What is sprawls?

Wondering what is sprawls and why should you include them in your workouts?

Sprawls is a term borrowed from martial arts, particularly from the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Traditionally sprawl meaning refers to a defensive technique that is done to stop a takedown attempt from an opponent. This is also the action that grapplers use while shadow wrestling. This sprawl meaning has also come to be used in callisthenics exercises. 

Sprawls are a powerful and dynamic full-body exercise that activates muscles in your upper and lower body both.

How to do sprawls exercise?

Now that you know what is sprawls definition, it is time to know how to do sprawl exercise. Just like any other exercise, it is essential to know the proper form of the sprawls workout. This is important not just for using your full body potential, but also to achieve your objectives and do the workout safely. 

Here is a detailed step-by-step explanation of sprawls:

  1. To begin the exercise, stand upright. Your feet must be shoulder-width apart with the knees and hips slightly bent.
  1. Keep your weight placed on the balls of your feet. 
  1. Place your hands on the floor next to your feet and powerfully kick backwards the moment your hands touch the floor.
  1. Get into the high plank position keeping your shoulders, knees, and hips straight aligned. 
  1. Jump explosively so that your feet leave the ground. Remember to keep your body completely upright when jumping. 
  1. Return to the starting position.

Sets and reps of sprawls: You can start by doing 3-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Build up the practice gradually.

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Which are some variations of sprawls?

There are several variations of sprawls that can make your workout easier or more challenging. This helps in making the workout safer, more interesting, and doable. 

Here are some of the most effective sprawls variations that you can try:

  1. One-handed sprawl: As the name suggests, this sprawls variation is done using one hand at a time. This is a very effective way to build a stronger core and arms. 
  1. One-legged sprawl: To do this variation, you start the same way as in the traditional sprawls exercise. But, instead of coming up with both legs, you come upon one leg at a time. What makes this variation work is that it incorporates a lunging movement in your workout.

What are the benefits of sprawls?

Sprawls is a dynamic exercise the benefits of which go much beyond just physical fitness. Doing this exercise regularly does a lot for your brain health too.

Here are some good reasons to include this exercise in your workout routine:

  1. One of the most important sprawl exercise benefits is that it is an excellent full-body workout. It works on almost all the major muscle groups of your body such as your shoulders, core, arms, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. 
  1. Since sprawls work on so many muscle groups, they not just make you stronger but also improve your endurance. This is essential for conditioning your body for more challenging exercises. 
  1. Since a sprawls exercise, just like a Pilates workout, includes powerful high-intensity movements, it gets your heart pumping. This makes your cardiovascular system stronger and prevents the risk of cardiac problems.
  1. Since sprawls is an excellent cardio workout, it helps burn calories and fat faster. This not just helps you slim down and give you a toned appearance, but also prevents obesity-related health problems.
  1. One of the most important sprawl exercise benefits is that it works your core and keeps your muscles engaged and stimulated. This provides stability and balance and enhances your functionality. 
  1. This is a great exercise to enhance your circulation, which has more benefits than you can imagine. This improves your immunity and helps you fight diseases, optimises the functioning of your lungs & heart, and makes you feel energetic. 
  1. This is a good exercise for improving your lung function and preventing respiratory disorders such as COPD and asthma.
  1. Good circulation achieved by doing sprawls regularly helps in boosting your brain function too. This helps in regulating your mood, reducing stress & anxiety, and helping you deal better with emotional triggers. In the long run, it also prevents the risk of neurodegenerative problems like dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. 
  1. One important advantage of sprawls is that you don’t need to invest in expensive fitness equipment or gym space. This is an exercise that can be done anytime anywhere, making it a great addition to your workouts at home. 

How to do sprawls safely?

To gain the benefits of sprawls workout, you need to master the correct form of this workout. Here are some things to keep in mind while doing this exercise:

  1. In case you are suffering from pain due in your legs, backs, or arms, don’t do sprawls unless you heal properly.
  1. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, don’t start doing sprawls without talking to your doctor. 
  1. Never start doing sprawls exercise on your own. Learn it from an experienced fitness trainer. This is not just essential for correcting your form but also for preventing injuries. 
  1. Always incorporate a warm-up and cool-down session in your workouts. This helps prevent muscle strain.
  1. Don’t start doing too many repetitions initially. Start slow and build your practice gradually. This is especially important while doing workouts for beginners. 
  1. Remember to gain the benefits of sprawls, your jumping movements must be as explosive as possible.
  1. Never arch your back. Instead, create a hip extension. You can achieve this by squeezing your glutes and keeping your spine straight.  


Though sprawls demand a lot from you and are a very challenging exercise, once you master these, they reward you with lifelong fitness and health. And what’s more, sprawls are incredibly fun and versatile. They can be combined with any workout to make it more challenging and engaging. However, the key is to be consistent with your exercise and keep progressing it over time.

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May 16, 2022

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