Bear Crawl Progressions And Variations

After mastering the static bear crawl position - lets progress to the exercise’s name itself, bear CRAWL. We’re going to focus on the upper body movement analysis in this video. The first part of the video focuses on promoting and learning the pattern moving forward and back. In this specific crawling pattern with the moving arms, the goal is to control shoulder and scapular movements to provide proximal stability as the body progresses over it’s bases of support (the arms). For instance, one arm (left) reaches forward with shoulder flexion and scapular protraction to progress forward. The other arm (right) that stays in contact with the ground must provide single-arm-stability as the other arm reaches. The shoulder girdle muscles on the reaching arm must absorb the ground reaction force once it makes contact with the ground. As the body progresses forward, those same muscles have to eccentrically control the shoulder moving into extension, and the scapula moving into retraction. Now if you change the direction of the bear crawl, for instance crawling side-to-side, you’re also going to change muscle action and ultimately the demand of the task. We first demonstrate an easier lateral bear crawl, followed by a progression. The lateral progression includes my arm reaching across and over my other arm, which is going to increase the total amount of motion my arm and scapula move through (shoulder horizontal adduction and scapular protraction). This increased range of motion my shoulder girdle is going through ultimately increases the demand of the scapular protractor muscles to CONTROL the scapula eccentrically moving into retraction. No one said this is perfect form, but be sure to turn the sound on for further explanation.
Exercise Library