How to do a crab walk

When you hear the words “crab walk,” you may immediately think of a college gym class. And honestly, that’s exactly what should come to mind…maybe just a slightly more controlled and refined version of the exercise. If you did the crab walk as a kid, revisiting this move could give you some great nostalgia, a few laughs, and some very real payoffs.

It’s a great move for all skill levels, and the little details make the biggest difference. “Despite its simplicity, it is a surprisingly demanding exercise when it lasts one to two minutes,” explains Kristina Earnest, CPT. “For this reason, it is suitable for beginners, intermediate and advanced. Crab walks are not a typical or traditional exercise, but they are effective and beneficial. They are also much harder than they look .” (These shelled creatures are surprisingly fit!)

She adds that the crab walk exercise incorporates compound movements because it works your arms, shoulders, core, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. She describes it as “efficiency at its finest!” ICYDK, compound movements occur when two or more muscle groups are targeted at the same time. So you essentially get double the benefits in one move. (Goal!)

You also don’t need gym equipment – it can be done wherever you prefer to train. As long as you have a few lengths of space to move around, you can try shellfish cruising.

Ready to rock your bod crab? Read on for a complete guide to crab steps, including step-by-step form tips, modifications, how to incorporate it into your routine, and more from a trainer.

Benefits of Crab Walk

Do you like running or cycling? The Crab Walk is for you. It is especially beneficial for runners and cyclists, who need to keep their bodies aligned during their workout.Crabwalking will test your body in new ways,” says Earnest. “After a few crab walks, notice how your posture changes afterward when you walk upright.

Additionally, developing strength, balance, and flexibility can lower your risk of injury by reducing stress on your ligaments and muscles, Earnest says. “This atypical exercise is good for balance and coordination, which can help you move better.”

In addition to engaging the muscles from head to toe while doing the crab walk, you also increase your body awareness and adapt to your posture. “Over time, it can improve your posture in everyday life, whether it’s walking, performing your daily exercises, or even sitting at your desk while working,” says Earnest.

How to do the crab walk with perfect form

Back in college gym class, you probably didn’t get (or need) an introduction to crabbing. It was just for fun back then, after all. Now you’ll want to set yourself up for success with good crab walking form. Here are step-by-step tips on Earnest’s Crab Walk to make sure the move doesn’t make you grumpy:

  1. Start in a seated position on the floor. Keep your knees bent and your hands two inches behind you with your fingers pointing towards your hips.
  2. Raise your hips a few inches off the ground. Keep your arms straight and your knees bent.
  3. Coordinate the movements of your hands and feet. Step your right foot forward while simultaneously moving your left hand forward. Repeat with your left foot and your right hand. This completes one repetition. Focus on controlling your contralateral movement (a fancy term for moving opposite body parts at the same time).
  4. Maintain a neutral posture. Throughout the movement, you don’t want to arch your back or tuck your pelvis. “Your lumbar spine should be neutral and your shoulder blades should be pulled gently down and back with your chin slightly tucked in and your gaze directed to the floor,” says Earnest.
  5. Keep moving forward. Aim for a total of 10 reps and travel about 15 feet in front of you. You can add a backward movement to drive this movement forward, forward for 10 reps, then backward for 10 reps, for an extra burn in your triceps.

    Common Crab Walking Mistakes to Avoid

    Crab rides can be as easy and fun as you remember. Nevertheless, there are some common missteps that you should watch out for. Here’s what Earnest says that can trip you up in the middle of a move and how to fix it.

    • Bent elbows. This can make moving uncomfortable. Keep your arms straight as straight as possible throughout your walk to avoid discomfort.
    • Flat foot. To maximize hip stability and engagement in your glutes, allow your toes to lift slightly and keep the weight in your heels.
    • Rushed representatives. Faster is not better for crabbing. Concentrate on a slow pace and concentrate on each step.
    • Uneven weight distribution. You want to support your body weight evenly between your hands and feet. If you feel too much pressure on your hands, you can pause for a few wrist stretches before continuing.

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      Crab Ride Modifications and Variations

      If you need variations of crabbing, Earnest has plenty of advice. The easiest way to make movement harder? Lift your hips higher. And, if you want a relaxed variation, turn them down. The closer your butt is to the ground, the easier it will be.

      Whether you’re looking to add extra difficulty or reduce the intensity, here are a few more tweaks to get you started:

      1. Add resistance bands.

            How? ‘Or’ What: Add tension to the band by pushing the knees out. Raise your hips and hold the tension on the band as you step forward and backward. This variation will increase the solicitation of the stabilizing muscles of the hip.

            2. Change direction.

            changes in crab gait

            How? ‘Or’ What: Instead of stepping forward, move your hand and foot to the side. The addition of side-by-side crab steps will challenge your hips and shoulders in a new plane of motion for well-balanced strength and agility benefits.

            3. Try to touch the toes.

              crab walk modification

              How? ‘Or’ What: Want to crush your heart? Sit on the mat with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart, and place your hands behind you with fingertips toward your glutes. Lift your hips off the mat, lift your right leg and touch your right foot with your left hand. Step your right foot back onto the mat and repeat on the other side.

              Pro tip: Bear runs can be a great alternative if crabbing isn’t your thing.

              How to incorporate crab into your routine

              It’s worth working on all the awkward sensations of your crabbing ride. The move is a star warmup. Performing 10 reps is a great way to warm up your body before strength or cardio workouts, according to Earnest. “As this move focuses primarily on your shoulders, core, and glutes, it’s a great move before a hip-focused workout (think deadlifts) or cardio workout (like a tempo beat, run at intervals),” she adds.

              Whenever you begin your crab walk, be sure to keep these quick tips from Earnest in mind: control your breathing, time your steps, and maintain a neutral, relaxed posture.

              The bottom line: Balance is the key to mastering this animal-style move. Practice, practice, practice, you will notice that the exercise becomes more natural over time.

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