Dumbbell Crawling - An INSANELY
EFFECTIVE Abdominal Exercise That Will Leave You Crawling On
The Floor... Literally!
By Nick Nilsson
I have to say, this is one of THE strangest
abdominal exercises you'll ever see...but also one of THE most
You're not going to be doing any crunching or twisting or squeezing.
There are no machines involved...no need to even focus on contracting
the core muscles.
Because once you start doing this exercise, your body will have NO
CHOICE but to fire the abs HARD in order to do it!
For this exercise, all you need is a pair of dumbells and a floor.
The dumbells should be a moderate weight - something you'd use for sets
of 5 reps on dumbell curls, perhaps. In the demo, I'm using 65 lb
dumbells and those were a good weight for me.
This exercise is going to teach you what core strength and stability are
REALLY all about! First, I'm going to explain how to do it, then I'll
give you the full rundown on why it's so good.
How To Do It:
You'll need some open floor space for this exercise - preferably where
you have about 10 to 15 feet of unobstructed space to move. Set the
dumbells on the floor then get down in what looks like the top of a
close-grip push-up position.
Your hands will be on the handles of the dumbells and you'll be up on
your toes (not kneeling). Try to visualize the "start" position that
sprinters are in when they're about to take off out of the blocks - THIS
is what the position looks like.
Now you're going to CRAWL forward in that
position...move the LEFT dumbell forward a few inches and step your
RIGHT foot forward a few inches. It's definitely easier to "get" this
one when you see it done on video (which, of course, I'll be posting a
link to at the end of the article).
Basically, you're going to be crawling on the floor with your hands
weighted by the dumbells. Crawl forward about 10 feet like this then
stop and crawl BACKWARDS!
Sounds easy? Think
1 - Here's the start position - you've got the dumbells on
the floor and you're in what looks almost like a sprinters
2 - Now you move one dumbell forward and step your opposite
foot forward. The first time you do it, it'll take a little
getting used to.
3 - Now step the other
dumbell forward and the other foot forward
4 - Keep going.
5 & 6 - When you go
forward about 10 feet or so, stop then start moving yourself
backward. This is actually a lot tougher than going forward!
Go forward and backward until you can't hold yourself up or
can't move the dumbells anymore.
Why This Exercise Is So Effective:
Dumbell crawling is a VERY effective core exercise because
of the uneven tension you get through your core with every
step forward you take.
Think of it this way...when you're lifting up your left hand
(with the dumbell) and the right foot, what is supporting
your body? The support is coming from your OTHER hand and
foot. Your core is, in an instant, going from 4-point
support to 2-point support and all the tension is going
diagonally through your core. It doesn't seem like much when
you're crawling without weight, but add a dumbell to the
mix? You'll be singing a different tune...
In addition, while crawling, you're also supporting your
bodyweight in a pike position, working the entire abdominal
area isometrically (which means without movement - just
acting to stabilize and brace your body position). It's a
two-pronged attack on your core that will pay off BIG.
One of the great things about this exercise is that the
strength you develop is EXTREMELY functional. Forget
standing on a BOSU ball on one leg and catching a
beanbag...THIS exercise will build functional power through
The diagonal tension of crawling exactly mimics the natural
diagonal tension that goes through the core when walking,
running and jumping. Think of it as "force transfer"
strength, meaning you'll be better able to transfer force
through your core when moving (i.e. running, jumping, etc.).
Increasing strength in this very targeted way will have an
IMMEDIATE and powerful carryover to sports performance.
And when you start moving BACKWARDS...you'll be in for a
shock! It's actually quite a bit tougher moving backwards.
The co-ordination can be a bit tricky but with practice, you
should do fine.
When you're doing this exercise, start with a light to
moderate weight but don't be afraid to increase the weight
here. You may not feel it so much in the abs until you move
up in weight. THAT is where the real benefits of the
exercise will be felt.
Click here for
windows media video of this exercise
Click here for apple
QuickTime video of this exercise
If core strength and performance are important goals in your
training, DEFINITELY give this exercise a try. As strange as
it may look, it's actually EXTREMELY effective for working
the core. In a nutshell, it's going to TRASH your abs!
About Nick Nilsson
Nick Nilsson is Vice-President of the online personal training company BetterU, Inc. He has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training techniques
for more than 16 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding eBooks including “Metabolic Surge – Rapid Fat Loss,” “The Best Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of,” “Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!” and “The Best Abdominal Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of” all available at:
Click Here To Visit Nick Nilsson's Website And
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