Tip: The Bear-Crab Complex

Two great mobility drills combined into a fast, effective warm-up.

A great way to warm up if you're short on time is to string two great mobility exercises together, like the bear and the crab.

The Bear

The bear position is simply on all fours with your chest facing the ground. From there you can do "bird dogs." Simply lift opposite arms and legs until parallel to the ground, switching every few seconds. This is phenomenally good for activating the glutes and shoulders.

The Crab

The crab position is also on all fours, but this time with your chest facing up to the ceiling – a great way to work on shoulder extension. Here you can throw in a movement where your hand touches the opposite toe. Now your shoulders and core are really going to be ready for your workout.

Combine these two exercises together and you've got a great, full body, quick and efficient warm-up!

Here's How to Do It

  1. Set up in a downwards, all-fours position with your knees under your hips. This is the bear portion.
  2. Reach your opposite hand and leg away from each other as far as you can. Keep your pelvis tucked and abs tight.
  3. Hold for a few seconds, then place a hand and a knee back on the floor.
  4. Lift one hand and leg up on the same side and rotate yourself until both hands are on the floor behind you – the crab position.
  5. Extend your hips up as far as you can until you feel a nice stretch at the front of your shoulders.
  6. Try to touch your opposite hand and foot together with minimal movement from the rest of your body.
  7. Rotate back on the other shoulder until you're in the bear position again.
  8. Repeat for 5-10 minutes, switching sides as you go.

For an extra challenge, add extra reps in each position.

Tom Morrison is a British weightlifting coach, martial artist, and CrossFit trainer and competitor. Tom works with athletes on prerequisite movement capabilities for optimal strength, performance, and reduced risk of injury.  Follow Tom Morrison on Facebook