6 challenging “animal walks” you should add to your workout
Incorporating different types of movement into your workout routine can be an effective way to improve your strength, mobility, and fitness. And walking like an animal – instead of like a human – should be quite different.
In the context of a workout, animal walks are exactly what they sound like: exercises that mimic the movements of different animals. This can include jumping, hopping, and crawling in all sorts of unusual (for a person) patterns. Here are video demonstrations of six of our favorites.
How to do a frog jump
A frog jump is similar to a squat jump, except instead of jumping straight up, you jump while propelling yourself forward. The squat makes it a good exercise for building lower body strength, while leaping forward helps you build explosive power.
How to Take a Duck Walk
To do a duck walk, squat down on the soles of your feet. Staying close to the floor while keeping your knees fully bent and keeping your torso upright, step forward with one leg, then slide your back foot forward. As personal trainer Ben Walker, founder of Anywhere Fitness, points out, this move is great for improving hip extension.
“We’re loosening up the hip flexors, strengthening the glutes, and increasing their ability to maintain that ‘sitting’ position while keeping the core upright,” Walker said.
How to crawl as a lizard
In a lizard crawl, you hold your body parallel to the ground, stepping forward using your arms while twisting your torso and legs. This particular move also increases your hip mobility, while engaging your core. As you become more comfortable doing this, you can increase the difficulty by adding push-ups or working harder to keep your body very close to the ground.
“The lizard front crawl is best for building full-body strength,” Walker said. Forward lunge movements build strength and flexibility in the hips and legs, while push-ups work the core, triceps and shoulders.
How to Take a Platypus Walk
To do a platypus walk, squat down at a 90-degree angle with your toes pointing outward, then step forward and back. This move is exceptionally good for developing lower body strength and mobility.
“The glutes, quads, and hamstrings are all tightly contracted from start to finish as you work through these movement patterns,” Walker said.
How to move like a caterpillar
To do the crawl, you will assume a plank position. Bring your hands forward, then bring your legs forward toward your hands, keeping them straight the entire time, then repeat the movement.
As you hinge your hips forward at the torso without rounding your back and keeping a “neutral” spine, the inchworm crawl focuses on stretching the hamstrings and improving your flexibility, Walker said.
How to Do an Alligator Crawl
To do the alligator crawl, assume a plank position and crawl forward using opposite legs and arms, doing a push-up with each stroke. As Walker notes, this challenging movement impacts “the mobility of how your chest, shoulders, core, and hip flexors work together.”