What kind of “Clam” do you do?

While it’s a great exercise to strengthen the hip abductors (a group of muscles that’s been implicated in several pathologies and injuries, including both the hip AND the knee), I see far too many people perform this using a “relaxed” pelvic posture.  Specifically, these athletes like to recline or lay back the pelvis while doing this.  The authors of this new study conclude that,

“A neutral pelvis position is advocated to optimize recruitment of the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius during the clam exercise. Increasing the hip flexion angle increases activation of the gluteus medius. Tensor fasciae latae activity was relatively low and generally unaffected by variations of the clam exercise.”

Wilcox & Burden. The Influence of Varying Hip Angle and Pelvis Position on Muscle Recruitment Patterns of the Hip Abductor Muscles During the Clam Exercise. Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 325-331. 2013