Clam Shell

Clamshell

The clamshell exercise is a simple yet highly effective movement that targets the hip abductors, particularly the gluteus medius and minimus, to enhance hip stability and strengthen the outer thighs. By lying on your side with your knees bent and opening your top knee while keeping your feet together, this exercise engages the hip muscles crucial for maintaining balance and preventing injuries.

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts benefit significantly from the clamshell exercise, which helps improve hip alignment and corrects muscle imbalances that can lead to knee and lower back pain. It’s ideal for sports requiring lateral movement, like soccer, tennis, and basketball, as well as for those looking to build a stronger core and improve functional movement patterns.

The clamshell exercise is adaptable to various fitness levels by incorporating resistance bands or adjusting the range of motion. Including it in your routine will improve hip stability, promote balanced strength, and enhance lower body mobility for optimal athletic performance and injury prevention.

Equipment Needed:

  • Open floor or yoga mat
  • Loop resistance band or theraband

clamshell Instructions:

  1. While seated on the floor wrap the resistance band around your knees
  2. Lie down on your side with your knees bent and legs together
  3. Keeping your heels together open your knees against the resistance band
  4. Open them as far as possible without your top hip leaning back or falling to the ground
  5. Hold the open position for a 2+ count and return to the starting position
  6. Perform the prescribed reps and switch sides

Common Errors

Opening your hip up too much. Many people lean their pelvis back as the top leg moves up. It appears to give more motion and therefore more resistance but it lessens the amount of control needed by the moving hip. Keep your hips stacked and don’t lean back.

clamshell Progressions / Regressions:

If this is too challenging:

  • Try using a less difficult band or no band at all

If you want more of a challenge:

  • Use a more difficult band
  • Try end range isometric holds. Simply hold the rep in the open position for a longer period of time

 

 

Related Exercises

90/90 Hip Stretch

90/90 Hip Stretch

90/90 Hip Stretch90/90 hip Stretch The 90/90 hip stretch is a powerful exercise designed to improve hip mobility, flexibility, and overall lower body function. This stretch targets the hip internal and external rotators, and the glutes, making it ideal for athletes...

Prone Angel

Prone Angel

Prone AngelProne Angel The prone angel is a powerful exercise designed to improve upper back strength, shoulder stability, and overall posture. Performed while lying face down, this movement mimics the motion of making snow angels. It specifically targets the scapular...

Band Pass Through

Band Pass Through

Band Pass ThroughBand pass through The band pass through, also known as the band shoulder pass through, is an effective exercise designed to improve shoulder mobility, flexibility, and stability. This exercise involves using a resistance band to perform a controlled,...

Related Posts

Building Accessory Programs – Part 6

Building an accessory program is a great idea if your training isn't well balanced or if you have specific goals that aren't being met. This article is the final part of a series all about how to build and implement accessory programs for functional training like...

Unilateral exercises: accessory programming part 5

Functional training programs are intended to make your body move well as a whole, not just as individual parts. Unfortunately many programs still lack movements that are helpful in sport and in life.  Adding unilateral exercises into your training with accessory...

Lateral movements: accessory programming part 4

Functional training programs are intended to make your body move well as a whole, not just as individual parts. Unfortunately many programs still lack movements that are helpful in sport and in life.  Adding lateral movements into your training with accessory programs...

Horizontal Pulling Movements – accessory programming part 3

Functional fitness programming often has a great deal of pulling movements.  Unfortunately programs like Crossfit neglect horizontal pulling in favor of vertical pulling.  For this reason, we recommend adding horizontal pulls to your accessory programming. To learn...

Rotation exercises – crossfit accessory programming part 2

Rotation exercises are key to generating power in movements like throwing or swinging and they also play an important role in muscle balance and healthy joint mechanics.  Unfortunately, they are often missing from many functional fitness programs like Crossfit.  If...

Anti-Rotation Exercises: Accessory Programming Part 1

Crossfit is a constantly varied fitness program that focuses on intense functional movements but it lacks some that may help you stay healthy. This post will help you learn how to program anti-rotation exercises into your accessory programs for Crossfit. Doing this...

The best mobility programs use these elements

Just like a diet needs a caloric deficit to make you lose weight, a mobility program needs certain things in order to help you move better.  In this article we will explore the top 5 things that the most effective mobility programs should have to be as effective as...

Banded Ankle Mobilization: Improve your ankle mobility

Banded ankle mobility mobilizations are simple and effective drills you can use to improve ankle range of motion.  Most of us could use more ankle mobility, especially those of us who sit most of the day and then try to train functional exercises like the squat....

Thoracic Extension Mobility: The Ultimate How To Post

Thoracic spine extension is a crucial spinal movement that is required for shoulder, neck, and low back health as well as athletic performance. In this article, I will discuss what thoracic mobility is, how to assess thoracic mobility, and what thoracic mobility...

Push Pull Ratio: Prevent Shoulder Injuries

What is a push-pull ratio? The push-pull ratio can help prevent shoulder injuries by helping you maintain a balance in the muscles around the shoulder girdle. It is exactly as it sounds- a ratio between how many pushes you are doing compared to how many pulls you are...

Follow Us On Social