Animal Movement Exercise Glossary

by Joe Di Stefano of Spartan Coaching

Bear Crawl: Begin in a baby’s crawl position, lift the knees 1-2″ and maintain this posture as you walk in a coordinated left arm / right leg and vice versa sequence for 30-60ft

Bird Dog: Beginning in a baby crawl or “quadruped” position with the knees on the floor. Lift the opposing arm and leg, point and stretch to opposing sides of the room. Hold, then return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side and continue alternating for desired number of repetitions. For a more advanced progression, balance a water bottle on your lower back, if it falls off you know you were moving too much from your spine and not enough from your butt!

Dead Bug: Lying on your back with your arms and legs stretched straight up and down, simultaneously attempt to bring your right elbow and left knee together. Return to start position and repeat on the opposing side.

Elephant Walk: (aka “a not-so-strict bear crawl”) -From Bear Crawl position, allow your butt to lift into the air as high as is comfortable. Walk in the same coordinated, opposite arm and leg pattern as the Bear Crawl.

Lateral Ape: Beginning in a bear crawl position, “push” yourself backwards until your feet are flat on the floor and you are in a deep squat and “hands free” position. Now reach both arms to one side and shift as much of your weight into them as possible. Maintain this pressure as you “hop” your legs to that side. Continue in a fluid pattern and repeat on the opposing direction.

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