C is for 'The Crab - Advanced Exercise'

The Pilates mat exercise, the crab, requires total control from the core, giving you a great abdominal workout. The crab is advanced. It builds on rolling like a ball, open leg rocker and seal which you should ideally learn first. Keep your Pilates principles in mind, especially precision and control.

School Of Pilates Posted Nov 06, 2014 Future Fit Training


Spinal mobility, strength of the core, rectus abdominus and obliques

This requires a great deal of flexibility and should only be performed by advanced participants.

  • Sit on the mat in a cross-legged position, TVA engaged and shoulders stabilised
  • Hold onto the feet without losing the upright posture
  • Perform a pelvic tilt to achieve balance position
  • Maintain the grip on the feet
  • Inhale; maintain the alignment while rolling the sit bones under with a posterior pelvic tilt rolling back maintaining this shape and position of the leg
  • Go no further than the tops of the shoulders, keep the heels pressed towards the backs of the legs
  • Exhale, return to balance position without letting the feet touch the floor
  • Repeat the sequence 6 times

Prime movers

Rectus abdominus, obliques


TVA, internal and external obliques, lateral leg rotators and hip adductors

Muscles stretched

Lower back