Exercises Every Circus Artist/Athlete Should Do: Bear Crawls

In case you missed it on Instagram…before I accidentally deleted it, here’s another installment of “Exercises Every Circus Artist/Athlete Should Do”.


In fact, I would like to add sideways crawls to the mix:

And this is, of course, just one piece of the larger puzzle that is your whole-body strength and conditioning plan. Circus arts require a foundation of whole-body, general strength upon which to build the specific-strength needed for all of the cool tricks and skills you want to do.

Need some help figuring out just what to do? Drop me a line. (Do people even say that anymore? Am I dating myself?) I’d be more than happy to help you with some ideas.Or maybe you’d like me to do the thinking for you so that you can just get down to the business of getting stronger…well, we have things for that, too.

3 thoughts on “Exercises Every Circus Artist/Athlete Should Do: Bear Crawls”

  1. Are bear crawls generally safe for an EDS circus artist? My elbows and knees like to go south so I tend to sit this out and do planks out of fear those joints will go out too much.

    1. As a general question, the answer is “it depends” (as it is with so many other questions). But, in the name of being more helpful, here’s my suggestion:
      Start here — https://youtu.be/YDvHig5W4hI
      Use your breath (specifically the exhale) to really engage your core (and everything else: shoulders, arms, hands, hips, knees, ankles, toes)
      When you feel super solid holding this position for 5-10 full breaths…
      Try this — https://youtu.be/2f_eQ0-sr1g
      But go really slowly with this one. Your hips and back Must. Not. Move. Imagine balancing a hot cup of your favorite hot beverage on there (note I said *imagine*…don’t do it for real, of course)…but no spillage.
      Really *feel* all of the muscles that need to engage doing their thing–it very often takes way more engagement than you think.
      You’ve inspired me to write this progression into a post.
      Hope this helps.
      More on this soon…

      1. Thank you! I did attempt some baby bear crawls yesterday. Holding the position seemed okay. I couldn’t do the full down and back at my gym. It seems my knees and elbows are a bit more stable since the last time I tried. However, I stopped early because of my wrists and ankles. They need a bit more of the isometric training to stay stable for this one.