3 Levels of the Lizard Crawl Exercise

The Value of Progressions and How to Master the Lizard Crawl

The Lizard Crawl is a challenging animal walk exercise that requires full body effort and coordination to execute. Here Mark Smith discusses three different levels of the exercise and how to master them.

I have long been a fan of animal walks as part of my training.  I remember doing bear crawls while on my high school wrestling team.  Later when I took jiu-jitsu we did several different kinds of animal walks. Over the years crawling, locomotion, animal walks, ground based movement whatever you want to call it, has become an integral part of my teaching methodology.



I first saw the “Lizard Crawl” on an Ido Portal video about 4 years ago. My first reaction was, “Yes, that is brilliant; look at all that is going on with this pattern.” So of course I began to practice the move. All I had to work with though was a video of a finished product demonstrated by a true master.  I tried to mimic and duplicate what I had seen, but it was not going well.  Eventually through sheer stubborn determination and after about a year I got it.

However this is not the most efficient way to learn.  By using progressions we can achieve difficult skill sets much quicker.  After taking a workshop with Ido Portal I realized that had I known Lizard Crawl level one and two before learning three then it would not have been so tough to learn.  Alas sometimes you must learn the hard way.  The good news is I already learned the hard way so you don’t have to.

Progressions are super important for learning and retaining new skills.  They lay a firm foundation from which you can continually build upon.  Keeping our Lizard Crawls as an example, the third and most difficult variation looks super awesome.  I like to bust that move out when explaining movement.  It is flashy, eye catching and undeniably sexy.  But because I have laid a foundation, first by getting the pattern and rhythm right I can incorporate the move into many patterns or flows.  I can make new variations of the move, play with and get creative.  You can too, and faster than it took me to get to where I am because I have laid out the progressions for you in the three short videos below.

Just as progressions are important taking you from one step to the next, regressions are very critical to learning also.  Regressions are when you go back a few steps to refresh the brain on what it is supposed to be learning.  If you have been nailing Lizard Crawl level two and then find when you try lizard three that you are not really getting it, you may want to revisit lizard two for a while.   The best way to learn a new skill is to follow the steps and just keep practicing, find what cues work for you and go after it.  Progressions can help you learn just about anything.  Start using them and I assure you, you will start to see some very exciting progress.

Level 1 Lizard Crawl

Level 2 Lizard Crawl

Level 3 Lizard Crawl

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