“Quadrobics” Is Trending: Here’s What It Is, Plus Opinions From Expert Trainers

I’ll admit it: I’m skeptical. Trends rise and fall as fast as the wind changes on social media. Quadrobics is a new exercise trend catching fire across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

As of May 8, 2024, the term “quadrobics” is linked to over 300,000 TikToks, and that number is climbing almost as fast as the people partaking in it. Social media tracking platform ExplodingTopics notes a 700 percent-increase in search interest for quadrobics over the last two years.

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At a glance, quadrobics might look silly — that was my first reaction. But there’s more to it than you might think, including some surprising scientific research. Before you dive feet (and hands) first into quadrobics, you should brush up on the idea itself and hear what our staff of expert trainers have to say.

Meet Our Experts

This article contains testimony from three industry experts: BarBend Senior Writer Jake Dickson (B.S. Exercise Science), Senior Editor Alex Polish (ACE-certified personal trainer), and Garage Gym Reviews Senior Director of Content Kate Meier (NASM-certified personal trainer).

What Is Quadrobics?

There aren’t too many resources available online that formally characterize the quadrobics trend. However, despite its recent emergence on social media, quadrobic exercise goes back further than you think. A Nov. 19, 2015 YouTube video titled “Introduction to Quadrobics” has racked up nearly half a million views for concisely explaining the premise:

Based on this video and others I dove into, here’s my interpretation: Quadrobics is a form of expressive bodyweight exercise designed to promote physical activity by incorporating movement on both the hands and feet simultaneously.

From the Experts:

“‘Quadrobics’ is the new buzzword for something that has always existed: exercises in which you have four points of contact with the floor,” Meier says.

“It’s a creative way to engage your entire body in mobility and stability training,” Polish remarks.

Much of the recent momentum around quadrobics online seems to originate from the therian and furry communities; social spaces on the Internet for individuals who adopt surrogate animal identities or partake in cosplay as various animal species.

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Is Quadrobics a Sport?

It’s harder than you might think to cleanly differentiate an activity from a sport. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, sports are defined as games, competitions, or activities requiring physical effort or skill that follow a specific set of rules or parameters.

The way I see it, quadrobics isn’t technically a sport. It lacks a governing body and clearly-defined rules. That said, Guinness World Records recognizes the 100-meter, four-limb dash time. As of June 30, 2022, the record belongs to Collin McClure, who logged a 15.66-second result.

To better contextualize Mr. McClure’s performance, the fastest 100-meter dash time in the world stands at 9.58 seconds, set by legendary track athlete Usain Bolt in 2009.

So while there may not be a “Quadrobics World Championships” just yet, similar activities and athletic feats have been recognized, tracked, and measured for a long time.

Quadrobics: Does It Have Scientific Support?

I wasn’t surprised to find no direct studies on quadrobics, given its relative infancy as an exercise method. There are, however, heaps of scientific data on four-limbed exercise and dynamic calisthenics.

Scientific Studies

A 2022 randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research on “novel quadrupedal movement” notes that, “…[quadrupedal movement training] improved active joint ranges of motion,” and is a “viable alternative form of training to improve whole-body stabilization and flexibility.” The study reports that their participants exhibited “no significant improvements” in upper-body strength. (1)

Another 2022 study measured the calorie expenditure of quadruped movement (characterized as “animal flow”) against self-directed treadmill walking and heart-rate-equated walking. Heart-rate-matched treadmill walking beat out animal flow in terms of caloric expenditure, while animal flow exceeded the self-selected walking pace. (2)

A 2015 clinical trial compared treadmill walking and calisthenics like squats and lunges. Calisthenics increased heart rate more than walking, and the researchers remarked, “…calisthenics could be [utilized] to disrupt workplace sedentary time and improve cardiovascular health and assist in weight management.” (3)

Many of these topics overlap with the ideas behind quadrobics, but note that the studies we’re discussing here weren’t conducted on the trend specifically.

Benefits & Drawbacks of Quadrobics

As it stands, our experts are mixed-leaning-positive on the whole quadrobics thing. As the saying goes, “motion is lotion,” and any exercise will burn calories, work your muscles, and potentially get you outdoors. There are other benefits — and some drawbacks, too — to quadrobics that you should be aware of:

Quadrobics Benefits

What stood out to me from a practical perspective is how accessible quadrobics is. You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership; you can practice and perform quadrobics anywhere you feel comfortable.

Quadrobics also involve working your muscles and joints through a variety of movements and motions. It can count as unilateral training in some cases, since your arms and legs are not always synchronized. Many common bodyweight exercises are rigid in nature; quadrobics are creative, versatile, and fluid.

“Quadrobics training is easily adaptable for different body types and movement needs and it’ll get your heart rate way up there, too,” says Polish.

“In the quadruped position, you have a solid, stable base upon which you can layer on movement to challenge the core and hips,” says Meier. “Take the low bear crawl. Simply getting into that position and moving with a stable core can be challenging by itself,” she continues.

Quadrobics Drawbacks

Quadrobics are not suitable for everyone at all times. Folks with long legs and short arms may not enjoy the all-fours posture, since their head may end up lower than their heart in space, leading to headaches or dizziness.

Quadruped movement puts repeated ballistic stress on the wrists, elbows, and shoulders. “People with issues getting up and down from the floor may also find these movements too challenging,” Meier notes.

Quadrobics are usually not structured or progressive; hallmarks of a well-designed, evidence-based exercise routine. This is particularly important if you’re considering getting into the practice to increase strength: “Use it as a supplement, sure, but don’t expect quadrobics to yield a new one-rep max,” says Polish.

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Quadrobics Exercises: Variations We Recommend

Neither I, Polish, nor Meier are quadrobics devotees. That said, we’re mighty inspired by it and think there’s a middle ground for anyone who wants to get in touch with their wild side without necessarily going full Teen Wolf.

Here are a few of our favorite quadruped exercises that get you on the ground while also helping to build muscle, strength, and stability.

Bear Crawl

The bear crawl exercise is, essentially, quadrobics. By assuming a quadruped position, then lifting your knees off the ground and crawling forward, you’ll train your core and develop better coordination between your hips and shoulders.

How to Do It

Get down on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.

Inhale, brace your core, and pull your knees off the ground just slightly.

From here, take a new breath and then slowly crawl forward without allowing your knees to touch the ground.

Coach’s Tip: To keep your torso level and square, imagine that you’re balancing a bowl of water on your back.


Make It Easier: Try the bear plank instead, which doesn’t require you to crawl forward while holding your body up.

Make It Harder: Balance a small weight on your lower back as you crawl.

Renegade Row

The renegade row isn’t our favorite back exercise, nor is it the best core workout with dumbbells. That said, renegade rows get you working your entire body on the ground, and dumbbells let you incorporate some much-needed progressive overload to ensure you keep making progress.

How to Do It

Place a pair of dumbbells on the ground parallel to each other, grasp them by the handles, and support yourself in a straight-leg plank position.

From here, brace your core and keep your legs locked out.

Initiate the row by pulling one dumbbell off the floor, driving your elbow up and back until your upper arm is aligned with your torso.

Lower the weight back down, catch a new breath, then perform the same motion with the opposite arm.

Coach’s Tip: Think about pushing the dumbbell you aren’t lifting down into the floor to stabilize your torso while you row.


Make It Easier: Place the opposite knee of your working side on the ground to better support your body.

Make It Harder: Add a push-up between each repetition of rows.


Planks are an isometric exercise, meaning you don’t move while you perform them. However, we love planks as a way to to teach you how to stabilize and brace your core for long bouts of activity, just as you would during a quadrobics session.

How to Do It

Lie on the floor on your stomach with your legs straight.

Place your elbows under your shoulders and prop your torso up. Then, push the rest of your body off the ground until you form a straight line from your ankles to your head.

Coach’s Tip: Breathing is key during the plank exercise. Remember not to hold your breath, but don’t let your core loosen up, either.


Make It Easier: You can do planks with your knees on the floor to reduce the load gravity places on your abs.

Make It Harder: Cross your ankles so only one foot is in contact with the ground; this will make the movement harder to stabilize.

Other Options to Try

There are plenty of other ways to incorporate quadrobics-esque movements into your workout routine. Here are a couple of other selections:

Jacobs Ladder or Vertical Climber: These cardio machines can be found in some commercial gyms. They’re designed to help you perform a cardio workout on all fours, either climbing up a revolving belt of “stairs” or pumping your legs and arms on a vertical station.

Animal Flow: Animal flow is mobility training mixed with yoga, and involves performing dynamic, animal-inspired drills like the Crab Walk, Beast Reach, or Scorpion Reach.

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How to Incorporate Quadrobics Into Your Workout

Here’s the good news: If you’re already physically active, you can probably dabble in a bit of quadrobics without derailing your bodybuilding or powerlifting workouts. If you want to get active, we think quadrobics can make for a great starting point, depending on your goals.

Dickson: Quadrobics lack the structure for achieving intermediate to advanced fitness goals. That said, the low-load dynamic motion might work wonders as a form of active recovery on days you aren’t hitting the weights.

Polish: “Research tells us that this kind of movement “counts” as moderate-intensity exercise. (2) So, on the days you can’t or don’t want to get to the gym, you can get your workout equipment-free and on the ground.”

Meier: “Quadrobics are great for warm-ups. They get blood flowing without being too taxing on your system,” Meier notes, recommending that you can, “use them as part of a circuit, like throwing in bird dogs or bear crawls for a core exercise.”

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Final Thoughts

Are quadrobics the next big thing in Internet fitness? Probably not. After reviewing the resources and evaluating the science, I don’t think quadrobics quite qualify. However, folks have taken to aping the animal kingdom and, in the process, found a way to make fitness fun.

You really can’t put a price tag on fulfillment. If quadrobics get you energized about exercise and inspire you to use your body outdoors, that’s more than enough of a reason to heed the call of the wild.


What does quadrobics help with?

Quadrobics can help you develop bodily coordination and burn calories while performing a unique form of exercise that doesn’t require a gym membership.

How do you do quadrobics for beginners?

While some forms of quadrobics are intricate dance-like sequences, basic quadruped exercise is easy. You can start with simple drills like the bird dog or bear crawl, and progress from there.

How do you do a quadrobics jump?

To perform a quadrobics jump, bound on all fours while preparing to leap. Tuck your arms up against your torso, push hard with your legs, and keep them straight as you leave the ground.

What muscles do quadrobics work?

Quadrobics is a form of full-body calisthenics exercise. It will involve nearly all muscles in your body in some form, but is especially challenging on your abdominal muscles, shoulders, triceps, and legs.


Buxton, J. D., Prins, P. J., Miller, M. G., Moreno, A., Welton, G. L., Atwell, A. D., Talampas, T. R., & Elsey, G. E. (2022). The Effects of a Novel Quadrupedal Movement Training Program on Functional Movement, Range of Motion, Muscular Strength, and Endurance. Journal of strength and conditioning research36(8), 2186–2193.

Buxton JD, Sherman SA, Sterrett MT, Kannel KD, Blanchflower ME, Jancay KT, Jenkins AK, Donofrio TP, Prins PJ. A comparison of the energy demands of quadrupedal movement training to walking. Front Sports Act Living. 2022 Oct 13;4:992687.

Carter, S. E., Jones, M., & Gladwell, V. F. (2015). Energy expenditure and heart rate response to breaking up sedentary time with three different physical activity interventions. Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD25(5), 503–509.

Featured Image: @alexias.films on Instagram

The post “Quadrobics” Is Trending: Here’s What It Is, Plus Opinions From Expert Trainers appeared first on BarBend.


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