Monday, February 1, 2010

Muscles Worked During a Bear Crawl

You may remember my post on how to do a bear crawl. It seems there are a lot of people out there that are interested in bear crawls! That's great, because it's a super addition to your training plan.

One frequent question is "what muscles do you work when you're doing bear crawls?". Well, it might be shorter to list the muscles you're not using! When you do a bear crawl, you are basically engaging everything. Remember the position: You are on your hands and feet. Your legs are slightly bent to keep your butt low and even with, or slightly higher than, your head. Your back is relatively flat, maybe a slight arch (don't round your back). Your abs are braced, and your head is slightly neutral or up enough to see. You will propel forward moving your arms and your legs. To keep the position, your back must be strong and your abs braced. You will be using the muscles in your arms, particularly your triceps, your shoulders, your abs including your rectus abdominis, your obliques and your transverse abdominis, your glutes and hams and your quads and calves.

The fact that you are engaging that much muscle while propelling yourself through space is the main reason this is a superior exercise to add to your regimen. This is not necessarily a strength exercise, although you will be managing your own bodyweight, but it is one of endurance and conditioning (will help blast fat) and can also be one of power when you put some effort into it!

Your face might even look like this when you're finished!

If you really wanted to get brutal you could pair your bear crawls with push-ups or plank-ups. Bear crawl a certain distance down a straight pathway. At the end, do push-ups, either by straightening out to military style position, or do a dive bomber style. If not a push-up variation, you could go into plank-ups (that's what I call them). You would straighten out, go into plank on your hands (elbows straight) and feet. Then go down to elbow plank one arm at a time, and immediately back up into straight arm plank (that's one rep) and repeat for a certain number of reps. Nice.

Ways that you could measure yourself would be to try to beat your time, or increase the number of push-up or plank-up reps in between.

I'd love to know what different things you are doing with bear crawls! Leave me a comment!


Smoketheblowfish said...

Just a little FYI KM, I did bear crawls this morning for the first time in 30+ years...They suck, The End.

Actually, they're in CB's TT4Abs Workout (Day 3)...nice addition to any circuit.

Chuck Norris has the greatest poker face of all time. In 1983 he won the World Series of Poker holding only a Joker, a Monopoly Get out of Jail Free Card, a 7 of spades, a 9 of hearts, and a green #4 card from UNO.

Kelley Moore said...

You are so funny. Are you saying you might like burpees better than bear crawls? Now that's a toss-up!

That is an awesome CN fact. Did you know that since Chuck Norris was born roundhouse-kick related deaths have increased 13,000 percent?

Smoketheblowfish said...

Kelley, I would never state that "I might like burpees more than bear crawls". Burpees>Bear Crawls if '>'= Complete suckage...smokemath!

I guess the only way to find out is by doing a maximum number of burpees (til nauseous) and doing the same with bear crawls. Which ever causes the gag-reflex first shall be declared the winner..or loser.

Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. Its decendants are now commonly referred to as giraffes.