Move of the month – bear crawl

Emma Brown - Nutritionist | 03 May, 2022

Each month, I'll highlight an exercise move that is great to include as part of your workout routine! Up next...

Bear crawl

High kneww step ups

How to do it

  1. Start on all fours with your hands in line with your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips.
  2. Tuck your toes under and lift your knees off the floor a few inches.
  3. At this point it's important to engage your core stomach muscles to help support your lower back. Keep your back straight.
  4. Soften your elbows a little and move your right arm forward while simultaneously moving your left leg forward.
  5. Alternate and move your left arm forward while simultaneously moving your right leg forward.
  6. Repeat twice, so you have moved forward four spaces.
  7. Stop and then reverse so that you move backwards with alternating arms and legs, until you have reached the start position. Move forward again and so on.
  8. Continue for 45-60 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.

Depending on the space available, continue to move forward until you need to turn around and continue in the opposite direction. Aim to keep it up for 45-60 seconds and repeat this 3-5 times.

What it's good for

This is a great full body move which targets the shoulders, arms, core, legs and glutes! If you want to maximise your fitness gains, then crawling is the way to go – it's tough but worth it. As your strength improves you can increase the duration of this move and it becomes a great cardio and strength move in one.

Intensify

Build up your pace over time as your strength and form improves. The faster you move, the more you'll get out of this exercise in terms of overall fitness – but correct form is vital so don't speed up until you're ready. Increase your duration and number of sets to up the intensity over time!

Pointers

  • It's important to support your lower back during this move, so engaging the core is fundamental.
  • Take your time to begin with, focusing on your breathing while taking each step. It's easy to get lost in concentration and to hold your breath! Take slow breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Avoiding going out too fast before you have built up the strength for this move – it's possible to lose form and risk injury otherwise.

Disclaimer: This exercise is provided as an example for individuals who are not suffering with any injuries and do not have any other physical limitations. The exercise should only be carried out if your are physically able to do so without risking harm or injury to yourself. If you have a limitation which prevents you from performing the above exercise, please contact a qualified sports injury specialist or physiotherapist for personal guidance.

Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.