The clam shell is a nice glute workout, you can add resistance with a band, but otherwise the loading potential of this exercise is limited.
That’s not to say it doesn’t have its place; this is the perfect exercise to use as a glute warm up or a finisher.
How to perform the clam shell
To perform the clam shell, start by laying on your side with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle.
Rest one leg on top of the other. Imagine a pin through both of your heels as you open up your legs at the knees as wide as they will go, while keeping your heels together the entire time.
As the name of the exercise says, your legs will make a clam shell shape as they open and close at the knees.
Go for reps.
Loop a band around your knees for resistance.
Clam shell: Common mistakes to avoid
Most commonly with the clam shell, we see the feet moving apart when they should remain fixed the entire time. Take things slowly and remember that good form is better than a rushed set.
While doing the exercise is far better than not doing it (in most cases), it should be noted that sloppy form on any exercise is not recommended. If you are performing your clam shell with incorrect form, you may recruit other muscle groups during the exercise, or poorly engage the intended muscle groups, which will hinder your gains at best and result in injury at worst.
Always keep the muscle you intend to work in mind when you are performing the exercise, this is the ideal way to ensure best results.
Reps and sets
In addition to the clam shell, you should also consider your overall bigger picture. How many reps and sets you perform with each exercise depends entirely on where you are physically and of course, your desired outcomes.
Beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point. For the purpose of laying a solid foundation to build upon; don’t over complicate things. The most important thing is to get started, the rest will come with experience.
On the other hand, more advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals first. From there; you can choose the appropriate rep/set range to work with.
Beyond the clam shell...
More bum exercises coming soon...
Just so you know, this list of bum exercises is a work in progress and is by no means extensive. We will continue to grow this entire database for you over time, so be sure to check back for updates. Alternatively, you can join our mailing list below and you’ll be the first to know about all new content we produce.