How to Do a Military Crawl

Man crawling through tunnel in obstacle course

In a combat situation, the so-called "military crawl" can be a life-saving maneuver, since staying as close to the ground as possible gives you the lowest chance of getting hit by a stray bullet. In the world of fitness, meanwhile, the military crawl is more like a muscle-busting maneuver. According to trainers at FitCrawl, doing horizontal exercises such as these can work the neck, arms, back, waist, shoulders, pelvis and legs. The basic steps are quite simple, but as you'll soon find out, the workout requires lots of energy to complete.

Lie down flat on the ground with your head to one side.

Bring one leg up near the side of the torso, attempting to touch elbow to knee. Meanwhile, move the arm on the other side of the body up above your head and bend it at 90 degrees above your head.

Place your weight on the bent arm and the bent leg, pushing your body forward with the bent leg's foot until your leg is straight and your forward arm comes into contact with your body. Engage the muscles of your core -- your abdominals and obliques -- to further aid the motion of your arm and leg.

Repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

Set a goal of crawling for several minutes, or set a destination point as a stopping point.


In "Seventeen" magazine, trainer Ashley Borden recommends trying a variation of the crawl by lying on the ground, propping yourself onto your forearms and placing a foam roller under the thighs. Use your arms to crawl forward until the foam roller is just under the knees, then crawl backward until the roller is once again under the thighs. Repeat the entire motion five times.