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Spider crawls are a total body exercise that can be part of a dynamic warm-up or a complete conditioning program. The move requires you to activate your back, arms, legs and core while supporting your body weight as you "walk" awkwardly across the floor from an all-fours position. The crawl raises your heart rate, tones your muscles and burns fat
To do the spider crawl, you start at the top of a pushup and then bend your elbows so you hover just about 6 inches above the ground. Keeping your abdominals engaged and your back straight, draw your right knee forward and out to the side to touch your right elbow. Place the right foot on the floor and then repeat with the left side. Continue to alternate sides to cover the desired distance, usually about 30 feet. If you need more intensity, speed up or instead of lunging, jump-switch your legs forward.
Back and Shoulders
The spider crawl targets most of the major muscles of the back, including the trapezius, latissimus dorsi and rhomboids.The erector spinae, which support the spine, are also activated when you keep your torso rigid. All three parts of the deltoid muscle, the anterior, medial and posterior, are essential to the spider crawl. Your rotator cuff also works as you move your arms forward.
Chest and Arms
Because you hold yourself just inches above the ground, many of the muscles used during pushups are active. The triceps at the back of the upper arm work to hold you in elbow flexion. The pectoralis major and minor at the chest are also engaged to support your body weight.
Lower Body and Core
Pulling your legs forward requires strength from the abductors, or the gluteus medius and minimus, at the sides of the hips and the quadriceps. Your adductors inside your thighs also work to propel you forward. Your gluteus maximus powers you to move across the floor. Keeping your torso rigid requires strong abdominals - involving the front sheath known as the rectus abdominus, the side muscles called the obliques and the deep postural enhancer called the transverse abdominus.