Here’s a new exercise I just thought up. I didn’t know what to call it so I named it the side-lying clam raise. However, it’s not the same as a typical clam. In this version you’ll raise your entire body up via transverse hip abduction. Make sure that the hips are flexed forward and not straightened (that’s also a good exercise, I call it the side-lying hip raise, but it’s hip abduction and works mainly the glute medius and upper glute max, whereas the hips-flexed version shown in this video brings in different fibers including some lower glute max activity). Also make sure to raise both hips to get more bang for your buck.
Here’s why I like it so much. The side-lying clamshell exercise is incredibly easy. Sure, the point of “low-load glute activation” is to use low loads and focus on quality contractions, but this is more of a hip-strengthening exercise. I can only do 10 reps with these right now and my glutes are screaming. In the past I’ve needed bands to challenge the glutes from this direction (like Tony does them HERE), but now I finally have a bodyweight exercise that can be performed anywhere for glute strengthening in this movement pattern. You can bust these out when watching tv or staying at a hotel and require bodyweight workouts, and for more advanced athletes they’d serve well in the dynamic warm-up.
Get down on the floor and try it right now. How many high-quality reps can you get (no flailing, leaking, compensation, etc.)? Don’t feel bad if you can’t get any yet, as I already stated this is a challenging exercise.