Progressing the Clamshell
No matter the goal, it’s likely that you’re not going to get there after just one session. It takes practice. It takes repetition. It takes planning.
The mark of a good therapist, regardless of your setting, is the ability to properly progress their patients towards their end goal. In order to do so, you need to incorporate progression into the training program.
The most basic form of progression when it comes to resistance training is the manner in which you increase load. For example: Increasing by five pounds each session. A much more difficult concept is to apply progression to movement patterns & muscular development. This is critically important in a rehab setting, where patients may not be able to progress quickly enough to continually increase load.
The Clamshell Bridge is a great way to progress GluteMed strength! As a therapist, odds are high that you’ve prescribed Clamshells more times than you care to count. We can make this simple exercise much more difficult!
- The Clamshell Bridge takes the movement a step further! We’re performing abduction & external rotation of the weight-bearing hip to lift our body up off the ground.
- We’re maintaining isometric GluteMed activation at the top to support our bodyweight, which also allows us to tie in lateral chain core stability in order to maintain proper positioning.
- In addition, we begin to layer in closed-chain shoulder stability and get the benefit of an eccentric GluteMed contraction on the descent!
Add this exercise into your routine the next time you train. Play around with it and get the feel for the movement, it’s nuances, and any potential compensatory patterns that a patient may attempt to use.
If you like it, add it to your list of rehab progressions!!
-Charles Badawy, SPT, CSCS, USAW