This week I wanted to share a quick video of a very simple tweak to maximize the hip clam exercise by really firing the glutes. Rather than perform a standard hip clam exercise, the tweak is what you do after you lay down on your side with your hips bent to 45 degrees and knees at 90 degrees. From this position, I want you to push your top knee outward, as if it were longer than the bottom knee.
I like to coach this by placing the hand on your hip to assure that you stabilize the upper half of your body from rolling too much. In this position you can also really palpate the glutes with that hand while they are firing. I also like to again coach them to push their knee out at the top of the clam, as well.
Notice that the amount of hip opening is not that much. Essentially, by pushing your top knee outward, you are rotating your pelvis and placing the hip in a more abducted and externally rotated position. This will allow the posterior fibers of the gluteus medius to really turn on, and also kick in the external rotation fibers of the gluteus maximus. But you also preposition yourself in some external rotation, so the amount of clam opening will be less. You should avoid opening the knees too much and rocking your upper body backward. This is a common goal in the PRI world, who often describe this exercise and use it for pelvic reposition and integration exercises on the right side. (For the PRI clinicians reading, this will obviously be familiar, for the fitness enthusiasts reading this, I recommend you get evaluated to see exactly what your body needs).
I’ve talked about how important the hip clam exercise is in the past and my past videos were pretty popular on the Mike Reinold Youtube page, so this is just another tweak you can add to your toolbox.
Simple tweak, right? Try it! Do a set of standard clams and then another with your top knee pushed outward, your glutes will be on fire!
If you are wondering, I called this the “Hip Clam Exercise with a Plus” in an article in Men’s Health, sort of like the “Push Up with a Plus” exercise for the serratus anterior.
Hip Clam Exercise with a Plus
Did you try it? Are your glutes on fire? What did you think about this simply variation of the hip clam exercise?