How To Move Like A Lizard

October 6, 2015 by VAHVA Fitness

Learn how to move like a lizard. Lizard walks or lizard crawls are one of the more difficult animals walks out there, but they are achievable by anyone who follows the correct progressions. 


Lizard walks will heavily target the chest, front deltoids, triceps and core muscularity. Even the legs need to work hard on this exercise.

Lizards walks can replace the standard push ups, bench press and other horizontal press exercises, if instead of doing exercises you would like to move instead.

People easily dismiss the value of lizard walks, but a perfect lizard walk is a serious feat of strength. It is no joke to move flawlessly just barely touching the ground.

When achieved, the lizard walk is an impressive move that will build a great amount of strength and size in the entire body.

The dynamic movement will recruit significantly more motor units than a regular push up, and as a result, build more functional strength.

If you want some variety to your workouts, then lizard walks are a great choice. If you want to move instead of lifting weights or doing push ups; lizard walks will do the trick without any disadvantages. 

Lizard Walk Progressions

Watch this video to get the best understanding of what we are talking about below. 

1. Beginner lizard walk progression

lizard walk beginner step 2

The easiest variation of the lizard walk is basically a moving dynamic push up sequence. You move forward while moving up and down. 

In this progression of the lizard walk you learn how to move your legs and arms in order to move forward. You will also develop strength to do the next progressions.

2. Intermediate lizard walk progression

lizard walk advanced

This is the real lizard walk.

Your body stays continuously close to the ground and you use your arms and legs to move forward.

This can be extremely taxing depending on your bodyweight, but when achieved, it will produce great benefits in strength and size.

A properly done lizard walk will also develop a great deal of mobility in the entire body.

3. Advanced lizard walk progression

There are two ways to turn the lizard walk into a real hardcore exercise.

These variations are extremely demanding even for the strongest guys.

1. The easiest way is to use a weighted vest.

With a weighted vest, you can vary the added weight between 5-60 lbs (2.5-30kg). I haven't yet to see anyone doing lizard walks with extra 40lbs or more.

2. The hardest variation of the lizard walk is to move backwards.

Moving backwards happens to be twice as hard as moving forward.

The easier variation is to first move your legs, and then push yourself backwards with your arms. The harder variation is to move your arms and legs at the same time. Check the video for details.

Moving backwards requires more strength since you cannot use your legs to push you forward. In other words, your upper body needs to work significantly harder to make your body move backwards.

You can also add difficulty by moving faster or moving longer distances. There are no limits to this exercise.

If you master a flawless execution of the backwards lizard walk, you have built an elite level of strength. It really is an elite level exercise, make no mistake about it.

4. Chameleon Crawl

Chameleon crawl is a special kind of progression where you do a special kind of push up with just one leg and one arm touching the ground, while you are moving forward.

To really understand the cameleon walk, watch our lizard walks video on YouTube.

What if the beginner progression of the lizard walk is too hard?

There are two reasons for you not being able to perform the easiest progression: excess body fat or lack of strength. 

Most likely, if you are reasonably fit, but still cannot perform the beginner progression, you need to focus on absolute basics:

  • Complete full body training program.
  • Focus on the basic push up. If the regular push up is too difficult, then try incline push ups:

A box/table can also be utilized for this push up progression. 

Stretching For Lizard Walks

Almost everyone has the flexibility for a push up, but for many, the lower body lacks flexibility and mobility to have the capability for perfect lizard walks.

The beginner progressions and intermediate lizard walks will develop a great deal of flexibility and mobility in the entire body, but these stretches may help you develop a better lizard walk faster.

Below are some stretches to improve your lizard walk:

Sitting Gluteus Maximus Stretch

lizard walk stretch

Low Lunge Stretch for Hip Mobility

sitting front quads stretch

Pigeon Stretch for Hip Flexibility

Lizard Walk Programming And When To Do It

You can do lizard walks as a part of your normal workout. You can also do them whenever you feel like it.

One trend of the movement culture is moving always and never - it is an intuitive practice. 

Lizard Walk Workout Routine

3 to 5 sets of 5 to 10 meters. 

Take 1-3 minutes of rest between sets.

The best way to do lizard walks is to do them together with other animal walks. Other animal walks include:

  • Crab walks.
  • Bear walks.
  • Frog walks. 
  • Monkey walks.
  • Horse walks.

We will cover the other animals walks and how to incorporate them into your workouts in the near future.

Stay safe, train hard!

samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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  • Hey guys, I never knew of these exercises till I came across your site thanks for sharing.

    One video suggestion: a slower, step by step presentation of the movements. I have to pause the video and figure out how to properly position my body.

    Great fitness content keep it up.


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