Squats? Press ups? Lunges? They’re so last year! We’re all about the clamshell exercise now.
And no, I don’t mean the shellfish.
Chances are you’ve raised an eyebrow or two.
The clamshell does not require any equipment, although this can be added if desired. All you need is a small area with a comfortable place to lie down and of course, yourself!
Before we get into how to perform this exercise, let’s talk about its benefits.
Did you know, there are three gluteal muscles? Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus. The three muscleteers join together and allow you to manoeuvre. It’s a fact of life that keeping your hips moving puts less force on your lower back. Your back is not made for bending consistently, it’s there for stability. If you don’t move your hips, your back suffers the consequences! This is where the clamshell exercise comes into play, as it focuses on both hip mobility AND strengthens the Gluteus Medius (the outside of your bum).
Correct form is key in all exercises. You could perform 101 clamshells with the incorrect form, or 20 reps with the correct form, and the correct form would win everytime. Quality over quantity.
Let’s do the clamshell.
…Because it gives you equilibrium between the leg and hip muscles, which in turn, lessens the chance of sustaining injury. This is particularly important for athletes, such as runners or joggers, or anyone engaging in physical activities, like a game of football or a rugby match. What none of us appreciate, is that most sports people suffering from foot, ankle or knee injuries, can most likely attribute the source to the condition of the hips. #fact
Of all the exercises offered for knee injuries, clamshell exercises are the most favoured, due to their healing properties.
Stiff hips? Do the clamshell. Knee pain? Do the clamshell. Want a new go-to? Do the clamshell.
See the clamshell in action below:
You can upgrade the clamshell by introducing resistance bands for that extra push. Your glutes and hamstrings will thank you for working them even harder and repay you with a strong core and back. Everyone’s a winner! It’s super easy. Just pop the band around both thighs (slightly above the knee) and you’re in business. Repeat steps 1 to 5, again completing 20 reps per leg.
Why not add some weight to challenge yourself? It’s a well known fact that introducing weight to your workout increases muscle endurance, creating a more toned physique. Dumbbells are perfect for this. Use between 1kg and 5kg. Simply lie down as before, but this time, with a dumbbell in your upper hand, placed on the outside of your hip. Raise your hips off the ground, balancing yourself on your lower elbow and knee. Tighten your core. With your feet together, raise your upper knee to the top. Complete 20 reps per leg.
The clamshell exercise should not be used in isolation. To build good glutes, you must incorporate other glute-focused exercises into your regime. Examples include:
Classes are a great way to discover new workout routines and meet people who share similar goals. Barre, Indoor Cycling, Legs, Bums and Tums and HiiT will kickstart your journey to glute goals.
Did you know?… The clamshell exercise is highly recommended to reduce the appearance of hip-dips. Well, I’ll be clammed!
Oh and dont forget to look good whilst doing them! We think you’d like our ruched bum leggings range…