Bear Crawls

Bear crawls aka bear walks are an awesome strength and conditioning exercise but are commonly performed incorrectly. This is the proper way to do bear walks. The common mistake is to keep your butt up high in the air and allow your lower back to round. This can be problematic for people with glass backs and should be avoided. Performing them as demonstrated is a great total body exercise that really works the core musculature and the stabilizer muscles of the shoulder. This is way better than external rotations and other such isolation movements.

This exercise is way harder than it looks when done properly. Try to work up to 50-100 yard sets and increase your speed only if form is perfect.

For more great training tips visit

17 Responses to Bear Crawls

  1. Eric April 22, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    I suppose you could do that on a treadmill

  2. phil April 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    awesome, Also good while pulling a sled or try going up and down hills or stairs, much easier going up than down.

  3. Haven April 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    This is a great exercise that I have been using lately. I have been combining it with Crab Walk to really kick my butt!

  4. Andy Campbell April 22, 2009 at 7:10 pm #

    First off they are way harder than they even look….but keeping mind to stay low and brace the abs are key. These are definitely the toughest finishing exercise we’ve done at Renegade so far.

  5. JMJ April 22, 2009 at 7:55 pm #

    Great video. I like performing these w/my feet (toes) on Valslides, keeping my legs straight throughout the move.

    Nice triceps on the girl in the video, you can see how bear crawls engage your entire body, and really hits the tri’s.

  6. admin April 22, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    I would never do anything on a treadmill

  7. admin April 22, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    All other suggestions are great, and variations that I use quite often.

  8. Terry April 23, 2009 at 3:43 am #

    Y’know that all these multi-muscle, global, whole-body, core, moves like the bear crawl you demonstrate, are as old as the hills.

    And I’m sure you know that already, but younger trainers think this is the latest stuff.

    The point being that burpees, jump squats, jogging, pushups, pullups are all what I call Basic Military Training….the kind of thing that is done in the military….Boot Camp….where a thousand guys get into shape using nothing more than bodyweight, the ground, maybe a pipe or two for chins, before going into battle.

    No Pilates, no Yoga, no Power Plates, no Foam Roller, no Bosu, no Swiss Ball, no Massages, or Aromatherapy, or Ballet Classes! Just hard, whole body moves as you show on this video clip.

    It can be a bit hard on the wrists, even for conditioned guys, since it requires extreme range of movement beyond normal bending.

    Good job….and keep ‘em comin’!

  9. On a limb with Claudia April 23, 2009 at 7:10 am #

    My hip flexors tend to cramp when I do these. Any way around that??

    Thanks Jason! :)

  10. admin April 23, 2009 at 7:41 am #

    Terry, you are 100% right. Old school basics are still the best and always will be. Unfortunately people get caught up with the latest gimmicks and miss out on what really works.

  11. admin April 23, 2009 at 7:41 am #

    I think this is something that just gets better with time.

  12. Brian April 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    It’s does look pretty easy..It had better be harder than it looks, as it looks a synch, heh..I do agree w/ using Basic, Older-style/Army-type exercises..they’re tried & proven really…I’ll give this one a go too..

  13. David April 25, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    Thanks Jason for all the workout tips. Oh by the way, I am going to try that bear crawl after I get off this computer.

  14. ibrahime camara April 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    great move. i have for questions for you or other who might read it and respond to it.
    when is it best to do bear crawls, in terms of doing it alone or combine it with another exercise that’s complete ?

    thanks in advance for the answers

  15. ibrahime camara April 28, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    great move. i have for questions for you or other who might read it and respond to it.
    when is it best to do bear crawls, in terms of doing it alone or combine it with another exercise that’s complete ?

    thanks in advance for the answers

    have yourself a nice day

    • Val August 23, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      Basing on my own experience, the back muscles get over emphasized compared to the abs – even though it kills your abs too. So, it makes sense to work your abs. When? Anytime… Got up in the morning.. bear-walk around the room, have time in the evening – got to the park and bear-walk on grass

  16. Val August 23, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    That seems to be a childish exercise that most of “pumped-up guys” will mock at. How wrong are those who think this way !! I happen to be a guy who can put to a shame many “big” guys in a gym and I can tell you: This bear-walk exercise is a kill !!! Not hard enough? Go downhill: go 50 meters up, then 50 meters down, then repeat – providing you are able to finish it. The feeling you get in muscles is very different from other exercises! Takes the piss out off standing press and deadlift! I get, that’s the reason the chimps are so strong – they walk on all fours! To make it even harder – go backwards uphill :-)

Leave a Reply