When it comes to animals you’d imagine taking fitness cues from the crab might not feature near the top of the list. A magisterial grizzly bear or a regal lion perhaps, but a crab?
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However, you’d be doing both yourself and the sideways scuttlers a disservice if you ignored them entirely, as the crab walk is a very simple and effective way to work out a whole load of muscles in a short space of time.
Your shoulders and triceps will feel the heat of supporting your upper body, while your hamstrings and quads do the job for your bottom half. In between, keeping your hips raised hits the abs and glutes hard. The higher your hips, the harder your core will work.
How To Do The Crab Walk
This might be one for at home when no one else is around. It should never be embarrassing to do any kind of exercise, but a crab walk might confuse anyone who interrupts you more than a press-up would.
Start by sitting on the floor with your feet out in front of you, hip-width apart. Plant your palms behind you and push up onto your hands and feet so your hips are raised. Then walk back and forth for a minute – you’ll be surprised how tough it is to keep scuttling. The faster you go, the harder it will be.
It’s a great addition to circuit training, or if you want to get all your crab walking in at once before moving on to something else, try and do three to five minutes of it, with 30 seconds’ rest in between each minute of crabbing.
Variation: The Crab Crunch
If you get tired of walking around like a crab, you might like to challenge yourself by attempting the crab crunch. This exercise really stretches the limits of what you could imagine a crab actually doing, but it’s a great workout for the core.
From your crab position – hips raised and supported by your hands and feet – bring one elbow to the opposite knee and back again. It’s a test of both balance and strength, and there’s every chance you’ll fall over a couple of times, so try and save this one for a softer floor. A mere 10-15 reps on each side should be enough to make you wince every time you see a crustacean.