Try This Crawling Workout to Build Core Strength and Endurance

Get on all fours and get stronger with this crawl-based workout.

Seeking a change of pace from doing conventional weight training exercises during summer offseason workouts?

This article provides refreshing and challenging exercises done on all fours. The crawling movements not only test upper- and lower-body strength and core stability, but when combined with multidirectional Sprints, Planks or superset with Squat Thrusts or with walking alternated Staggered Push-Ups, for example, they also provide additional sports performance-enhancing components such as speed, agility, power, size and endurance.

Bonus: The combo exercises require minimal equipment and are also ideally suited for upcoming fall sports for quickly arising from a prone, seated or supine position to either defend an opponent or get back on offense.


  • Timer (optional)
  • Four cones (or other markers)
  • Tape measure
  • Water bottle


  • Perform a lower- and upper-body dynamic warm-up (e.g., Side Lunges with Arm Circles).
  • Finish with cooldown full-body stretches optimizing range of motion and flexibility.
  • Hydrate before, during and after workouts.
  • Vary the exercise sequence per each workout for diversity.
  • Do the exercises on non-consecutive days for adequate recovery.
  • Perform one set of each exercise combination.
  • Rest: 60 seconds between each exercise combo.
  • Choose four of the six combo movements per workout (or all six for an advanced training session!) Be forewarned: The crawling and sprinting exercises will maximally tax your shoulders, arms, legs, hips and core!


Exercise Combos

Lateral Crawls/Cariocas

Cone arrangement: Two cones in front of each other 10 yards apart.

  • Assume a Push-Up position at the side of cone 1 and walk with your hands and feet laterally right for 10 reps, then 10 reps laterally left to start position to enhance muscle endurance and strength.
  • Immediately do cariocas to cone 2 and cariocas to start position (terrific for improving agility).

Forward and Reverse Crab Crawls/Multidirectional Sprints

Cone arrangement: Four cones in a zig/zag format 5 yards apart.

  • Assume a seated position with your hands pointed in opposite directions at your sides by cone 1.
  • Raise your hips and walk forward and diagonally with your hands and feet toward cone 2, and do backward Crab Crawls to cone 1.
  • Immediately rise and do the multidirectional Sprint to cones 2, 3 and 4.
  • Sit and do backward Crab Crawls to Cone 3.
  • Quickly rise and diagonally back pedal to cones 2 and 1.

Inchworms/Staggered Push-Ups

Cone arrangement: Two cones 5 yards apart in front of each other.

  • Assume a Push-Up position at cone 1. Drag your feet toward your hands as close as possible.
  • Walk your hands forward again to Push-Up position.
  • Continue walking the feet toward the hands, then start position, and progressing to cone 2.
  • Turn around and do a Staggered Push-Up with the left hand spaced at shoulder level and the right hand slightly in front of your head.
  • Continue advancing back toward cone 2 next performing a Push-Up with the right hand at shoulder level and left hand in front of your head—and alternately changing hand positions during each Push-Up until reaching cone 2.

An excellent combination for boosting upper and lower body flexibility (Inchworms) and upper-body and core strength and size (Staggered Push-Ups).

Forward and Reverse Army Crawls/Prone Planks

Cone arrangement: Two cones 5 yards apart in front of each other.

  • Assume a Prone Plank position by cone 1 (resting on your forearms; keeping the abdominal and hip muscles tight and off the ground; your back is straight and your feet and toes are close together).
  • Begin the Army Crawl using your forearms and toes toward cone 2, and then crawl backward to cone 1.
  • Immediately hold a Prone Plank position for 30-60 seconds for a thorough core-strengthening combination.

Forward and Reverse Bear Crawls/Forward and Reverse Sprints

Cone arrangement: Cones 1 and 2 are 10 yards apart in front of each other and cone 3 is 20 yards in front of cone 2. This exhausting combo promotes both upper and lower body muscle endurance and speed and agility.

  • Keep your hips high throughout while starting at cone 1 with one leg forward and one hand forward and continue alternating your hands and feet while crawling to cone 2.
  • Without resting, reverse the crawl pattern back to cone 1.
  • Immediately sprint to cone 2, backpedal to cone 1, forward sprint to cone 3, and back pedal to cone 1.

Squat Thrusts/Lateral Crawls

Cone arrangement: Two cones 5 yards in front of each other.

  • Assume a Push-Up position alongside cone 1.
  • Do 12 Squat Thrusts (explosively driving both legs back and forth towards the arms).
  • Immediately follow laterally walking your feet and hands toward cone 2 and then back to cone 1.

Squat Thrusts are lower-body power and size-builders, and Lateral Crawls build muscle endurance.