By Aparna Mele
Core-crunching tips from our favorite reptile!
Perhaps it isn’t a coincidence that I am kicking off my summer with a trip to Florida when I chose to write this, but I was inspired to up my fitness game when I was observing the American crocodile stealth across the ground. When noting the best features of a crocodile, their impressive core strength would probably not make your top five list. But, behind those terrifying teeth and sharp claws is a muscle-bound mid-section that is the envy of fitness fiends!
Turns out, trying to emulate the crocodile’s walk is an excellent way to strengthen your core, using your body weight as resistance. The movement can also be taxing on the arms and shoulders. The crocodile walk is a combination of push-ups, plank, and crawling, so it targets multiple muscle groups at once.
How To Do It:
Start in a push-up position with your hands on the floor, arms shoulder-width apart, and the elbows bent. The feet should be stretched out behind the body, with the toes against the floor, and these should also be shoulder width apart as well. Lower yourself down until your torso is low to the ground, keeping your back as straight as possible and bracing your core and glutes to ensure your spine alignment and posture is correct. Begin walking by bringing one knee up towards the elbow, simultaneously moving the opposite arm forward. Then repeat on the other side.
The croc crawl may seem like a simple exercise, but in fact it is extremely intense and surprisingly difficult, so start with short distances and aim to keep going slowly in 30 second intervals. Keep the movement slow and controlled for maximal benefit. Once you master it, add it to your circuit training for a total body experience that will improve your endurance, and build strength in your core, arms, legs, and shoulders.
Food For Thought
Australian freshwater crocodiles can hit a speed of11 mph on land so get your inner reptile on and shoot for this goal!