Frogger Exercise For Strong Shoulders, And Flexible Hips

If hopping around like a frog looks a little funny to you, we agree! But how we teach the Frogger exercise is a great way to build up strong shoulders, hips, and core strength.

The Frogger 🐸 is a type of movement called locomotion, which means to move your full body through space. An easy example that you do everyday is walking.

With the Frogger, instead of walking, you’re “hopping” around on all fours.

Think of various “animal” movements like Bear or Crab walks that have been used in calisthenics, gymnastics, martial arts, and kids on the playground. While they might look more like ‘play‘ than sport-specific exercises, their positive effects go beyond just being fun.

💡 To learn more about these benefits, check out our locomotion page.

How To Do The Basic Frogger

Step 1: Start in a squat position with your hands out in front of you.Step 2: Reach your hands out and place them palm down flat on the ground.Step 3: Begin shifting your bodyweight forward onto your hands.Step 4: Pull yourself forward with your arms and torso and then hop with your feet toward your hands back into a squat.

Frogger Exercise Variations For More Strength And Body Control

Below you’ll see 5 variations of the Frogger, and an introductory movement called the floating table top to help you prep for the exercise.

Floating Table Top – straight arms and bent legsBasic Frogger – straight arms and bent legs pulled up toward your bodySlow Toe Pull Frogger – straight arms, bent legs, sliding toward your handsSumo Frogger – wide stance, straight arms, requires more groin flexibilityStraight Leg Frogger – straight arms, straight legs, requires strong shoulders and flexible hamstringsHigh Frogger – straight arms, lots of shoulder load, good for handstand prep💡 Something to understand is that these are not your traditional “progressions” in the sense that one movement is harder than the other.

Any one variation isn’t necessarily better than another, but you might benefit from working on one variation over others based on your needs.

For example, if you have problems with shoulder stability, you might find that the basic Frogger comes easier to support your body weight than the Slow Toe Pull or Straight Leg Frogger. And if you want to work on strengthening your elbows and shoulders, you could focus on the Slow Toe Pull Frogger.

As you get stronger and more comfortable with the basic Frogger, you can use the variations to increase your upper body strength, control, and hip flexibility.

Notes on the Frogger:

A common mistake people make is thinking they should be pushing with their legs to initiate the movement. Instead, we tell them to use their arms and torso to “pull” themselves forward, and then completing the Frogger by hopping back into the squat position.

What If I Can’t Do The Frogger Exactly Like They Are In The Videos? 🤔

A concern we get from clients is that they don’t have the flexibility and strength to do a full squat, therefore they think they can’t work on the Frogger properly. While being able to do a full squat would be great, that level of mobility isn’t required to start practicing and getting the benefits from this movement.

In fact, you should start doing this movement even if you have some mobility limitations because it will help make you more flexible, even when doing a modified version.

Here’s GMB Trainer Verity showing us how one can modify the Frogger:

In the meantime, see our squat tutorial to build up the flexibility and strength for a full squat.

The Frogger does require some requisite shoulder and core stability, so if it’s tough for you, we recommend you check out the Bear and work on that to learn how to properly brace and support your weight with your arms.

If the Frogger makes your wrists hurt, be sure to follow our wrist mobility and strengthening routine.

Frogger Exercise Variations And Benefits

Variation Benefits
Basic Frogger • Scapular strength through concentric and isometric protraction, eccentric and isometric retraction, and eccentric control of elevation
• Rotator cuff strength to control eccentric internal rotation and concentric, isometric external rotation
• Spinal strength for isometric extension, rotation, and flexion
• Hamstring and calf flexibility
• Increase in hip strength and mobility
Slow Toe Pull Frogger • Elbow strength
• Spinal strength and controlled mobility
• Hamstring and calf flexibility
• Improvements in abdominal and spinal stability
Sumo Frogger • Elbow stability
• Knee stability
• Spinal strength for isometric rotation, extension, and flexion
• Increase on hip mobility and strength through abduction and flexion
Straight Leg Frogger • Rotator cuff strength
• Knee strength
• Spinal strength and controlled mobility
• Increase in hip mobility
High Frogger • Elbow strength
• Rotator cuff strength
• Spinal strength
• Improvement in motor control and coordination

Since the Frogger is a full body movement, there’s a lot happening at once.

You’ll be improving shoulder strength and mobility while increasing back strength and spinal flexibility. You’ll also be training your body to balance with ease on all fours, enabling you to move freely and how you want.

And what’s so great about the Frogger, and other movements where you’re on all fours, is what getting comfortable moving like this can do for your full body strength and control.

Here’s GMB Trainer Verity doing a nice little flow comprised of moves you can find in our Elements program:

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How To Train The Frogger

The Frogger will help you access more range of motion in your hips and glutes, while building a strong upper back and shoulders. The more you practice this movement, the more able you’ll be to take on skills like deep squats, single-leg movements, and you’ll build more confidence as you approach balancing on your hands.

This animal movement is great if you need more range of motion for daily tasks that require you to squat down for extended periods, and for working on movements like the crow pose, full handstands, or high kicks you do at the Karate dojo.

Working through the Frogger regularly is a good way to get your ankles and hips open before you play a sport that has you running and jumping, or if you need some extra range of motion before your wall climb at the gym.

To build a broad base of practical strength, flexibility and control, you can combine the Frogger with other locomotion patterns that we include in Elements. 👇

Be Stronger & More Capable With a Foundation in the Basics

With Elements, you’ll get strong, flexible, and agile using various animal movements, helping you move well without restriction.

GMB Elements Details


Your Foundation for Physical Autonomy

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