Bear Crawl and Crab Walk for an Equipment Free Workout Routine


On Saturdays I make it a point to take a break from my normal bodyweight circuit workout routine to perform an unconventional workout routine. There are some really funky unconventional exercises that you can use to build muscle and burn fat. Let’s talk about two of my favorites.

The Bear Crawl

The bear crawl is one of my favorite exercises for a total body workout routine. Not only does it work the entire leg, from the tips of the toes to the gluteus, since the arms are shorter and inherently weaker than the legs, bear crawls really tax the entire arm and the shoulder muscles. Additionally, since there is a huge imbalance from the weight on your hands, and a huge torque in your core because you are moving your right arm and left leg simultaneously (and visa versa), it is a fantastic core builder as well.

The Crab Walk

The crab walk is truly a unique exercise because the position used is completely unnatural for a human. People crawl on their hands and knees, face down, so the bear crawl position is natural. However, it is completely unnatural to be on your hands and feet, face up. Since the crab walk is a completely unconventional motion for the body, it both strengthens and stretches the entire body for a great total body workout.

Safety Tips

When performing bear crawls and crab walks, make sure the surface is not too rough. I perform this exercise in my backyard so I know all I have to worry about is grass. When I train my soccer players I opt for the artificial turf vice grass because the surface is smoother and more predictable. If you exercise at a park you may want to do a quick safety walk for sharp objects or doggy “surprises”. Even in my backyard I throw on some gardening gloves because my hands don’t have shoes on, but that’s just me.

Some people are hesitant to do these exercises in public because they are afraid of how they will look doing them. To those folks I can only say two things; first, when you are ripped to shreds from the great body you sculpted doing these wacky exercises; it won’t matter that much, will it? Second, these exercises are made to make the gym obsolete so they are perfect for the privacy of your backyard.


The bear crawl and the crab walk are just 2 unconventional exercises which will provide both variety, effective fat burning, and muscle building to your workout routine. Here is a circuit that I performed last weekend. Try it yourself. Believe me, it is quite an effective, equipment free workout routine:

5 burpees

run forward 20 yds

run backwards 20 yds

side shuffle 20 yds

5 burpees

Bear crawl 20 yds

Crab walk 20 yds

Rest 30 seconds

Perform 8 rounds

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