Clams is a simple glutes exercise. Unfortunately it is often poorly performed. Clams is the perfect beginner gluteal exercise for those starting out or returning to exercise post injury. Why?  Your body is supported on the floor and the amount of movement required is small and specific.

Set up:

  • Sidelying, with the stronger glute (if you have one or know which side is better) upper most.
  • Knees bent and heels on top of each other.
  • Heels, knees, shoulders and ears all aligned.
  • Lumbar spine neutral.
  • Slightly move the pelvis forward so that the top hip is 2-3cm in front of the lower hip.
  • Lengthen your torso, (think of stretching your top hip away from your upper shoulder).


  1. Maintaining your alignment as above, breathe out and lift the top knee from the bottom knee. your knee should lift no higher than the hip.
  2. Breathe in and lower, trying to stop just short of touching the lower knee.
  3. Repeat 15-20 x2.
  4. Repeat on the other side.


  • Keep your torso still throughout.
  • Keep pressure into your heels throughout but keep feet relaxed and in contact with the floor.
  • You should feel your glutes¬† (back pocket area) switching on within around 5 lifts. There should not be any pain or sensation running along the side of the hip or in your lower back.
  • Remember to breathe and keep your neck and shoulders relaxed – use a pillow at your head if necessary.
  • If you still have trouble activating or feeling your glutes working try a basic bridge first.

Make it Harder:

  • Add in a thera-band or thera-tubing loop around your knees, either just above or below your knees.
  • Elevate your torso so that you are propped on your forearm. You need to keep your lumbar spine neutral and keep your shoulder blade active to avoid your surface neck muscles working too hard.