How to do a Lateral Crawl

What is a Lateral Crawl?

Also called Lateral Bear Crawls, a Lateral Crawl is a full body movement that will shred your core and exercise all the muscles in your arms and legs. This is a simple but effective exercise that provides you with a full body workout. The prerequisite for this movement is the High Push-Up Position Hold, which is more or less the movement that my daughter is performing in the video, although I am still coaching her to keep her back straight and her feet closer together. Like my daughter, I recommend that you try 3 sets of 30 seconds of the High Push-Up Position Hold before attempting the Lateral Crawl.

The Lateral Crawl is a full-body exercise with an emphasis on the following muscle groups:

  • Core
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Legs

How to Do a Lateral Crawl (Instructions):

Start in a high push-up position, with your hands and feet on the ground. Move your right hand and your right foot to the right about 6 inches. Move your left hand and your left foot to the right about 6 inches, until your body is back in the upright push-up position. Ensure to keep your back straight and core tight. Perform the same movement towards the opposite side. Repeat.

Trainer Tips for the Lateral Crawl: 

  • Progression (make harder)
    • Add a weight vest or do the movement with one of your kids on your back. 
    • Perform the movement, and after completing one repetition in both directions, do a Push-Up.
    • Perform the movement, and after completing one repetition in both directions, bring your feet to your hands, jump into the air, and wallah! You are now doing a Lateral Crawl Burpee.
  • Regression (make easier)
    • Perform the movement, but instead of moving laterally 6 inches, move laterally 2-3 inches.
    • Perform the movement on your hands and knees. 
    • Perform the High Push-Up Position Hold
  • Application:
    • Do 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of Lateral Crawls as a part of your core workout.
    • For an absolutely brutal workout, try doing one Tabata with Lateral Crawls. 
      • A Tabata is a 4 minute workout, made up of 8 intervals. Each interval is 20 seconds of activity and 10 seconds of rest. There are a lot of free apps for your smartphone that provide an automatic timer for the Tabata workout. I utilize the Tabata Stopwatch Pro.
      • For the Lateral Crawl Tabata, perform 20 seconds of plank-ups followed by 10 seconds of rest, and repeat until you reach the 4 minute mark.
Lateral Crawls are used in the Layman’s Fitness 12 Week Bodyweight Program, which you can learn more about here.