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Why Bear Crawls?

By Holley | In Recovery, Rest Day | on June 10, 2012

We have all seen bear crawls show up in warm ups and sometimes in workouts (more often if you wander into one of Marcus’s classes). If anyone played competitive sports growing up, they may have experienced bear crawls before. So why is this such a popular exercise?

1. It is great for warm ups because it stretches your hamstrings and activates your shoulders, core and legs.

2. It can be used as and exercise to improve strength, balance, endurance, agility and explosiveness.

3. It can be used as an active recovery exercise because like the prowler, it does not make you sore the next day.

Here are some pointers forhood bear crawl form:

1. Keep you back  as flat as possible

2. Keep your hips lower (exception: straight legged bear crawls)

3.Evenly distribute your weight on all four limbs and make the movement as smooth as possible (move like a ninja) to minimize impact and make the movement more efficient

Now in warm ups, bear crawl may not seem too challenging, but if you have ever done bear crawls in a workout or at football practice, you know just how challenging they can be. ¬†However, if you still feel they aren’t challenging enough for you, like most movements, there are ways you can make them more challenging for yourself.

1. You can do them backwards. This will challenge your coordination and work your shoulders a little more.

2. You can do them up and down a hill.

3. You can do the 3-legged bear crawl and do them while holding one leg in the air.

4. You can do them while pulling weight on a sled.

5. You can do them using a ladder to further improve your agility, coordination, speed and explosiveness. Check out this youtube video to see demos of additional drills.

Moral of the story, if you’re looking for an active recovery day activity to do at home or in the park, try bearcrawls and mix up the way you do the movement. Feel free to post to comments any bear crawl experiences you have had or any variations you have tried out or seen in the past.


REST DAY 06-10-12

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