Bear Crawl Workouts, Benefits and Exercise Technique

Bear Crawl Workouts are a great way to add alternative forms of movement into your training.

Bear Crawl Exercise Benefits

The Bear Crawl builds strength in the shoulders, wrists, core, and hip flexors. The Bear Crawl is suitable for all fitness levels, which makes it an ideal movement to incorporate into a workout.

The Bear Crawl is also a great skill transfer exercise for the Handstand Walk. Athletes can use the Bear Crawl to reach the requisite strength for this high-skill gymnastic movement.

What is the Bear Crawl?

The Bear Crawl is a bodyweight conditioning movement in which the athlete crawls on all fours while keeping the hips above shoulders.

In Bear Crawl Workouts certain distances in different formats will be programmed into each workout.

How to do the Bear Crawl Exercise

  1. Begin with the hands and feet on the floor and the hips higher than the shoulders
  2. Crawl forward (or backwards if a Backwards Bear Crawl is prescribed)
  3. Keep the hips and shoulders square with one another
  4. Keep the arms straight
  5. As the athlete crawls forward, the knees should not come past the belly button

Bear Crawl Exercise – Points of Performance

To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:

The athlete reaches the required distance before coming up from the all-fours position.

To keep the knees from coming up past the belly button, athletes should travel with only a slight bend in the knee

Bear Crawl Variations

Dumbbell Bear Crawl

Reverse Dumbbell Bear Crawl

Bear Crawl Workouts

Add these Bear Crawl Workouts into your training.

1 WORKOUT – A BEAR AND A CRAB WALK INTO A ROOM

5 Rounds for Time

  1. 20 foot Crab Walk
  2. 20 foot Bear Crawl (hips low and knees close to the ground)
  3. 20 foot Crab Walk
  4. 20 foot Bear Crawl (hips high)
  5. 20 V-Ups

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written for 5 rounds. Keep hips high and butt squeezed in crab walk. Keep knees as close to the ground as possible in low bear crawl, and hips high with straight legs in high bear crawl.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of V-Ups is completed.

Tips and Strategy

While this is for time, make sure to keep your crawls looking good. Try to keep a flat back, don’t wiggle at the hips too much, and work on moving with intent.

Intended Stimulus

Should be a shoulder burner with a slight chance to rest the shoulders while working on the V-Ups.

Scaling

Sub V-Ups for Tuck-Ups or straddle (legs apart) if they are too difficult. If you have a sled handy drag that sled on the Bear Crawls.

2 WORKOUT

5 Rounds for Time

  • 100 Box Step-Ups (45/35 lb backpack)
  • 65 foot Bear Crawl Medball Push (20 lb)

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written for 5 rounds. Athlete must complete 100 Box Step-Ups wearing a weighted backpack. Athlete must complete a 65 foot Bear Crawl while pushing a Medicine Ball on the ground for each round. Athlete must wear the weighted backpack during the Bear Crawl.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of Bear Crawl Medball Pushes are completed.

3 WORKOUT

AMRAP in 10 minutes

  • 2 Dual Kettlebell Thrusters (2×24/16 kg)
  • 5 metre Bear Crawl Forward
  • 5 metre Bear Crawl Backwards
  • 4 Dual Kettlebell Thrusters (2×24/16 kg)
  • 5 metre Bear Crawl Forward
  • 5 metre Bear Crawl Backwards

Continue with this pattern, adding 2 Thrusters each round.

On a 10-minute clock, perform as many rounds and repetitions as possible (AMRAP) of the prescribed work in the order written. Athlete must accomplish 2 Dual Kettlebell Thrusters, 5 metre Bear Crawl Forward, and 5 metre Bear Crawl Backwards in the first round. Continue with this pattern, adding 2 Thrusters each round.

Score is the total number of rounds and repetitions completed before the 10-minute clock stops.

4 WORKOUT

5 Rounds for Time

  • Bear Crawl (100 ft)
  • Standing Broad-Jumps (100 ft)
  • Perform 3 Burpees after every 5 Broad-Jumps

Wear a Weight Vest (20/14 lb)

5 WORKOUT

For Time

  • 1 mile Run
  • 100 Push-Ups
  • 100 metre Bear Crawl
  • 1 mile Run
  • 100 metre Bear Crawl
  • 100 Push-Ups
  • 1 mile Run

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written.

Score is the time on the clock when the last 1 mile Run is completed.

6 WORKOUT

7 Rounds for Time

  • 200 metre Sprint
  • 50 metre Bear Crawl
  • 15 Burpees

Rest 2 minutes between rounds

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written. Complete the 7 rounds and try to keep time for each round within 10% of the previous round.

Score is the total time difference between rounds. If round 1 takes 120 seconds and round 2 takes 123 seconds, your score is 3 at that point.

Tips and Strategy

With the simplicity of the movements, the athlete should focus on working hard and getting through the reps as fast as possible. With the scoring system, the athlete can track how and where (during the workout/which set) their fitness has progressed or regressed on subsequent attempts at this workout.

Intended Stimulus

Each round should be max effort knowing that there will be a 2-minute rest to follow. General, overall fatigue will set in for most by the 5th or 6th round.

Scaling

There should be no scaling required other than reducing the total volume. A beginner or scaled athlete may want to stop after doing 3-4 rounds.

7 WORKOUT SNATCH N’DRAG

6 Rounds for Time

  • 6 Double Kettlebell Deadlifts (2×30/20 kg)
  • 6 Right-Arm Kettlebell Snatches (30/20 kg)
  • 6 Left-Arm Kettlebell Snatches (30/20 kg)
  • 5 metre Forward Bear Crawl Kettlebell Drag (30/20 kg)
  • 5 metre Backward Bear Crawl Kettlebell Drag (30/20 kg)

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written for 6 rounds.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of Bear Crawl is completed.

Movement Standards

Bear Crawl Kettlebell Drag: This is a standard Bear Crawl while dragging the Kettlebell with one hand.

8 WORKOUT

  • 3 Rounds For Time
  • 200 metre Run
  • 50 metre Farmers Walk (2×35/25 lb sandbag)
  • 10 Burpees
  • 10 metre Bear Crawl (forward and backwards)
  • 400 metre Run
  • 100 metre Farmers Walk (2×35/25 lb sandbag, each hand)
  • 20 Burpees
  • 20 metre Bear Crawl (forward and backwards)
  • 600 metre Run
  • 150 metre Farmers Walk (2×35/25 lb sandbag, each hand)
  • 30 Burpees
  • 30 metre Bear Crawl (forward and backwards)

Wear a weight vest (20/14 lb) (except during the run)

Scaling

Intermediate

Perform 2 Rounds (instead of 3)

Beginner

Reduce Rounds, Weights, and/or Distances/Repetitions as needed

9 WORKOUT BEAR DRYLLS

AMRAP in 15 minutes

  • 5 Burpees
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 15 Air Squats
  • 6 metre Bear Crawl (3 metre there and back)

On a 15-minute clock, as many rounds and repetitions as possible (AMRAP) perform the prescribed work in the order written.

Score is the total number of rounds and repetitions completed before the 15-minute clock ends.

10 WORKOUT

4 Rounds for Time

  • 14 Sandbag Front Squats (70/50 lb)
  • 25 foot Front Rack Lunges (70/50 lb)
  • 14 Shoulder-to-Overheads (70/50 lb)
  • 25 foot Bear Crawl with Single-Arm Drag (70/50 lb)

Wear a Weight Vest (20/14 lb)

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written for 4 rounds. Athlete must complete 14 Sandbag Front Squats, 25 foot Front Rack Lunges, 14 Shoulder-to-Overheads, and 25 foot Bear Crawl while dragging the sandbag from the ground. Perform all movements with a single sandbag. Wear a Weight Vest.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of Bear Crawl with Single-Arm Drag is completed.

11 WORKOUT

AMRAP in 20 minutes

  • 50 foot Bear Crawl
  • 25 Air Squats
  • 15 Lunges
  • 5 Burpees

On a 20-minute clock, perform as many rounds and repetitions as possible (AMRAP) of the prescribed work in the order written.

Score is the total number of rounds and repetitions completed before the 20-minute clock stops.

12 WORKOUT

10 Rounds for Time

  • 22 Push-Ups
  • 22 metre Walking Lunges
  • 22 Air Squats
  • 22 metre Bear Crawl
  • 200 metre Run

Time Cap: 50 minutes

13 WORKOUT

For Time

  • 10 Bear Complexes (135/95 lb)
  • 100 yard Bear Crawl
  • 8 Bear Complexes (155/105 lb)
  • 100 yard Bear Crawl
  • 6 Bear Complexes (185/125 lb)
  • 100 yard Bear Crawl
  • 4 Bear Complexes (205/135 lb)
  • 100 yard Bear Crawl
  • 2 Bear Complexes (225/145 lb)
  • 100 yard Bear Crawl

1 bear complex consists of: 1 Clean, 1 Front Squat, 1 Push Press, 1 Back Squat, and 1 Push Press

Complete the reps for time. This may be done CrossFit® style, where thrusters and squat cleans are allowed. However, as the rounds go on and the athlete becomes fatigued, they may need to break up the movements (ie pausing at the top of the clean/front squat before attempting the push press), which is also acceptable.

Scaling

Intermediate: Reduce all weights by 10-20 lbs.

Beginner: Reduce the weight by 30-60 lbs. Decrease the distance on the bear crawl to 40-50 yards.

14 WORKOUT

10 Rounds for Time

  • 3 Cleans (135/95 lb)
  • 6 Hand Release Push-Ups
  • 9 Burpees
  • 12 Strict Pull-Ups
  • 24 foot Bear Crawl

Time Cap: 30 minutes

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work on the order written for 10 rounds.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of the Bear Crawl is completed.

15 WORKOUT

Bear Crawl Workouts – For Time

  • 50 Air Squats
  • 10 Burpees
  • 40 Sit-Ups
  • 10 Burpees
  • 30 Lunges (alternating legs)
  • 10 Burpees
  • 20 Kettlebell Swings (1.5/1 pood)
  • 10 Burpees
  • 10 metre Bear Crawl
  • 10 Burpees
  • 20 Kettlebell Swings (1.5/1 pood)
  • 10 Burpees
  • 30 Lunges (alternating legs)
  • 10 Burpees
  • 40 Sit-Ups
  • 10 Burpees
  • 50 Air Squats

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the work in the order written.

Score is the time on the clock when the final repetition (the 50th Air Squat) is completed.

Good Times for the Workout

– Beginner: 18+ minutes

– Intermediate: 15-17 minutes

– Advanced: 12-14 minutes

– Elite: <11 minutes

Tips and Strategy

In a chipper WOD like this there are so many movements that you probably won’t experience major muscle fatigue at any given point. Use that to your advantage and go fast and as unbroken as possible.

Write the WOD in big letters/numbers on the whiteboard so you don’t lose time trying to discern what the next movement is or how many reps you’re supposed to do.

Intended Stimulus

The Workout should feel fast and breathless. Muscle fatigue shouldn’t be a huge factor in this WOD, but burning lungs should. Scale the volume as needed so you can move quickly.

After the Workout you should feel energized–like you could go home, clean your house, cook dinner, and start writing your first book.

Scaling Options

This is a light, (mostly) bodyweight workout with movements that athletes of almost any level can manage. If necessary, scale the volume of repetitions so you can move through the movements quickly and unbroken.

Beginner

For Time:

  • 40 Air Squats
  • 5 Burpees
  • 30 Sit-Ups
  • 5 Burpees
  • 20 Lunges (alternating legs)
  • 5 Burpees
  • 10 Kettlebell Swings (35/26 lb)
  • 5 Burpees
  • 10 metre Bear Crawl
  • 5 Burpees
  • 10 Kettlebell Swings (35/26 lb)
  • 5 Burpees
  • 20 Lunges (alternating legs)
  • 5 Burpees
  • 30 Sit-Ups
  • 5 Burpees
  • 40 Air Squats

16 WORKOUT

3 Rounds for Time

  • 50 metre Sandbag Walk (70/53 lb)
  • 50 metre Sandbag Sprint (70/53 lb)
  • 10 metre Bear Crawl
  • 5 Single-Arm Kettlebell Swing, Clean, Squat, Push Press (each arm) (53/35 lb)
  • 10 metre Bear Crawl

Wear a 20 lb Weight Vest

Pick up the sandbag and carry it during the walk, then turn around and sprint back to the starting location before dropping the sandbag and bear crawling to the kettlebell.

Each rep with the kettlebell consists of one swing, one clean, one squat (with the kettlebell in the rack position) and one push press. Once done with the kettlebell work, bear crawl back to the sandbag and repeat.

17 WORKOUT

Bear Crawl Workouts – For Time

Buy-In:

  • 400 metre Burden Run (30/20 lb)

Then, 5 Rounds of:

  • 7 Tuck Jumps
  • 16 Push-Ups
  • 20 metre Forward Bear Crawl
  • 20 metre Reverse Bear Crawl
  • 15 Burpee Broad-Jumps

WOD begins with a 400-metre run while carrying a “burden”. The “burden” can be a weighted vest, medicine ball, plate, etc. Then complete five rounds of the bodyweight movements as quickly as possible.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of the Burpee Broad Jumps is completed.

Intended Stimulus

Conditioning. Intended to be performed outdoors but can be done indoors as well.

Scaling

Intermediate

For Time

Buy-In:

  • 400 metre Burden Run (20/14 lb)

Then, 5 Rounds of:

  • 7 Squat Jumps
  • 16 Push-Ups
  • 20 metre Forward Bear Crawl
  • 20 metre Reverse Bear Crawl
  • 15 Burpees

Beginner

For Time

Buy-In:

  • 400 metre Run

Then, 5 Rounds of:

  • 7 Air Squats
  • 16 Hands-Elevated Push-Ups
  • 20 metre Forward Bear Crawl
  • 20 metre Reverse Bear Crawl
  • 15 Up Downs

18 WORKOUT

Bear Crawl Workouts – 3 Rounds for Total Reps in 15 minutes

  • 1 minute Dumbbell Front Squat + Curl + Strict Press Complexes (2×50/35 lb)
  • 1 minute Resistance Band Row
  • 1 minute Kettlebell Alternating High-Pulls (50/35 lb)
  • 1 minute Medicine Ball Push-Ups
  • 1 minute Bear Crawl with Sandbag Drag (100/75 lb)

On a 15-minute clock, perform 3 rounds of as many repetitions as possible (AMRAP) of the prescribed movements every minute.

Score is the total number of repetitions completed before the 15-minute clock stops.

Movement Standards

Resistance Band Row: Sit on the ground with the legs both extended and feet together. Put one end of the band at the soles of the feet and hold the other end with both hands. Pull the band towards the chest in a Rowing motion.

Medicine Ball Push-Up: On the starting position of the standard Push-Up, place one hand on top of the medicine ball and perform a Push-Up.

Bear Crawl with Sandbag Drag: This is a variation of the standard Bear Crawl wherein you drag a Sandbag while doing the Bear Crawl.

19 WORKOUT

For Time

  • 29 Ball Slams (30/20 lb)
  • 29 4-count Mountain Climbers
  • 29 4-count Lunges
  • 29 Pull-Ups
  • 29 yard Bear Crawl
  • 29 4-count Flutter Kicks
  • 29 Broad Jumps
  • 29 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb)
  • 29 4-count Plank Walk-Ups
  • 29 Crunches
  • 29 Burpees
  • 29 Air Squats
  • 29 Push-Ups
  • 1 mile Ruck Run (20/14 lb)

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written.

Score is the time on the clock when the 1 mile Ruck Run is completed.

Movement Standards

Plank Walk-Up: From a full Plank Hold position, move from using both hands for support to both the elbows. From the Elbow Plank Hold, move back to the full Plank Hold position. This counts as one rep.

Crunch: Lay with the back flat on the ground. Place the feet below the hips so the knees are perpendicular to the ground. Keep the feet planted while you lift your upper torso towards the knees at a 45 degree angle, almost doing a Sit-Up. Come back to the starting position to count as 1 rep.

20 WORKOUT

2 rounds

  • 50 bear crawl KB pull through (24/16kg)
  • 50m weighted table top bear crawl (45/25lb)
  • 100 bear crawl shoulder tap
  • 50m dumbbell bear crawl (35/15lb)
  • First round: 50m forward bear crawl (both)
  • Second round: 50m reverse bear crawl (both)

Score is the time it takes to complete 2 rounds.

Keep your hips inline with your shoulders during the movements.

On the table top bear crawl use a 45/25lb plate on top of your lower back. Keep your abs tight and do not arch your lower back. Close the gap between your lower back and the plate.

Do not turn your torso and keep your hips squared while moving your arms and legs.

It is a CORE workout, so try to keep it engaged. If you feel that you are losing your mid-line. Rest a little bit and then get back to it!

Scale down as you need to keep your CORE engaged during the entire workout.

Bear Crawl Workouts

If you enjoyed these Bear Crawl Workouts, then try Broad or Tuck Jump challenges.