Glute-band Crab walks
In recent years the crab walks have become vastly popular as an aid to glute muscle activation.
I first performed this exercise during Strength and Conditioning classes at University for correcting my own muscle imbalance. I then moved onto using them myself with classes during my coaching internship and subsequent coaching.
Not only is this exercise great for warming up prior to training, but it is perfect for rehabilitation from injury and good movement prep.
If your knees fall in while performing a squat, this exercise is one to try! This is because you could have weakness in your glutes – the area that this exercise targets.
Due to the popularity of this exercise it is common to see it performed incorrectly. So here are the key steps to make sure you don’t!
Learn how to do it!
Here are five steps to ensure you are moving correctly to achieve optimal glute activation.
- Sit in a ¼ squat position. I often call this the ‘ready position’ (as from this optimal position you are ready to explode out into movement), but this is also similar to the ‘football position’.
- Keep your hips level. Many people like to cheat by crunching at the waist as they lift up the foot. Use a mirror to ensure your pelvis is not moving while you transfer weight.
- Don’t let the tension out of the band. It is vitally important to keep constant tension on the band throughout the whole exercise. The moment you loose tension, you loose the aim of the exercise – activation. I suggest using small, short steps to ensure tension remains in the band. (This is harder harder than it looks!)
- Keep your heels on the floor. Weight should be placed through the mid-foot.
- Knees wide. Now you have all these other steps you must concentrate on your knees. Neither knee should be allowed to ‘drop in’ during the movement. Instead the glutes should be squeezed, and the knees pushed out against the resistance of the band. If you are unable to maintain this strong and safe position then it is advisable to use a less strong band.
Here are my favourite bands to use from Amazon. You can’t go wrong with a set of 4 band strengths for under £10!
Distefano, L.J., Blackburn, J.T., Marshall, S.W. and Padua, D.A., 2009. Gluteal muscle activation during common therapeutic exercises. journal of orthopaedic & sports physical therapy, 39(7), pp.532-540.