Today’s featured exercise if the bear crawl, a movement that often shows up in Spartan’s Workout of the Day series.
The bear crawl is one of the foundational movements in animal flow training. It helps to increase your stability, your mobility, your upper and lower body strength, and your cardiovascular endurance. It is one of the most effective exercises for any individual to add to their workout of the day, regardless of training level. In a Spartan Race, a bear crawl will help you to maneuver through a barbed wire crawl and to climb an A-Frame cargo net efficiently. It will also strengthen your body for any ascents you will face out in Killington, Tahoe, or any other hilly course.
When performing the perfect bear crawl, begin in a tabletop position on your hands and your knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Tuck your back toes under and bring your knees to a hover at a 90-degree angle. Tuck your navel into your spine, flatten your back, and engage your abdominals. Using your opposite arm and leg at the same time (ex: right arm, left leg), take a step forward, moving each limb only as far as you can reach without allowing your body to rock side to side. Repeat with the opposite side. You want to aim to keep your shoulders and hips square throughout the entire exercise. This motion should be fluid and effortless. If you were to balance an object on your back, would it fall to the ground? If the answer is yes, draw the abdominals in tighter and pull the shoulder blades back to keep your flat, tabletop positioning.