Top 5 Fridays! A 5 Step Clamshell Progression | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

Top 5 Fridays! A 5 Step Clamshell Progression

I love working on single limb stance stability and try to be as "functional" as possible. Sometimes, you have to regress to NWB for many reasons and the clamshell can be both powerful and simple at the same time. A great combination. Special thanks to Michael Major and Tyler Allen from for shooting this video series and sharing with MMT Blog!

Clamshell #1 
  • Have your thighs about 30-60 degrees from your hip, rest your top thigh on your bottom thigh 
  • Rotate your foot upward (making sure to rotate through the femur, without shifting your pelvis forward)
  • Works the hip internal rotator muscles

Clamshell #2 
  • Same start position as the first clamshell
  • Be straight up and down through your pelvis and upper body, keep feet together
  • Rotate the knee upward, and don't roll backward through the pelvis
  • Works the hip external rotator muscles

Clamshell #3 
  • Start in the same position but lift your top leg up so your hip, knee, and ankle are in a straight line 
  • Maintain that abducted position and focus on internally rotating through your femur and thigh 
  • Keep thighs parallel to one another and keep your upper body calm and still 
  • Works the hip abductors and hip internal rotators 

Clamshell #4 
  • Start in the same position as Clamshell #3
  • Bring your leg back (extend the hip), so your thigh is straight in line with your upper body and rotate from there (keeping everything else still and quiet)
  • Works the hip abductors, internal rotators, and extensors! 

Bonus Clamshell
  • Get your mini-band (or tie an exercise band in a loop), and place it around your knees
  • Works things as above but adds some extra tension!
  • Great if you're having trouble progressing from one clamshell to the next (band the easier one and get stronger before moving on)
  • Great way to add extra tension to the clamshell position you find the most comfortable/like the best

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Keeping it Eclectic...

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