What Part of the Body Do Crab Walks Strengthen?

The crab walk can help you strengthen muscles and tighten your waistline.

The crab walk can help you strengthen muscles and tighten your waistline.

At first glance, the crab walk may appear to be nothing more than an odd-looking and inefficient mode of locomotion. But don't be deceived! As goofy as it may look, the crab walk can actually help you look better in the long run because it offers an effective workout. This exercise assists in strengthening your upper and lower body, so it can support your training for a variety of goals.


If you want to sculpt sexy and strong arms, triceps exercises should be a top priority. This muscle accounts for two-thirds of the muscle mass of your upper arm, so toning the triceps will have a noticeable effect. The role of the triceps is to provide the force to straighten your arm, so during the crab walk they help keep your body elevated.


Your abdominal muscles help stabilize your body and maintain your balance as you move. Because of those roles, your abs should stay engaged during the entire motion of the crab walk. Strong abs will help keep your back straight, which contributes to good posture. And since the crab walk involves being on all fours, your abs will help you transfer power for movement from your upper body to your lower body.


If you want an exercise to strengthen and tone your shoulders, consider the crab walk. Because of the positioning of the exercise, you have to support your entire body weight to keep yourself off the ground. Much of the responsibility for preventing you from hitting the floor falls on your shoulders. Your shoulders -- particularly your deltoid muscles -- provide the force to rotate and move your arms from side to side, which drives the motion of the crab walk.


Your chest muscles -- your "pecs" -- also support your body during the crab walk. These muscles work in conjunction with your shoulder muscles to keep your upper body off the ground and properly aligned with the rest of your body.


The crab walk can also help you develop a bottom that no one can top. This exercise promotes strong glutes because those muscles are responsible for driving the hip movement necessary to perform the crab walk. Strong glutes help you run faster, jump higher and kick harder, so the advantages of exercising these muscles extend well beyond the aesthetic aspect.

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About the Author

Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the "Buffalo News," the "Daytona Times" and "Natural Muscle Magazine." Willett also writes for Bloginity.com and Bodybuilding.com. He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.

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