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How To Do Bear Squats With Perfect Form

Published January 12, 2018
KC Clements

Written By: KC Clements, MS

KC holds a Master of Arts in Gender Politics from New York University

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<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Elisa Silva" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Beginner_BEAR_SQUAT.jpg" } }, "headline":"How To Do Bear Squats With Perfect Form", "datePublished":"2018-01-12", "dateModified": "2019-10-30", "description":"Learn How To Do Bear Squats With Perfect Form.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Beginner_BEAR_SQUAT.jpg" } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">Instructions</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Things to Keep in Mind</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">Conclusion</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>The squat is a versatile lower body movement that has many different variations and important applications in your fitness routine. You’re likely familiar with the classic body squat, but here we’re going to discuss a beginner-level exercise that uses the dipping motion of the squat in a slightly different way: the bear squat.</p> <p>The bear squat is a move where you begin in a downward dog position, then dip your knees down to the ground and press them back up. This move is going to strengthen your quad muscles and improve the functioning of your knees. When performed correctly, it will also force you to work the muscles that are responsible for helping you maintain your posture.</p> <p>If this move is a little too challenging for you, there are two modifications that will make it a bit easier. First, you can reduce the range of motion of your knees during the exercise by opting to stop the movement before you feel any pain or discomfort. Second, you can place your hands on a chair rather than on the floor and perform the movement the exact same way. This will ease some of the strain on your upper body and make the exercise a little bit more accessible.</p> <p>Once you’ve mastered the bear squat, you’ll be able to try out an intermediate version of this move: the alternating curtsy lunge. For that exercise, you’ll stand upright and perform a lunge movement behind and across your body— similar to how you would do a curtsy.</p> <p>For folks who have reached an advanced level, the dragon twist is the next variation you’ll be ready to test out. The dragon twist is similar to the alternating curtsy lunge, but with an added rotation of your upper body, to make it even more challenging.</p> <p>To get started, let’s learn how to execute the bear squat with perfect form:</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section1"> <h2>Instructions</h2> <ol> <li>Start in a downward dog position, with your hands and toes pressed into the ground and your butt pointed upward.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-1.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-1.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-1.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-LR-1.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="bear-squats-1"> </picture> <li>Bend your knees and slowly dip them down in the same direction as your toes until they’re as close to the ground as possible while maintaining alignment in your upper body.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-2.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-2.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-2.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-LR-2.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="bear-squats-2"> </picture> <li>Press your knees back up to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement until you’ve reached the desired number of repetitions.</li> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section2"> <h2>Things to keep in mind</h2> <ul> <li>Make sure that your hands are locked in place and that the pits of your elbows are facing forward. It should look something like this:</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-3.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-3.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-3.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-LR-3.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="bear-squats-3"> </picture> <li>If the exercise is causing you knee pain or discomfort, reduce your range of motion and take it slow. You don’t need to dip your knees fully to the ground to see benefits from this exercise, so only go as far down as is comfortable for you. Form is much more important than speed, so don’t be afraid to perform the movement slowly.</li> <li>Keep your upper body, from your hands to your shoulders and through your tailbone, as aligned as you can throughout the movement. For maximum results, your upper body should be kept active., Reset and get your torso back in alignment if you feel like it’s sagging or too relaxed during the movement. This is going to ensure you’re building strength as well as flexibility from the exercise.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-4.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-4.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-4.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/bear-squats-LR-4.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="bear-squats-4"> </picture> <li>Really press into your shoulders by keeping your hands pushed up and back, extending your arms all the way up. If you’re performing the move correctly, you will feel those shoulder muscles firing.. Not only is this going to help you maintain proper form, but it’s also going to give your posture muscles a nice workout, too.</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section3"> <h2>Conclusion:</h2> <p>The bear squat is a simple and effective exercise that will help you strengthen your quads, boost the functioning of your knees, and work your posture muscles. Perform the move exactly as we’ve outlined here to be sure you’re getting the maximum benefit from this exercise.</p> <p>Again, if the bear squat proves to be too challenging at first, you can modify it by reducing the range of motion in your knees or by placing your hands on a chair rather than on the floor.</p> <p>Mastering the bear squat will set you up to move on to the alternating curtsy lunge, a slightly more challenging lunge exercise, which will an incredible workout for your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. When you’re ready to take it to the advanced level, you can try out the dragon twist, a variation on the curtsy lunge with an added twisting motion in the torso.</p> <p>You’ve got all the information you need to perform the bear squat effectively and with great form, so try adding a few sets of bear squats into your next workout.</p> <p>If this exercise is too easy, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-alternating-curtsy-lunge/">Alternating Curtsy Lunges</a>.</p> </section> </article>

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