You can work your muscles in many ways. Find out how to do resistance band crab walks and whether they are worth it.
The resistance band crab walk is an exercise where you step sideways with a resistance band looped around your upper legs.
This will mainly work your hip abductors (outer thighs) and to some extent your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and lower back to keep your body in position.
In theory, resistance band crab walks can grow and strengthen your hip abductors to some extent.
That being said, because you are likely interrupting each set to switch directions before you hit the ideal rep ranges, you can say resistance band crab walks are suboptimal.
Even if you would do enough reps, something like lying leg raises with or without resistance bands will often offer more results.
How to do a resistance band crab walk
For the crab walk you want bands in a short loop.
You can get these by looping a long one around twice or using more typical short fabric resistance bands or short rubber loops.
Once you have the required gear, take the following steps to do a resistance band crab walk:
- Loop a resistance band around your upper legs and close to your knees. Bend your knees slightly and tilt your upper body somewhat forward.
- Take a step sideways with one foot until your feet are about shoulder-width apart. Keep your spine straight for comfort and don’t let your knees cave inward.
- Step with your other foot so your feet are back together again.
- Take a few steps in the same direction.
- Complete the same number of steps back.
You want the steps to come from your muscles generating force, not momentum.
To do this, you want to do resistance band crab walks at a controlled pace.
Besides that, you want to make sure you work each side about equally. This will help you avoid muscle imbalances.
You also want to make sure you don’t let your knees cave inward.
Lastly, you can also loop the resistance band lower to make the exercise harder (1). The example uses knee height but you can also do ankle height and even around your feet.
Resistance band crab walk muscles worked
Resistance band crab walks mainly work your hip abductors aka your outer thigh muscles.
If you want to get specific, these hip abductor muscles include your gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fasciae latae.
You can also say your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and lower back have to work to some extent during resistance band crab walks to keep your body in position.
One downside of resistance band crab walks related to working your muscles is that you likely have to switch direction before you hit the ideal rep ranges for your training goals.
And even if you would be able to do 6 to 25 resistance band crab walks in one direction, the standing position would likely make it so you work your muscles suboptimally.
That being said, it should still be able to grow and strengthen or at least improve endurance in your outer thighs by doing resistance band crab walks.
Benefits of resistance band crab walks
While the things above still apply, it is also fair to say that resistance band crab walks can offer helpful benefits. A few of these include:
- Works your muscles: Resistance band crab walks work your outer thigh muscles to a nice extent. This can be helpful for growth, strength progress, and endurance improvements.
- Can make daily activities easier: Having stronger outer thigh muscles can make daily activities like standing up and walking around easier.
- Can improve leg visuals: Many people will agree that more developed outer thigh muscles tend to be visually attractive.
These benefits do not only apply to resistance band crab walks but if you like the exercise, you could consider doing it more often.
Resistance band crab walk alternatives
By now you could conclude that you want more effective options or resistance band crab walk alternatives that work more muscles at the same time.
Some of these alternatives include:
- Side leg raises
- Weighted leg abductions
- Side planks
- Sumo squats (bodyweight or weighted)
- Fire hydrants
To choose between these resistance band crab walk alternatives you want to think about what muscles you want to work and try out a few movements to see what you like.
Are resistance band crab walks a good exercise?
Resistance band crab walks can be a decent exercise to work your outer thigh muscles.
If you use resistance bands that are hard enough and do enough repetitions, banded crab walks can offer you nice results.
At the same time, it is hard to really call this a good exercise.
The main reason for this is that you likely have to stop your “set” of resistance band crab walks on each side before you get to the optimal ranges.
Additionally, the standing position is not ideal for working your outer thigh muscles.
That being said, personal preference is a relevant detail when putting together your workout program.
If you like resistance band crab walks and/or don’t like other outer thigh exercises, you could consider implementing this movement into your routine.
What are banded crab walks good for?
Banded crab walks are mainly good for working your hip abductors aka your outer thigh muscles.
Even for this purpose, there are more effective alternatives.