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Kettlebell Crab Reach 101 Video Tutorial

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Kettlebell Crab Reach
Kettlebell Crab Reach

Exercise Synopsis

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The Kettlebell Crab Reach is a dynamic and compound exercise designed to engage the abdominal muscles as the primary target, promoting core strength and stability. In this exercise, participants start in a seated position on the floor, lifting their hips into a crab position while holding a kettlebell. The movement involves reaching across the body with one hand to grasp the kettlebell and then extending the arm overhead, effectively working the triceps and shoulders. This exercise not only challenges the core through stabilization but also enhances overall upper body strength. The use of a kettlebell adds resistance to the movement, requiring coordination and control. With its focus on the abs and additional engagement of triceps and shoulders, the Kettlebell Crab Reach is an effective way to incorporate both core and upper body training into a single dynamic routine.

How to Perform

  1. Setup:

    • Begin by placing a kettlebell on the floor beside you.

    • Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat, creating a stable base.

  2. Starting Position:

    • Position your hands behind you with fingers pointing away from your body, shoulder-width apart.

    • Lift your hips off the ground, supporting your weight with your hands and feet, creating a tabletop position.

  3. Reach for the Kettlebell:

    • With one hand, reach across your body to grab the handle of the kettlebell next to you.

  4. Lifting Motion:

    • Extend your arm overhead while keeping your hips lifted, engaging your triceps and shoulders.

    • Ensure a smooth and controlled movement throughout to maintain stability.

  5. Return to Starting Position:

    • Bring the kettlebell back down to the ground beside you, returning to the tabletop position.

  6. Switch Sides:

    • Repeat the movement on the other side by reaching across your body with the opposite hand to grab the kettlebell.

  7. Maintain Core Engagement:

    • Throughout the exercise, focus on contracting your abdominal muscles to stabilize your core.

    • Keep your core tight to prevent excessive movement in the hips and lower back.

  8. Breathing:

    • Inhale as you prepare and lower your body.

    • Exhale as you lift the kettlebell and extend your arm overhead.

  9. Repetition:

    • Perform the exercise for the desired number of repetitions, alternating sides to ensure balanced muscle engagement.

  10. Safety Tips:

    • Choose a kettlebell weight that challenges you without compromising form.

    • Ensure a secure grip on the kettlebell to prevent accidents.

    • Pay attention to your body alignment, maintaining a straight line from shoulders to knees in the tabletop position.


  1. Start in a seated position with knees bent, feet flat, and a kettlebell placed next to you on the floor.

  2. Lift your hips off the ground, supporting your weight with hands and feet, creating a tabletop position.

  3. Reach across your body with one hand to grab the kettlebell, engaging triceps, shoulders, and initiating core activation.

  4. Extend the arm overhead while keeping hips lifted, emphasizing the abdominal muscles in the movement.

  5. Maintain a controlled and smooth lifting motion, avoiding jerky movements to ensure stability and safety.

  6. Return the kettlebell to the ground beside you, carefully controlling the descent to engage the muscles throughout.

  7. Switch sides and repeat the exercise, reaching across your body with the opposite hand for balanced muscle engagement.

  8. Keep the core tight throughout the exercise to stabilize the body and prevent excessive movement in the hips and lower back.

  9. Choose an appropriate kettlebell weight that challenges you without compromising your form.

  10. Breathe rhythmically, inhaling during the descent and exhaling as you lift the kettlebell and extend your arm overhead.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid Excessive Momentum:

    • Don't use excessive swinging or momentum to lift the kettlebell; instead, focus on controlled movements to engage the target muscles effectively.

  2. Watch for Overarching the Lower Back:

    • Avoid arching your lower back excessively during the overhead reach; maintain a neutral spine to prevent strain on the lower back.

  3. Don't Neglect Core Engagement:

    • Avoid allowing your core to relax during the movement. Keep your abdominal muscles engaged throughout to maximize the benefits for the target muscle group.

  4. Mindful Grip on the Kettlebell:

    • Don't use a loose or insecure grip on the kettlebell; ensure a firm hold to prevent accidents or dropping the weight.

  5. Steer Clear of Rounded Shoulders:

    • Avoid rounding your shoulders during the lifting phase. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears to maintain proper shoulder mechanics.

  6. Limit Excessive Lifting Height:

    • Avoid lifting the kettlebell too high overhead, as it may strain the shoulders. Aim for a comfortable and controlled range of motion.

  7. Avoid Holding Your Breath:

    • Don't hold your breath during the exercise. Remember to breathe rhythmically to maintain proper oxygen flow and energy distribution.

  8. Do Not Neglect the Switching Process:

    • Avoid rushing the process of switching the kettlebell from one hand to the other. Take your time to ensure a smooth transition, minimizing the risk of dropping the weight.

  9. Mindful Foot Placement:

    • Don't neglect the position of your feet. Ensure they are firmly planted on the ground to provide a stable base and prevent unnecessary stress on the ankles.

  10. Don't Use an Inappropriate Kettlebell Weight:

    • Avoid selecting a kettlebell that is too heavy, as this may compromise your form. Choose a weight that allows you to maintain proper technique while still providing a challenge for the muscles.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.