Russian Kettlebell Bear Crawls for Six Pack Abs and Lean Muscle
Posted Oct 07 2008 6:33pm
When I was in Thai Boxing we didn't use kettlebells to build strength and conditioning. Instead we did endless body weight drills to build core strength and physical toughness. Now that I am more focused on strength I still use body weight drills, but I also use kettlebells and weights. The kettlebell bear crawl is a combination of a body weight drill with kettlebells added to the mix.
There are a ton of exercises you can do with one or two kettlebells to burn fat and build muscle but the kettlebell bear crawl is one I bet you have never tried or seen before! Walking on all fours like a bear or a crab is a great workout not just for upper body strength but will also give you a surprisingly tough core workout too. I did a session of hand walking at boot camp in the summer and my abs were amazingly sore for 2-3 days. This is because hand walking requires your ab muscles to stabilize the body but also to contract and expand in order to allow your body to move. If you haven't done hand walking yet then you just have to try it. Once you have given it a go you will never wonder why gymnasts are so toned!
Now, if you are crazy like me then a tough exercise is never tough enough. To spice up your bear walks, why not just add a whole lot of weight to it? Bear walking with kettlebells may be the hardest and most humbling exercise you ever try. Simple get down on all fours, grab a kettlebell in each hand, then start trying to make forward progress. If you collapse or fall over that is natural and you may need more work bear walking without a load. If you can move forward but it is really difficult, simply push with your legs and slide the kettlebells along the ground.
Sounds fun eh? As you become stronger and more coordinated, really try to walk with the kettlebells, getting them up off the ground with each step. To make it harder you can always increase the weight of your kettlebells, but try walking backwards or sideways first to get the most out of the movement with the weight you have. Kettlebell bear walks will build upper body pushing and pulling strength, shoulder girdle health, will strengthen the core muscles, and even work the legs. Don't believe me? Give them a good run next workout and tell me where it hurts. I am guessing everywhere!