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This Functional Training Exercise Will Make You Smarter And More Coordinated

Updated: May 24, 2022

One of the first physical training methods I teach is Body weight – Stabilization/Functional Training Exercises. These exercises have been a part of every combat system since the beginning of time, because they help you move through all the planes of motion efficiently. Additionally, it is crucial that you learn to control your body before you can hope to control another person’s body in a fight.

This weeks exercise is the Bear Crawl. This exercise is a great functional body-weight and stabilization exercise that also builds up your neuromuscular coordination, and strengthens your cognitive ability as it forces the right and left hemispheres of your brain to work together repeatedly (which makes you smarter).

How to perform the bear crawl:
  1. Lie on the ground in the prone position (facing the ground).

  2. Raise up onto your hands and feet as if you were going to perform a push-up (no other part of your body touches the ground).

  3. Move your opposite arm and leg (i.e. right arm, left leg) forward, then repeat with your other arm and leg (i.e. left arm, right leg).

  4. Continue this motion to move yourself forward for the desired distance.

  5. To challenge your neuromuscular system further, perform the bear crawl backwards after crawling forward.

Sets, reps, and rest periods:

You can perform this exercise for time, steps, or distance. Make sure to log how you performed the exercise, so you can repeat it the next time.

  • Three sets of one-minute work, with 1-2 minutes rest in between is a great routine for beginners to start out.

  • When it becomes easy you can increase the amount of time, distance etc. to achieve your goals.

Watch the video below to see how to perform the bear crawl forward and backwards.

For more exercises to improve your performance for fitness and self-defense, get my book, The Short Fight, on Amazon at

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Until next time, Stay Safe!

Lawrence Castanon

Bear Crawl - Forward and Backwards

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