SHIFT SHOP has been getting people dramatic results since its launch, promoting not only weight loss, but also strength, muscle growth and endurance, agility, and coordination. But it doesn’t come easy. Chris Downing‘s progressive three-week ramp-up program doesn’t just demand effort, it demands a complete understanding of its movements to maximize results and minimize the risk of injury.
We’ve rounded up five of SHIFT SHOP’s most difficult moves, demonstrated by Chris personally.
How to Do a Bear Crawl
Crawling on all fours isn’t just for babies (and bears). Not only is the bear crawl a strength and endurance challenge — particularly for your shoulders, chest, and triceps, which probably haven’t supported you in this position often since you were a toddler — but it also mobilizes your hips, shoulders, and ankles, improves your balance, and increases your core strength.
The bear crawl also enhances contralateral coordination, which is the synchronous movement of opposite limbs (i.e., right arm and left leg, left arm and right leg). Such movement also trains your core to work anti-rotationally to prevent excessive twisting into your spine: That’s the king of spine-saving support you need in athletic activities like running, throwing, and jumping, and in day-to-day actions like carrying heavy objects, shutting heavy doors, and climbing stairs.
In addition to the aforementioned upper-body muscles and core stabilizers, the bear crawl also fires up your glutes, quads, back extensors, and, to a lesser extent, your hamstrings and calves.
The bear crawl is easy to get wrong for fitness. Done correctly, you’ll maintain a rigid core and a flat back as you perform the exercise. But if you get too fast and loose with it, you’ll lose that stiff, stable core and get all bendy-twisty, increasing the strain on your spine instead of minimizing it. The video below will show you how to do a bear crawl with ideal form