This week’s Best Butt Exercise is a nice and easy floor exercise that can be done lying down, but don’t let that fool you into thinking its not super effective, because it is.
These are another butt exercise that can easily be done from the comfort of your own bed! Great exercise for first thing in the morning or just before bed to really get the glutes firing and activate the butt muscles.
Clamshells are also known as external hip rotations, because they involve rotating at the hip. Depending on your flexibility you may have some difficulty getting a large range of motion for this move, but you will improve with practice and time.
Hip mobility is one of the first things to go as you age, so this is a great exercise to not only keep those buns nice and perky, but also to fight the loss of mobility that comes with a sedentary lifestyle.
Exercise: Clamshell External Hip Rotations
Muscles worked: Glutes
Jolie Recommends: 20 reps per side, add a resistance band to work the glutes further once well-practiced.
Difficulty rating: 2
Effectiveness rating: 8
Best Butt Exercise #8: Clamshells
How To Do The Move
- Start lying on the floor on one side with your legs bent at around 90 degrees at the knees. Angle your thighs from your body at around 135 degrees.
- Keeping your hips stacked vertically on top of each other, hinge at the hip to bring the knee of your top leg up, opening your legs like a clamshell.
- Keep the heels touching each other, and squeeze the glutes to drive the movement. It’s very important not to let your pelvis roll backwards as you raise your upper leg.
- Use your free arm and place your hand on your upper glutes, so you can feel the glute muscles working throughout the exercise. This kind of ‘palpating’ for muscles working can actually increase the amount of muscle recruitment and activation.
Perfecting Your Form
I love the clamshell exercise because it really helps to target the sides of your glutes (like seated band abductions or monster band walks). But another reason I love them is that there are some nice variations you can do with them too!
The first is the ‘suspsended clam’ or ‘flying oyster’. Basically it is the same as a normal clamshell, but you just reposition both feet so they are floating about 1 foot off the ground.
Something like this, but bring the bottom foot up so that your two feet are touching mid-air:
The second variation I like is to do a kind of hybrid move between clamshells and straight leg raises. Start by doing a regular clamshell (feet on the floor version), but pause at the ‘open clam’ position and extend your top leg out straight. Then return to the open clam position, before bringing your knees back together. That’s one rep. Repeat!
You can do both of these variations with or without a band. I suggest starting without a band intially, until you get the hang of it. Enjoy!