To Tone Thighs - Be Crab Crazy!
To tone thighs, I have found that a banded crab walk really reaches those inner and outer thigh muscles. Crab walks can take you beyond your comfort zone and you will feel muscles you didn’t know you had!!!
There are different variations of crab walks that you can do - all of them are a compound exercise which means that the exercise works more than just one muscle group.
1. The Basic Crab Walk does not use a resistance band. It uses body weight for resistance so you don’t need any equipment and it works the backside and hips - gluteus medius and maximus muscles. For this exercise, you start from a standing position with toes facing forward. Bend your knees as much as you can so you are still comfortable, keeping them externally rotated, and with your right foot step to the right then bring your left foot to meet it. To make this exercise a little more intense, you can use a resistance band around your ankles.
2. The Sumo Crab Walk really targets your inner and outer thighs - you can also feel it in the quadriceps! (This is an exercise that gets to my adductor and abductor muscles the most). To really get good results, use a resistance band around your knees.
You begin this version from a standing position with legs shoulder width apart and toes facing out. Bend your knees into a half squat keeping them externally rotated, hands held together in front of your face or chest, then step to the right, bringing your left foot to meet it as in the basic crab walk. To make this exercise more intense, hold a 10 pound weight at your chest.
Regarding resistance bands, the resistance band you use should be just above the knees and tight enough that it doesn’t fall down. Colour denotes the degree of tension in resistance bands, so find your starting colour and work your way up:
Yellow - Usually denotes the easiest resistance bands
Green & Red - Provide light to medium tension commonly used for high repetition (15 or more reps).
Dark Blue and sometimes Green - Heavy tension resistance bands. Used for compound muscle movements
Purple, black & silver - Very high level of tension. For advanced trainees. For developing strength and building muscle mass.
To gauge your band colour, you need a tension that will fatigue your muscles by 8 steps. You need to do 5 x 8 steps in each direction. When this becomes easy, progress to the next colour resistance band. If you keep the resistance band stretched throughout the exercise, you will get a thorough workout on both legs. However, when you start out, don’t overdo it. This is a strong exercise.
3. Supine Crab Walks are carried out on your hands and legs with the front of the body facing the ceiling. You must be careful not to use your hips to maintain balance. This form of crab walk works the triceps, upper arm, shoulders, back, abdominals, hamstrings and thighs, so it’s a great full body exercise.
To do this exercise, sit on the ground, feet in front of you and palms behind your hips on the ground. Engage your abdominal muscles and push your body off the ground. Balance your weight on your hands and feet. Walk one step forward using your left foot and right hand. Repeat on the other side.
4. Prone Crab Walks work the inner and outer thighs, arms and abdominals. They are similar to the supine crab walks but are in the opposite position. You start from a push up position, facing the ground, and move out your left hand and left foot at the same time, sideways. Walk your right hand and right foot to the left at the same time. This is repeated by moving the right hand and right foot back to the right again, followed by the left.
So, all in all, crab walks are a versatile yet tough exercise and depending on the version you do, will work your inner and outer thighs. You will definitely know you have exercised the next day!