If you are new to lateral bear crawling, come close to your hands and knees in the exercise and lift your knees a few inches above the ground so that you can balance the balls on your feet and palms. Once you feel stable here, you walk slowly (all four, yes!) A few speeds to your right, then back to your left.
When performed correctly, the step activates your entire core, shoulders, quads, hamstrings and more. The problem is, it can be difficult to stay stable because you are moving along. You may find yourself feeling tangled and unsure of how to transfer your weight to one arm and leg at once. Fortunately, Atienger has a great tip to help you feel firm in your bear’s board position.
When you are moving from right to left, you may feel forced to pull out your left arm and your left leg before bringing both your right arm and right leg inside to get back into your bear. “It adds a bit of oscillation to one side,” Atienza says. Not to mention, it takes a lot of work from your core.
Instead, Atienza recommends moving to a slightly different pattern. “When we extend the foot to the side, the hand and the opposite foot extend the foot in the same direction. Then the other hand and the opposite foot extend the foot in the same direction,” he says. “This really allows you to distribute your weight evenly.”
Now you know how to crawl your side bear with all the coordination of a fitness instructor. But make sure you watch the whole video to learn Atienza’s other tips for nailing this complex, but successful, key step. You are then ready to throw this exercise into the mix with your board, crunch and other midsection-centered moves.
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