Mar29Train Like an Animal: 5 Crawling Exercises You Need To Try

Of the many different types of exercises and training methods out there in the world, there is something awesome about bodyweight training. You can perform exercises anywhere, all you need is a little creativity.

One of the best exercise variations you can do is crawling. In our training at H4, we incorporate crawling variations for total body conditioning, strength, and proprioception. Crawling is also great for moving in different ways that you would otherwise neglect in a traditional workout. It requires coordination between many different moving parts.

Chances are, you might know of a few crawling exercises – there are a few popular variations that get all the credit. While this is deserved, there are a ton of different ways to incorporate crawling in your workouts. Below are some very effective and interesting crawling exercises that you should do, and at the end of the article, we’ll even put it all together into a workout for you!

Bear Crawl

Bear crawls are perhaps one of the most popular – and maybe one of the most hated – exercises that involve you crawling around on the floor.

Start on all fours, and lift your shins off the floor. Think about keeping a “boxy” shape with your body, and keep your hips from rising into the air. This challenges your core, shoulders, and coordination. Bear crawls are most peoples’ introduction to crawling exercises and might be considered the ‘basic’ crawling movement, even though they are difficult. We can also move in different directions like in the video below.

Gorilla Walk

Highlighting another animal, we have gorilla/monkey crawls. This is a fun variation that is similar to bear crawls.

Just like we did in one of the above examples, we can take this exercise further by moving laterally, or diagonally.

Lying Backward Crawl

Make sure you have a clean floor for this one! This ‘crawling’ variation doesn’t involve moving on all fours but still involves many moving parts.

This one is great as an ‘easier’ crawling exercise and puts much less strain on often tender joints like the shoulders, hips, and low back.

Army Crawl

A great variation for beginners, it’s actually more challenging than it looks. Try to stay as low as possible and hug the floor. Again, you’ll want clean floors for this one.

Duck Walk

While this one isn’t necessarily advanced, if you have knee issues, then you might have to modify this exercise. These are called duck walks, and while you won’t be ‘crawling’, it does involve locomotion. It’s great for conditioning the lower body.

Putting It All Together

Try Combining a few variations into a short circuit and perform it for time. You could combine these movements with say, jumping jacks or mountain climbers or some other type of basic exercise, and turn it into a decent conditioning workout.

Example:

A1. Bear crawl x 30 seconds

A2. Jumping jack variation x 30 seconds

  • Rest for 20 seconds after completing both.

B1. Reverse army crawl x 30 seconds

B2. Mountain climbers x 30 seconds

  • Rest for 20 seconds after completing both.

C1. Duck walks x 30 seconds

C2. Bike crunches x 30 seconds

  • Rest for 20 seconds after completing both.

Perform each 2 pairs of exercises for 3 rounds before moving on to the next circuit. The workout is simple but effective, as it should only take 20-30 minutes to complete. Perfect for an at-home session or a hotel workout!