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Knuckle Hop

Knuckle hop is an Indigenous Arctic physical game in which participants crawl along the floor using only their knuckles for support. Knuckle hop competitions may be for distance, in which the participant who travels the furthest is the winner, or for time, in which the person who completes the course in the fastest time is the winner. Due to the rigours of the activity, many competitive participants often end up with bleeding or bruised knuckles at the end of the competition. At more recreational levels, this game can be adapted to allow participants to rest their weight on their open palms rather than knuckles, thus avoiding such injuries. Although this is a competitive sport in the Arctic Games and Masters Indigenous Games, it is often practiced informally for pleasure, pride, and competition.

Is this activity known by any other names?

Seal hop; Push up hop

What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

The knuckle hop is a traditional game created by Inuit peoples who live in present-day Arctic Canada.

Who takes part?

Males and females of diverse ages and ethnocultural backgrounds, typically of Inuit heritage.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

In the GTA, knuckle occurs at Indigenous cultural festivals and multi-sport competitions. It may also be taught in physical education classes or practiced informally.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

Masters Indigenous Games

Cultural Significance

Knuckle hop is a significant form of Indigenous Arctic physical culture, particularly for Inuit peoples, and is often practiced at events that celebrate Indigenous culture.

Is there anything else we should know?



Physical Game
  • Downsview Park
    35 Carl Hall Rd.
    Toronto, ON M3K 2B6

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