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pilates-crabI have no idea why Joseph Pilates called this exercise the crab. Crabs move sideways in a splayed-out shape and this exercise is anything but that. Crab is an advanced Pilates mat exercise. It is one of those fun rolling exercises that require tremendous control from the abdominal muscles.
Get Instructions for the crab

Not looking for an advanced rolling exercise just yet? Work your way up with rolling like a ball and open leg rocker.

Have the Exercise of the Week, along with other great Pilates info, sent directly to you each week in the Free Pilates Newsletter. photo courtesy of Lynda Lippin
July 14, 2009 at 6:12 pm
(1) Pilates Space says:

The sideways open-close movement of the legs is missing in the instructions.
This movement, that needs to be initiated from the hips, actually gave the exercise its name.

July 14, 2009 at 6:18 pm
(2) pilates says:

Thanks for that insight Pilates Space. I’ll add a note in the instructions. I didn’t learn crab with the extended leg motion, though I’ve seen it and it is that way in Rael Isakowtz’ book. The instructions I gave show crab as it is in JP’s Return to Life…..
Still doesn’t seem very crab-like to me. Maybe I’m biased because I grew up in Maryland, land of the crab. ;)

July 16, 2009 at 3:47 pm
(3) Lynda Lippin says:

There is definitely a switch of the leg cross at the back of the roll. I always envision it as a hermit crab hiding in its shell doing minimal limb movement quickly before anything sees it move!

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