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3 Unique Bodyweight Strength Drills For Optimal Function

3 Unique Bodyweight Strength Drills For Optimal Function

  1. Do you currently leverage bodyweight strength training to get the most out of your workouts? 
  2. Are you interested in learning some unique bodyweight strength drills to enhance your shoulder strength and mobility? 
  3. Are you looking for some unique bodyweight strength drills to challenge your body in a different way? 
  4. Are you interested in some bodyweight strength drills that will prime your body for movement and keep you resistant to injury? 

Bodyweight strength is a great way for you to train for a number of reasons. If you’re low on equipment, time, or simply need to challenge your coordination and strength then bodyweight strength can be leveraged to help you to do just that. Today I want to introduce three bodyweight strength drills to enhance your shoulder mobility and stability while challenging you to move in ways you might not be used to experiencing.

Bodyweight Strength Drills For Function 

When it comes to bodyweight strength traditional push ups, pull ups, and burpees definitely serve their purpose. However I also believe that there are times that we should slow down and work on fine tuning our movement with some very different strength drills to optimize our mobility and stability.

In order to accomplish this you need to be be able to learn to move through different planes of motion and to move with specific intention and purpose. The following bodyweight strength drills I’m including here for you will help you to accomplish just that.

Sit Through 


The sit through is a tremendous bodyweight strength drill for you to enhance your shoulder stability and mobility once you have gotten proficient at performing standard push ups.  Sure this might look like a new breakdancing move, but this particular drill is tremendous for challenging your coordination, focus, and athletic skill.

For this drill you want to move parallel to the frontal plane of motion (side to side). Make sure that you study this drill carefully and begin the drill by sitting on the ground with your front leg extended out to the side of your torso on the ground and the other leg bent with the foot flat on the ground.

From here your grounded hand is firmly planted into the ground with that arm locked and loaded in preparation for helping you to transition your weight off that arm and onto the opposite arm. Your shoulders will serve as a huge pivot point as your body moves back and forth during the transition.


Perform 3 sets of 4 to 8 reps on each side during your bodyweight strength session.

Hindu Push Up


The hindu push up is a great drill to open your shoulders and to stretch out your posterior muscles including your calves, hamstrings, and lats. To me this is the next great evolution of the standard push up. By including these into your strength program you’re doing your shoulder girdle and lats a huge service as this drill will also assist you in being able to perform other overhead pressing movements with greater ease and efficiency.

To perform this drill get into a standard push up position. From here kick your hips to the sky bringing yourself into the downward dog yoga pose. From here simply dive with your head and chest towards the ground and perform a swooping motion as if you’re diving underneath a fence post. Once you’ve done this simply kick your hips back up to the sky and repeat the process for the designated number of reps.


Perform 3 to 5 sets of 6 to 10 reps on your bodyweight strength days.

Strict Bear Crawls


Strict bear crawls are a lot more challenging than they appear. This drill is great for training you to brace and control your body while having to coordinate a very purposeful movement. It’s also great for shoulder activation.

Begin this drill by first getting into the proper crawl position. This is done by making sure that your hands are in line directly below your armpits and that your knees are in line below your hips.

As you crawl offset your hand and knee motion by moving forward the right hand and left knee and then the left hand and right knee. I’ve found that many people struggle with grasping this pattern even though it’s a very natural movement.

Once you are progressing in the strict bear crawl and keeping all of this in mind you then need to continue all of that while also keeping your spine in a neutral and level position. I cue my students to do this by imagining that they are performing the movement while trying to balance a glass of water on their back.


Perform 3 to 5 sets of strict crawls for 15 to 20 strides counting on each limb.

Bodyweight Strength Drills: The Takeaway

Remember that you can leverage your bodyweight strength to obtain some great strength gains. I would recommend starting to work these in on a regular basis particularly if you’re proficient with performing standard push ups. These bodyweight strength drills will optimize your function and strengthen your shoulders for mobility.

Are you currently using these drills in your bodyweight strength training? 

How many days a week do you train with bodyweight movements? 

Post up in the comments below and share. 




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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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