The Alligator Crawl Bodyweight Exercise For Core Strength

Strengthen and Shape-up Your Mid-section and Sculpt Your Arms and Shoulders with this Fun Bodyweight Exercise That Will Have Your Neighbors Scratching Their Heads

alligator crawl exercise
You can’t see it’s teeth, but it’s an alligator all right.

Do you like having fun while you exercise? No? Then this one is probably not for you. Go back to your boring routine of endless sets and reps and forget about this animal-like nonsense. And while you’re reppin’ it out (hey, nothing wrong with that!), we’ll be over here reaping the conditioning benefits of the alligator crawl exercise – an unconventional and FUN core strengthening drill. We might even crack a little alligator smile while we’re yukking it up.

The alligator crawl is a bodyweight exercise that is a hybrid between the pushup, the plank, and crawling, which results in a great whole body, and especially core strength, challenge. Now, some of you may know that I’ve been accused of making up exercises. No joke. And I’m guilty as charged. I make up new exercises all the time! But I didn’t make this one up. Honest. I learned this little movement from Steve Cotter at a seminar back in 2006, and I’ve enjoyed using it in my routine once in awhile ever since. A couple of my clients go bonkers over this one, too. So, yes, the alligator crawl is a legitimate unconventional exercise that is accepted by a fringe minority that’s out there somewhere. It’s true.

And it’s got some unique training benefits, too. Oh, did I mention it’s kinda fun? Check it out.

Key Points

  • Maintain a lengthened spine and a mostly-flat body
  • Alternate the crawling with opposing limbs
  • Keep your shoulders stabilized on your torso
  • Keep your elbows in tight to your ribs
  • Press into the floor through your hands, and “walk” with your feet/ankles (not with knees or hips)
  • Exhale forcefully through your mouth during effort – with each and every “step”
  • Tighten your core with each exhale
  • When finished, give your best alligator growl (if alone at home)

Now, if the alligator crawl is a little too challenging for you, and you’re the type of person who likes to do things right (i.e., you’d like to work up to it safely and effectively), then I’d recommend mastering the pushup and plank exercises first, which you can learn more about at the links below…

How to do Pushups with Optimal Technique for Better Results and Less Injuries

The Right Way to do the Plank Exercise

And again, my recommendation is to work up to performing at least 20 pushups with excellent technique – 30-50 would be ideal – before working on the alligator crawl. Also, working up to holding a plank for at least 3 minutes would be a great idea, too, (or join the 5 minute plank challenge for core strength, stability, and rock-hard abs).

And by the way, if you liked this one, then you’ll probably also like the Ballistic Plank Exercise For Rock-Hard Abs.

Final Words

So, now you know how to assume the form of an alligator at a moment’s notice. Try adding this into your strength and conditioning workouts before some pushups or in lieu of a plank. Your body will get much stronger as a result. And you might even have a little fun.

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