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Bear crawl for weight loss: Benefits and steps

Bear Crawl exercise is a great workout that can help to burn calories. Let us tell you how to do the Bear Crawl for weight loss.

Crawling is a big part of our growth from babies to adults. It holds true for animals too as they use all four limbs to move around. When you grow up, crawling is also a part of the fitness world. It is popular as the quadrupedal movement training, which refers to the body weight exercises in which people assume a four-point quadruped stance. The Bear Crawl is an exercise that involves crawling on all fours. You use your hands and feet, and walk like a bear to reap its many virtues, including weight loss. Let us tell you how to do the Bear Crawl for weight loss and more health benefits!

What is the Bear Crawl?

The Bear Crawl is a full-body exercise where you mimic the movement of a bear walking on all fours. It is done by moving forward or backward on hands and feet with knees slightly off the ground, engaging multiple muscle groups, shares fitness expert Chitharesh Natesan.

A woman doing the Bear Crawl
The Bear Crawl engages multiple muscle groups. Image courtesy: Creative Commons

The Bear Crawl exercise engages several parts of your body:

  • Shoulders: Supporting your body weight.
  • Chest: Assisting in maintaining balance.
  • Core: Stabilising your body.
  • Back: Supporting the movement and posture.
  • Glutes: Helping with stability and propulsion.
  • Legs: Particularly the quads and hamstrings, which are engaged as you move.

How does Bear Crawl help with weight loss?

Bear Crawls are a high-intensity, full-body workout that can help burn a significant number of calories. They increase your heart rate, boost your metabolism, and engage multiple muscle groups, which enhances overall calorie burn, says Natesan. This combination makes it effective for weight loss as it increases the total energy expenditure.

The number of calories burned during a bear crawl varies based on factors like body weight, intensity, and duration. On average, you can burn around 8 to 12 calories per minute. A 150-pound person might burn approximately 100-150 calories in a 15-minute session, says the expert.

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What are the health benefits of the Bear Crawl?

Apart from weight loss, the Bear Crawl is also a good way to strengthen shoulders and hips. Participants who did one-hour of quadrupedal movement training per week for 16 weeks saw a significant increase in their shoulder and hip mobility, according to a 2022 study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

A woman on a weighing scale after doing the Bear Crawl
The Bear Crawl has many health benefits. Image courtesy: Pexels

Here are its key health benefits:

  • Strengthens your core muscles, which helps to improve stability and balance.
  • Increases heart rate and improves cardiovascular endurance.
  • Enhances coordination and joint mobility.

How to do the Bear Crawl?

To do the crawling exercise, follow these steps:

  • Go on your hands and knees, but make sure your hands come directly under your shoulders. Your knees should be under your hips.
  • Lift your knees a few inches off the ground, balancing on your hands and toes.
  • Move your right hand and left foot forward simultaneously, then your left hand and right foot.
  • Keep your back flat, core engaged, and hips low throughout the movement.
  • Continue to move forward, keeping movements slow and controlled.

Mistakes to avoid

While doing the Bear Crawl, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Lifting hips too high: Keep your hips low and aligned with your shoulders to maintain proper form.
  • Not engaging core: Ensure your core is engaged to prevent lower back strain.
  • Rushed movements: Avoid rushing; controlled movements are key to maximising the exercise benefits.
  • Incorrect hand placement: Place your hands directly under your shoulders for stability and balance.
  • Neglecting breathing: Remember to breathe steadily to maintain endurance and oxygen flow.

Incorporating bear crawls into your workout routine can significantly enhance your fitness level and help with weight loss, provided you perform them correctly and consistently.

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