Before I get into what alligator walks are, time for a little rant.
Any of my clients and anybody who knows my style of training knows exactly what I think of endless crunches and sit-ups. They suck.
Many people, mislead by fitness magazines and marketing charlatans think that doing 1000 sit ups every day will give them a rock hard, rippling set of abs.
In all honesty, the only thing that 1000 sit-ups a day will give you is a hunchback from the repeated spinal flexion.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against crunches when they’re performed with good technique as part of a structured, balanced programme. Hell, I even do them sometimes.
They can be useful if you use them as a supplement, not as a replacement, to a solid training programme.
No, crunches don’t burn fat. No, they won’t make abs appear from under 46% body fat. No, you don’t have to train them everyday.
Yes, there are tonnes of more effective exercises you can do instead.
If you have a flabby belly and want your abs to show, the most effective thing you can start doing right now is lifting weights! Not sit-ups.. weights!
Anyway, rant over.. I’ve needed to get that out of my system for a while.
Now if I’m gonna tear down crunches, I might aswell offer you a solution.
Instead of boring, repetitive movements like crunches, I like doing dynamic core training that builds a solid midsection and challenges you in ways that a normal sit-up never will.
I play a lot of sports so dynamic core training is very important, and I’m always looking for new exercises. One I stumbled upon the other day is the alligator walk.
Now you might be thinking ‘wtf is that?!’. It looks kind of stupid right? Trust me, it’s a lot more serious than it looks.
This exercise is amazing for the anterior core (the abs) and shoulder stability. Your body has to fight to keep your core straight and if you’re doing them right you’ll feel your abs working overtime.
My arms were super pumped too and I could barely keep walking at times. It’s a whole body movement pretty much.
To do this movement:
1. Keep your glutes and abs squeezed tight the whole way through
2. Keep your feet together and body in a straight line
Crawl for as many laps as you can.
To do these, you’ll need to buy furniture sliders. They’re very cheap and you can get them here.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu guys know full well the value of animal crawls in promoting core strength, mobility, and athleticism. Despite looking silly, they are amazing exercises to throw in your training routine from time to time.
If I had the choice between doing this type of core training and boring sit-ups, I’d do these any day of the week. So maybe it’s time to switch up your training and do something you don’t usually do.
Alligator walks > crunches