How to Do a Crab Walk


The crab walk, a fun activity often performed by children, provides so many benefits that you might want to add this body-weight exercise to your fitness workout. As a compound exercise, the crab walk challenges your agility and balance while strengthening your muscles, particularly in the core. Simulating the way crabs walk on sand, this exercise can be performed in a varied ways to recruit different muscles.

Things You'll Need

  • Resistance band (optional)

Standing Technique

  • Target your butt and thigh muscles with standing crab walks. Start with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Bend your knees about 30 degrees and lower your body into a mini squat.

  • Take a step to your left with your left foot, another a step to the left with your right foot and continue four more times to the left. Reverse your steps to the right to return to your starting spot and repeat four times in each direction.

  • Add intensity with a resistance band. Tie the ends of the band together to make a 10-inch loop. Step into the loop and position the band around your ankles. While keeping resistance in the band, follow the instructions in Step 2.

Supine Technique

  • Strengthen your core, arm, shoulder, back and thigh muscles with the supine crab walk. Sit on the floor, bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor. Reach back and put your palms on the floor just behind your butt. Tighten your stomach muscles and push through your feet and hands to lift your butt off the floor.

  • Keep your chest up as you simultaneously move your left hand and right foot forward to take a step. Follow with a step using your right hand and left foot. Walk forward about 10 yards, walk backward to the starting spot and repeat three times. As you become more comfortable with the movements, pick up your pace.

  • Add a triceps dip at the end of your forward and backward walk to work the muscles at the back of your arms. To do this, lift your hips until they are 10 to 12 inches above the floor. Bend your elbows and lower your body as far as you can. Pause for a count of one, straighten your elbows and push back up to continue your crab walk.

Prone Technique

  • Perform the prone crab walk, a version that not only works your core, arm and shoulder muscles, but also your inner and outer thighs. Start in a full pushup position -- balance on your hands and toes with your arms straight, hands below your shoulders and legs extended behind you. Throughout the exercise, keep your body straight with your core muscles engaged.

  • Take a step to your right with your right hand and right foot at the same time. Follow this with a step to the right with your left hand and foot at the same time. Continue to walk 3 feet to your right and then reverse your steps to the starting spot. Repeat three times in each direction.

  • Add a pushup for more challenge. At the end of your walk to the right, pause, bend your elbows, lower your chest to the floor, extend your arms and return to the full pushup position. Crab walk to your left and perform another pushup. Repeat three times in each direction.

Tips & Warnings

  • To prepare your body for your workout, perform a quick warm-up with activities such as jumping jacks, shadow boxing, walking lunges or slow jogging.
  • If you've been away from exercise for some time, get the OK from your doctor before restarting a new fitness program.

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  • Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images
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