Bear Crawl - How To Do Bear Crawl Exercise [Guide w/ Video]

Updated: Feb 26

How To Do The Bear Crawl Exercise?

Below is a video showing you how to do the bear crawl abs exercise.

Further down this article, there is a step-by-step guide to the bear crawl, there are also example workouts and other information such as bear crawl muscles worked, benefits etc.

Be sure to do this exercise on soft flooring with enough room to move around, like a rubber floor.

Try to keep your back straight - don't arch your back too much.

Make sure to get your form right before you pick up speed.

Turn your hands slightly outwards.

The Bear Crawl Exercise Step-by-Step:

  • Begin on the floor with only your hands and feet on the floor and your knees bent.

  • Once you have positioned yourself, start by "crawling" forward on your hands and feet.

  • Do this by moving your right leg with your left arm, and left leg with your right arm - keeping you balanced.

  • Walk for your desired distance.

  • You can do this exercise and measure it by laps, time, or distance - instead of the usual reps.

How To Make The Bear Crawl Easier?

There isn't a simple way to make the bear crawl exercise easier, however, doing these following things in your workout will make it easier:

  • Doing the bear crawl for less distance, time or laps will make it easier - for example reducing it from 1 lap to half a lap, from 30 seconds to 20 seconds etc.

  • Going a bit slower while doing the bear crawl can also make it easier.

making bear crawl exercise easier
Reducing how long you do the bear crawl for makes it easier

How To Make The Bear Crawl Harder?

There are a few ways to make the bear crawl harder. Doing these following things can make the exercise harder:

  • Going for a longer distance, time or more laps can make it harder - for example going from 30 seconds to 40 seconds, from 1 lap to 2 laps etc.

  • Doing the exercise faster can also increase the intensity, making the bear crawl slightly harder.

making bear crawl harder image
Going for longer and further can make the bear crawl harder.

Bear Crawl Muscles Worked:

The primary muscles worked from the bear crawl exercise are as follow:

  • Rectus Abdominis (core abdominal muscles)

  • Obliques (side abdominal muscles)

  • Deltoids (shoulder muscles)

  • Latissimus Dorsi (main back muscles)

The bear crawl also works many other muscles for stability and other movements such as:

  • Biceps (front arm muscles)

  • Triceps (back arm muscles)

bear crawl muscles worked diagram
Areas highlighted in red are the main muscles worked

Bear Crawl Benefits:

The benefits of the bear crawl exercise, like other exercises, are vast.

Because the bear crawl is a compound (multi-joint) exercise it requires the use of various muscle groups, as shown in the image above.

It has these benefits:

  • May improve overall strength.

  • May improve flexibility.

  • May increase abdominal, upper and lower back muscle growth.

  • May improve cardiovascular ability.

bear crawl exercise abs image
This exercise can improve abdominal strength

Bear Crawl Workout Examples:

Below are some great examples of workouts you can include in your training.

The bear crawl is also used in crossfit workouts.

Example 1:

  1. Deadbug: 2 Sets / 12 Reps / Hold for 3 seconds

  2. Plank: 2 Sets / Hold for 30 seconds

  3. Bear Crawl: 2 Sets / Do this for 30 seconds

Below is another variation including the bear crawl.

Example 2:

  1. Deadbug: 2 Sets / 10 Reps / Hold for 2 seconds

  2. Reverse Crunch: 2 Sets / 8 Reps / Hold for 2 seconds

  3. Bear Crawl: 2 Sets / Do this for 30 seconds

You can make, change and adapt workouts to your style, program and experience.

Check out our other exercises in our exercise guides on

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