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Health

Try This: Stretch with the crab reach

You might not think of the crab as nature's most graceful creature, but if you mimic its stance when you stretch, you'll open up the tight muscles of your front body and give your backside a workout at the same time.

Demonstrated here by fitness expert Mike Fitch, who uses it in his Animal Flow body-weight resistance class, launching in January at all Equinox gyms, the crab reach is a great way to warm up and start your fitness routine.

What it does

The exercise stretches all of the muscles along the front of your body while flexing the hamstrings, glutes, back extensors and arms.

What to do

Start out in a seated position, with legs bent and soles of the feet on the floor. Arms are directly under the shoulders with the fingers externally rotated to face away from your feet. Lift hips an inch off the ground for your starting position. Drive through your heels as you lift your hips as high as you can, keeping your pelvis tucked forward so you have a neutral or flat spine. Extend your left arm up and over your head, framing it, as you look down at your straight base arm. Bring your left arm down, bring your gaze forward and lower your hips back to the start position, 1 inch off the floor. Repeat the exercise on the other side, with the right arm reaching and framing your head.

How much

Work up to five on each side.

health@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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