How to Do Clamshells: Muscles Worked & Proper Form

Clamshells exercise technique

Muscles Worked in Clamshells

A picture showing which muscles that are being worked in a clamshell

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Do Clamshells

  1. Lie on your side, with your legs bent at about a 90-degree angle.
  2. Tuck your pelvis in to properly activate your glutes.
  3. Lightly brace your core and lift the upper leg by using your glutes. Lift as high as you can while maintaining contact with the glute muscles.
  4. Lower the leg in a slow and controlled motion, and repeat for reps.


Clamshells are commonly used to activate the abductors. They can be made more challenging by putting a band over your knees. Focus on contact with the glutes through the entire movement!

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