Crab bridges is a great exercise that will engage your posterior chain and stretch the anterior side of your body.
It is one of the quickest, easiest, and most effective glute workout exercises.
This exercise can help anyone with tight hip flexors, mostly those who sit all day in an office.
They will benefit you after a long day at the desk since it is a great hip stretch exercise.
Having tight hips or underactive glutes can make it hard to engage the correct muscles during a workout.
Doing regular activation exercises will therefore help you recruit your glutes correctly when you train.
This exercise does not require any equipment and you can do it practically anywhere with floor space.
Although it is a challenging exercise, it is not as hard as it looks and has its fair share of benefits.
You will gain strength in your back, butt and arms. It will also stretch your chest and thighs.
This exercise is also versatile. It works for gentle mobility sessions when doing simple crab bridge stretch and hold , glute activation, heavy strength training warm ups and relaxing cool-downs.
HOW TO DO CRAB BRIDGES
- For this exercise you will need a mat on which to do the exercise and free space where you can move comfortably.
- Start by getting on a strong tabletop position on your mat with your hands under your shoulders. Keep your knees over your ankles and your fingers pointed towards your feet.
- While in the tabletop position your body should form a straight line from your chest all the way up to your knees.
- Slowly lower your hips to the floor and then squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to raise them back up to the tabletop.
- Repeat this movement for a full set.
You can also do the crab bridge hold variation where you hold the bridge pose for a certain duration instead of raising and lowering your hips.
This variation demands less engagement since there is less movement. It is also more effective for a warm-up and a cool-down.
WHAT MUSCLES DO CRAB BRIDGES WORK?
These are the muscles found in the posterior of your hip. They originate from the pelvis and insert into the femur.
There are three groups; the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus.
The crab bridge will target and activate these muscles for muscle building and even stretching from the engagement to give you a more toned and shapely butt.
This exercise will engage your hip flexors to give them a stretch and a nice workout.
This is especially important for people who spend most of their days in office chairs.
Crab bridges will therefore improve your hip control and strength. They will also help improve your hip flexibility which will help reduce risk of injuries and also improve hip mobility.
They will also engage the adductor muscles in the inner thigh and strengthen them
The crab bridge is also great for working your abdominal muscles. It draws strength from your core to be able to keep your body suspended.
It will engage your abdominals and obliques which will give you a stronger core and also enhance your stability.
It will burn stubborn belly fat around your core and overtime build these muscles and give you toned and defined abs.
Besides working your muscles, this exercise will also help stretch the pectoral muscles in your chest, your shoulder muscles and also lower back muscles.
This will help improve your posture, relieve tension on your muscles and reduce risk of injury when doing other exercises.
BENEFITS OF CRAB BRIDGES
ADDITION TO YOUR STRENGTH ROUTINE
This exercise is an excellent addition to your strength routine that works your core and butt.
This exercise will warm up these muscles and to some extent work them. It will also strengthen your erector spinae which runs the length of your back.
EASE LOWER BACK PAIN
As long as you have good form when doing a crab bridge, it will help people with chronic back problems especially lower back pain.
It will help in the management of this pain and strengthen your lower back in the process. They also ease knee pain as well.
This exercise will stretch your chest and shoulders by moving them behind your back. It increases the range of motion of the arms thus increasing the tension of the muscles to give them a good stretch.
Crab bridges will also stretch your erector spinae.
By working your core they will improve your balance and stability. They will also boost your flexibility, reduce back pain and improve your posture.
As a bonus they will boost your butt to give them better shape.
ALTERNATIVES TO CRAB BRIDGES
This exercise is very similar to the crab bridge and works all the same muscles. Start by laying on your back with knees raised and feet flat.
Exhale and lift your bottom up from the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel.
Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
Rest your arms with hands palms down by your sides or clasp them together and extend them along the floor beneath you.
Hold for 10 seconds to 1 minute. Lower your bottom to the floor and repeat for desired number of reps.
This variation of the crab bridge also engages your arms into the movement.
Start seated on the ground, resting on your arms in the bridge/crab walk position, with your palms flat on the ground and hands pointed back and slightly out.
Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up off ground. As your rise up, reach one hand over the opposite shoulder, twisting at the torso.
Pause, squeezing your core and glutes to stay solid then return to starting position then repeat on the other side.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN DOING CRAB BRIDGE
ALLOWING YOUR HIPS TO SAG
Your hips should not sag when holding the crab bridge pose. This often happens when you start the exercise as it take a toll on your core muscles.
You should always maintain a tabletop position throughout the hold or when doing the dips make sure you return to a flat tabletop position.
RAISING HIPS TOO HIGH
Your hips should also not go over the tabletop position. Raising them too high can very easily lead to strain on your lower back and possibly back pains.
Keeping your abdominals engaged will make sure you do not overextend your back.
This exercise is excellent especially for people who spend a lot of their time seated at a desk.
It will help stretch your back, chest and shoulders while still working your core and lower body muscles.