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Running Exercises Blog Series 4/5

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:

  1. Externally rotates the hip

  2. Aids in hip extension

  3. Aids in pelvic stability

  4. 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.

Compensations include:

  1. Hips shifting to opposite side

  2. Opposite arm lifting off the floor

  3. Hip lifting/rotating up toward the ceiling

  4. 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!

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