If you’re looking for an endurance exercise to further tone your core and improve abdominal muscle control as well as muscle stability, then look no further than the seal walk.
While this might not provide much benefit for seasoned athletes, it is a great starting point for beginners!
Named for the Way It Looks
The seal walk exercise is called that because it involves moving the body in a manner that resembles the way in which seals walk. Pretty self-explanatory, right? But there’s a lot more to this exercise than meets the eye.
Despite using the same ready position as the standard pushup, this exercise is not a pushup at all. Instead, it is a core-focused endurance exercise aimed at improving abdominal muscle control.
The Seal Walk’s History
It’s hard to tell exactly when an individual exercise evolves, but this one definitely came out of the fusion of pushup exercises and planks. Fitness gurus all have their own opinions on when the first seal walk was done, but estimates place it at within the past decade or two.
Improved Core Strength and Control
The purpose of the seal walk is similar to that of the plank; however, the seal walk is also intended to improve control over the stabilizer muscles in the abdominal region. These are the muscles that prevent you from twitching or crumbling during heavyweight deadlifts and squats.
The Second Simplest Exercise There Is
Second only to the plank, the seal walk is the least complex core exercise with any sort of commercial popularity today. This exercise takes little to no preparation, can be done anywhere with a large enough space (even a hallway or living room), and works wonders for core control.
It helps to wear socks but no shoes while doing this exercise. This will help ensure that your legs can slide as easily as necessary in order for your core to be able to do what it needs to do for this exercise to work properly. Some people will use little slider pads under their feet for even more mobility.
Next, while keeping your arms extended and your legs fixed in position, move one arm forward at a time, as if you were crawling with your hands outstretched. Drag your feet along the ground and make sure not to cheat by accidentally activating tricep or leg muscles or you’ll ruin your workout.
Variations of the Same Exercise
The most common variation of the seal walk is the backward seal walk. Once you’ve reached the end of your available seal walking space, instead of turning around and continuing a forward crawl, move backward.
This engages more of the core and targets subtly different parts, with a slightly increased emphasis on the lower abdominals.
The seal walk exercise is a great way to build control and improve the strength of your stabilizer muscles while simultaneously scuffing up the entirety of the gym’s floor with your shoes. But forget about the floor, focus on your muscles, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your dream body!