Today's Edge: Take care of the small stuff to be ready for the big stuff. This band resisted clamshell exercise might not be impressive but it's important.

BENEFITS:
This exercise targets the smaller lateral glute/hip muscles. These are very important in both 1-leg and bilateral lower body strength work. If you notice that your knee is caving in when you try single leg exercises or during traditional squats, then you will want to take step back to this clamshell exercise. This will help you to build up the hip stabilizers and support your big hip work.

COACHING KEYS:
Bring your knees up to your chest just below a 90 degree hip/knee position. Engage your core to avoid an arch through your low back. Support your head with the arm closest to the floor. Shift your top knee forward so it slightly overhangs the knee closest to the floor. This will position your hips/pelvis in the position that they typically function in during activity. Place band just above your knees. Raise the top knee away from the bottom knee. Imagine a sheet of glass behind your back - avoid rocking back into the glass. The only motion should come from the top knee lifting from the bottom knee. Raise the top knee away as far as you can without rocking back into the imaginary glass. You should feel this working on the outside of the top hip. 

HOW TO USE:
Use this as a warm-up to any workout, activity, or sport. This is also a great exercise to mix in between sets of lower body exercises to ensure all hip stabilizers are fired up. Shoot for 2-4 sets of 8-25 repetitions.


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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS spent 6 seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and is the founder of TD Athletes Edge.  He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition, and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

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