Movement of the Month-Crab

As we get closer to adding movements together we move onto the Crab. The Crab experience is a great way to increase one's shoulder strength and stability which is helpful for many activities from holding a young child on your hip, which takes tremendous strength, to lifting and unloading objects which we do in our every day life. As we grow older we can loose the ability to raise our arms over our heads, another great reason to stay strong and mobile.
 The relationship between our shoulder and hip strength is interesting; when one presents with shoulder pain it can often be related to a hip issue be it alignment, strength or stability. In the Crab experience not only do we work on the stability of our shoulders but we work on the alignment of our hips when we lift them off the ground. Our back extensors work along with our hip flexors helping us find the appropriate sitting posture.  Next month, we will talk about sitting, which when done incorrectly can be the cause of many low back, hip and shoulder issues. 


  • Sitting on the floor with your hips halfway between your hands and your feet, place your hands behind you with the fingers pointing away, if you hyper extend your elbows try having the hands pointing toward you. Place your feet hip width apart.


Crab bum up

  • With an exhale draw the abdominals in and lift your seat off the floor.

  • Think about maintaining the length in your spine, including your neck, and keeping a neutral pelvis. To maintain a neutral pelvis think about the natural arch in your lower back and maintain that shape as you lift.

  • Replace the hips back on the ground.

  • Repeat this motion a few times until you are unable to maintain your posture. Try holding the position with the hips off the floor for a few breaths.


   Crab bum down - Leg Lift

  • To deepen this experience try lifting one of your legs off the ground with the hips down. Think about lifting the foot a small amount off the floor rather than kicking out in front of you.

  • Repeat on both sides. Keep your shoulders and hips even, and your head steady, maintain a neutral spine.


Crab hips down - Arm Lift

  • Now try lifting one of your arms off the ground, bending the elbow is ok, avoid over shrugging the shoulder, be mindful of the postural points as before.

  • Once you have mastered this experience try lifting your right leg and your left arm, this is called a contralateral movement. (No photo)

  • You may notice that your posture changes to accommodate the movement, practice staying true to the alignment, neutral pelvis, lumbar in neutral and the shoulder, hips and head steady.

Crab Bum Up - Contralateral - Opposite Arm/Leg lift

  • To complete the Crab experience try doing the above movements with the hips up, we refer to this as Bum Up!

  • Have fun and remember, practice makes perfect!
Katharine SantosComment