serious workout? Really?

Believe it or not professional athletes and thousands of fitness fans are crawling like babies for exercise. The bizarre workout move has already gained traction across the states and now the UK is predicted to follow suit.

So get down on your hands and knees, ready to crawl your way to fitness.


Natural. Crawling is a move that we all did naturally as toddlers. We were designed to do the patterns of motion it takes us through. Because it uses the floor and our bodyweight we need no equipment to do it.

Physical benefits. This powerful movement is anything but child’s play. Because it’s an isometric move, meaning you are holding a position under repeated tension, crawling will strengthen and increase endurance in your entire body, whilst improving your total core stability.

Holding a bear crawl pose engages muscles from the fingers and wrists to the ankles and toes. So crawling is also more efficient than other exercises. 

Mental benefits. The movement doesn’t just benefit your body: crawling in a coordinated hand-foot movement  requires mental focus. The cross-patterning nature of crawling is believed to help develop both sides of our brain communicate more effectively.


Apparently the scene is set. We are already embracing high intensity interval training (HIIT) and home-based workouts. A fitness philosophy called Original Strength with ideas about ‘Pressing Reset’ on our bodies, has already developed workouts in the US, and published books on crawling workouts in the UK.


Bear Crawl.  Begin on all fours with hands under the shoulders, hips lifted off the floor and slightly higher than the shoulders. Reach with the right arm and left foot simultaneously, alternating with the left arm and right foot while keeping the back straight and hips and shoulders at the same level.


Moving Panther. This is the same as the bear walk but keep your butt lower than your head and body parallel to the ground. Move your right arm and right leg, Then move your left arm and left leg. The difference is that you are not moving the same side together.


Lizard Crawl. This more advanced move demands stability and mobility in the hips and shoulders. Start in bear crawl position. Bring your foot forward and move your hips and chest close to the floor. Move your foot forward first, then your hand, avoiding simultaneous movement. Stay low to the ground and keep your spine long.


You can also adapt crawling to other routines such as circuit training and HIIT. So why not use a payasugym session to try it out?


The Author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for PayasUgym. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.


Michael A.
28 February 2017

Michael A.

I like the look of this and after watching a mate do it on the weekend (the basic crawl but over a distance), I am convinced that it's very challenging too.

Debra G.
26 February 2017

Debra G.

whatever next? I will make sure the curtains are drawn though..the neighbours may be a little surprised!

Jim R.
7 January 2017

Jim R.

happily for my knees, this doesn't mean being on hands and knees so no pads required. And yes, it is much harder than it looks!

Sean S.
5 January 2017

Sean S.

I saw this on TV the other day and thought it looked like good fun. It doesn't look particularly difficult but I'm guessing it works you hard.

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