I'm doing bear crawls as part of my exercises, but I'm getting conflicting interpretations about how exactly they are done. Do you:

  1. Bend your knees as you crawl across the floor.
  2. Keep them straight, just shifting them upwards toward your hands.

Is there a correct way to do them, or does it just depend on what you want out of the exercise?

  • Could you perhaps add images to show the different poses? – Ivo Flipse Feb 22 '12 at 17:26

Since the bear crawl is supposed to be a full-body exercise, it's best to bend the knees as you pull them forward to allow you to engage both your quads and calves. This way you really make sure you get the most out the exercise by being able to create power by driving with the legs. However, you don't want to pull your legs up straight up underneath you, but rather keep them slightly out to the side.

See the correct form being used as agility training here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8-zBUSOjrw

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We do these a lot as part of our jiu jitsu warmup and the way that I've always seen them done and been coached is to bend the legs but have only the toes touch the ground.

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  • Any particular reason why its being done that way and not the other way around? – Ivo Flipse Feb 22 '12 at 21:25
  • I don't know...bending your toes and having only your legs touch the ground doesn't sound like a very good exercise, or something that a bear would do. – kekekela Feb 23 '12 at 14:53

Are you interested in the leg dragging kind or ones where the legs are involved in propulsion? In gymnastics I have seen straight legs with fully extended angles and toes. A bit like:


Only rather than moving backwards by sliding to the floor you maintain the hollow shape and walk on the hands a bit like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC3M9SdpdYU

I may be indoctrinated but I have come to think anything invovling hollow body position = good, so personally I would go for some form of sliding hollow walk (straight legs).

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    It would be great to see some additional text or images to make this answer more descriptive. Having links is great as a resource, but if they disappear or their content goes away in the future then the answer won't be as useful. – Matt Chan Feb 26 '12 at 13:56

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