For an industry that takes itself as seriously as fitness does, there’s no shortage of exercises with offbeat names. And there is one that you may have already read, as it is gaining increasing popularity, called
clamshell. Serves like few
activate and tone your muscles, and especially the buttocks. And it’s perfect to do at home!
Obviously, its name has to do with the movement a sea clam makes when it opens and closes its shell.
It does not have a particularly difficult technique, but doing it well will make it easier for you to get the results you expect. Especially if you want to tone and activate your muscles. And the best thing is that
you can do it effortlessly.
How to do the clamshell exercise well
The first thing you will have to do to start mastering the clamshell is
lie on your right side with feet and hips stacked, knees bent 90 degrees and head resting on the right arm. Draw your knees in toward your body until your feet are in line with your butt. place your
left hand on his left hip to make sure you don’t lean back. This is your starting position.
Keeping your abs tight and your feet together,
raise your left knee as far as you can without rotating your hip nor lift the right knee off the ground. Hold for a single second, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement, before slowly lowering your left knee back to the starting position.
Do 20 reps, then repeat on the other side.. And if you want to make it more difficult, loop a resistance band around both thighs, just above the knees.
Muscles you work with the clamshell
Among the muscles worked by the clamshell exercise, the most prominent is the
gluteus medius. This is the abductor that forms the outer edge of your rear and the side of your hip. The importance of this muscular area cannot be underestimated, with responsibilities that include
hip stabilization, balance and power.
A strong gluteus medius guides you through each step, stabilizing you, propelling you and also
protect your knees and lower back from unnecessary strain by taking on much of the workload involved in lower body movement. This includes any side-to-side actions you might perform in agility training.
It is also involved in
gluteus maximus, a prime mover in hip extension. This is the largest muscle in the body and the one that most people seek to shape and strengthen with exercises like the squat and deadlift. When you talk about getting your butt tough, this is the muscle you’re referring to.
Benefits of the Clamshell Exercise
When performing movements such as squats or deadlifts, where one of the primary goals is
build gluteal strength, it is important to first activate the muscles that will do the work. Do a couple sets of clamshells before these exercises to activate your glutes. This helps ensure that they are engaged and working as prime movers.
As a general exercise, the clamshell can help
strengthen the gluteus medius, providing more power and stability to the hips. This can also translate into a
lower risk of injury throughout the lower body, greater stabilization in agility training, and more strength and power in the squat.
Another benefit of this exercise is its
effect on shape and muscle development. If you add resistance, doing more than 10 reps can leave your glutes burning. Almost literally. if you try to
maximize this by seeking exhaustion (doing as many reps as you can) or doing multiple sets, you’ll set the stage for defining that muscle group.
The goodness of this movement lies in its
risk-reward ratio. In your quest for strength and muscle development, you accept that many exercises are accompanied by the possibility of injury and a strong glute is
essential to keep the hips stable and to protect the lower back and knees from the risk of injury. And as an isolated exercise, it is perfect for strengthening the glutes and toning.