Updated: Jul 7, 2021
Running Exercises Blog Series
Part 4 of 5: Quadruped Clamshell
Sara Carpenito, MS, LAT, ATC
For this post, we are going to revisit our glutes and turn our attention to a very specific muscles called “gluteus medius.”
This tiny glute muscle has MANY jobs:
Externally rotates the hip
Aids in hip extension
Aids in pelvic stability
Aids in knee and ankle stability
If this muscle isn't able to do one of those jobs, chances are, it is struggling to do the other jobs as well. To get this muscle activated and in gear, let’s try the quadruped clamshell.
Place a miniband around and above both knees
Position yourself on your hands and knees (wrists under shoulders, knees under hips)
Keep your heels together throughout the entire exercise
Rotate one knee out to the side against the band resistance
You might feel your hips sway or open up and feel that your opposite arm wants to lift up. As explained in the previous post this is another sneaky core exercise in conjunction with a gluteus medius exercise.
What you may be encountering is a sign of some glute disengagement and/or core control. Your body needs to learn how to use that gluteus medius muscle while your core is contracted. Otherwise, your body is going to find a way to compensate for that lack of strength and control.
Hips shifting to opposite side
Opposite arm lifting off the floor
Hip lifting/rotating up toward the ceiling
Weight shifting backward
You should feel the side of your glute contracting and your core working during this exercise. If you start noticing any of the compensations listed above … stop … reposition … then start again with correct form. You will definitely know where your glutes are after this one!