Walk Like a Bear

I am thrilled to see that the fitness industry is embracing the importance of mobility. More and more “movement gyms” are popping all over the place. These facilities have little in the way of machines and lots of space to move in any way that the body can. While the activities we’ve been doing for years are great, they are not helping much in the fight against the amount of sitting that we are doing. I have loved cycling for a very long time, but I have come to realize that sitting on a bike and moving only my legs can only do so much for me. Even running, jogging or walking doesn’t work the entire body that needs to move.

My biggest goal in life is to continue to be able to get up and down from the floor. The only way I can maintain that skill is to continue to do it daily. I still do push-ups daily but now I’ve added a few more movements. One of them is the bear walk (also known as the bear crawl). In theory, it is simple to do. You put your hands on the floor and walk on all fours. In practice, it’s not that easy. It does take time to develop the strength and endurance to move for any distance in this position.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Pick a space with some moving room. A hallway is great.
  • Place your hands, palms down, on the floor in front of you. Spread your fingers for maximum contact with the floor.
  • Your feet are no more than shoulder width apart.
  • Move your right hand and left foot forward in unison to take the first step. Repeat with the left hand and right foot.
  • Continue as far as you can.

The ultimate goal is keep your arms and legs stiff while keeping your heels on the ground while you bear walk. I am nowhere near that stage. As I work at it I am becoming more flexible in that way, and you will too.

There are many variations on the bear walk. The easiest way is moving forward, so start with that. Once you’re comfortable going forward try going backward. It’s more work for your arms and shoulders, and it takes some extra thinking too. That makes this movement a workout for your brain as well as your body. What a deal!


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