The Sprawl exercise, also known as the urban sprawl, is a workout that mimics the technique of a standard burpee and targets the same musculature. However, the main difference between the two exercises is that when executing a sprawl, you advance from a standing position and assume a high plank position, then you stand back up again.
This exercise was initially used as a defensive move to protect the lower body. The sprawl exercise trains the entire body and needs effort from your entire body. Therefore, the sprawl exercise is challenging and requires endurance, flexibility, and strength-surely, not a drill for the weak-hearted.
Also known as Urban Sprawl
Muscles targeted: Abdominals, Hips, Glutes, Hamstrings
Required equipment: Exercise Mat
Exercise Type: Strength/Agility/Calisthenics
Exercise Mechanics: Compound
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
- Assume a stance slightly wider than your hip width.
- Point your feet outwards a bit.
- Lower your body to assume a squatting position such that your feet are aligned with the ground. Ensure that your knees align with your toes and keep your back neutral.
- Place your hands between your feet on the exercise mat. Ensure you keep your spine neutral.
- With both your feet, jump backward such that your legs are entirely extended behind your body, landing on the balls of your feet.
- Ensure your body is straight from your head to your heels.
- With both your feet, jump forward and ensure you maintain the initial stance width. Be sure to point your feet out slightly.
- Remove your hands from the exercise mat and lift your torso slightly to resume the starting position.
- That’s a complete rep! Keep going.
- Repeat until you achieve the recommended sets of reps.
- To get the most benefits from incorporating sprawls into your routine, ensure you execute each rep as explosively as you can to increase your power and speed.
- To ensure you’re executing the move correctly, create a hip extension by squeezing your glutes instead of arching your back.
- When shifting from a squat to a push-up, ensure you plant your palms firmly on the floor to alleviate wrist injuries.
- Before performing the sprawl exercise, be sure to do a thorough warm-up to ensure adequate blood supply to the entire body and gather massive strength to perform this drill since it is complex.
BENEFITS OF THE SPRAWL EXERCISE
The sprawl exercise has several notable fitness and wellness benefits, including:
The sprawl exercise is a perfect calorie burner. As you perform the reps, you will be extending and lengthening your muscles-you will need a lot of energy to execute this.
You will consume more oxygen while performing the sprawl exercise than standard squats and deadlifts. To attain this higher consumption, the body will burn more calories. The sprawl exercise is a vigorous calisthenics workout that will burn calories in a short time.
IMPROVE CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS
Since the sprawl exercise requires high oxygen consumption compared to other exercises, it is ideal for improving cardiovascular fitness. Your heart and lungs will work more to ensure an efficient energy supply to these muscles.
The sprawl exercise is a perfect indicator of cardiovascular fitness.
IMPROVED STRENGTH AND ANAEROBIC CAPACITY
One known benefit of the sprawl exercise is strength development. The sprawl exercise requires you to perform push-ups, a known strength training drill, and squats. High-rep squats like those achieved in the sprawl exercise have hypertrophy and strength benefits for the whole body.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE SPRAWL EXERCISE
The burpee is a compound calisthenics workout that trains the same musculature and has the same benefits as those of the sprawl exercise, making it an ideal alternative In this case.
- Assume a stance slightly wider than your hip width.
- Lower your entire body to assume a squatting position.
- Lower your hands on the exercise mat such that they are just between your feet.
- Drive your body weight in your arms and kick back your feet such that you assume a push-up position with your hands and toes.
- Ensure your body is straight from your head to your heels. Perform a push-up. Avoid the urge to sag your back or stick your glutes in the air.
- Perform a frog kick by jumping back to resume the initial posture.
- Stand and stretch your arms above your head.
- Quickly jump so that you can land back in the initial position.
- That counts as a complete rep. Keep going!
- When you land with your knees bent, resume the squat position and perform another rep.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN PERFORMING THE SPRAWL EXERCISE
To maintain the correct performing technique and avoid injuries, watch out for these mistakes:
SINKING YOUR HIPS
The sprawl exercise Is a complex drill and involves many movements; therefore, it leaves room for error. Ensure you concentrate on executing the exercise with the correct form. Keeps your hips and torso aligned in a straight line when you assume the plank position.
Fix this by tightening your glutes and core to alleviate lower back pain and injuries.
When you begin feeling fatigued, you may get the urge to skip crucial steps to make the movement manageable. Skipping steps defies the exercise goal since you will be cheating your way up.
Fix this by using the recommended intensity while performing the sprawl exercise during the entire workout session to get the most from this exercise. When you begin to tire, rest for a bit before you resume.
ENGAGE YOUR CORE
The plank phase of the sprawl exercise is pivotal to ensuring the abdominals are stimulated and worked to their utmost potential. Ensure your delts are parallel to your wrists, engage your core and keep your back straight to train your muscles to their maximum potential and alleviate injury risks.
The sprawl exercise is laborious. Therefore, it is crucial to master the steps before attempting them to ensure a safe workout. Once you master the technique, you can include the sprawl exercise in your routine to advance your fitness level.
This exercise requires a lot of effort and demand, but it guarantees health and fitness benefits that will help you attain your goals.
Sweat a storm!