Restore: THE Core PROGRAM
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Crab Bridge (Level 2)
Once again you’re revisiting an exercise you did in Level 1. As was the case with the VQ, as we move into Level 2 now, the dynamic loads on your core are increasing. The exercise is getting increasingly more challenging to do well.
For the Crab, the challenge is now moving the arms. This is much more difficult to do well.
Recall that in Level 1, your only goal was to move a leg.
The Fundamentals Still Apply!
The exact same fundamental elements that you learned when first being exposed to this exercise that make this movement a valuable one for developing core stability, MUST REMAIN in place.
What are they?
Get into a good neutral low-back position (for you) while maintaining good core / low-ab engagement.
Engage the back, which in turn will create better integration (the hips tie into the larger muscles of the back via fascial connections, right?) and provide a good support for your trunk.
Place your hands on the floor at approximately shoulder width. Your feet should be approximately hip width apart. Don’t forget to use your Mini-Band!
Your Base of Support:
For all of the exercises in this program that have you going from a 4-point stance to a 3-point stance, think of these 3 points as your base of support.
The wider your base, the easier the exercise is to perform.
The narrower your base, the harder the exercise is to perform.
Think about it.
If you apply this concept to all of the skills you’re learning, you’ll see those subtle adjustments in the width or size of your base of support WILL BE one of those things that help you develop your skills progressively. In other words, you can scale the exercise to make it easier or harder based on your base.
Not sure exactly what I mean?
Think of the Crab Bridge: If you narrow the distance your hands are from each other (bringing them closer together), you’ll find it is EASIER to unload to a 3-point stance. Try it if you’re not sure what I mean!
Why is it easier? Because you just made yourself something closer to a true “wheelbarrow,” which in essence simply means that the 3rd “point” is centered under the middle of your body. Balance is easier. And it’s easier to “unload” from that position.
The Half Front Plank with a Reach is exactly the same way. Think about it.
The conclusion you should be coming to is this: the width and size of your base of support is one way in which to gradually and progressively do one of two things (both of which are important for your progress!):
1. Narrow (or widen) your base to make an exercise easier to do well.
2. Narrow (or widen) your base to make an exercise more challenging.
The choice on whether to widen or narrow comes down to whether we’re talking arms or legs, and which exercise.
Think about it! 😊
A little variation for fun!
If you’re interested in experimenting with a little variation of the CRAB BRIDGE that’s fun and also challenging, check out the below video. Enjoy.
*Remember, the BASIC Crab is where the bread and butter is!