The side lying clam is a nice little glute exercise. When examining EMG activation, it elicits approximately 77% of MVC for the glute medius and 53% of MVC for glute maximus (click HERE to download a decent review paper on simple activation and rehab exercises for the glutes, but be aware that the authors erroneously compared studies that utilized different MVC positions and failed to mention the effects that ROM and position have on gluteal activity). However, you can ramp up muscle activation in this exercise by utilizing a band.
I like the banded side lying clam for several reasons:
- Strengthening the glutes as horizontal (transverse) plane abductors,
- Inducing metabolic stress (attaining a pump/burn), and
- Adding additional training volume without taxing the CNS (central nervous system).
Here is a video where I show you how I have my clients perform the movement. However, I recommend that you tinker around including experimenting with different amounts of hip flexion to determine the position that you feel works your glutes the best.
Give it a try and see if you like it!