Clam Shell

This “best butt exercise” is a nice and easy floor exercise that can be done lying down, but don’t let that fool you into thinking its not super effective, because it is.

You can also do this in the comfort of your own bed, but don’t fall asleep!

Clamshells are also known as external hip rotations, because they involve rotating at the hip. Depending on your flexibility you may have some difficulty getting a large range of motion for this move, but you will improve with practice and time.

Hip mobility is one of the first things to go as you age, so this is a great exercise to not only keep those buns nice and perky, but also to fight the loss of mobility that comes with a sedentary lifestyle.

Exercise: Clamshell External Hip Rotations
Muscles worked: Glutes
Reps:  20 reps per side, add a resistance band to work the glutes further once well-practiced.
Difficulty rating: 2
Effectiveness rating: 8


• Start lying on the floor on one side with your legs bent at around 90 degrees at the knees. Angle your thighs from your body at around 135 degrees.
• Keeping your hips stacked vertically on top of each other, hinge at the hip to bring the knee of your top leg up, opening your legs like a clamshell.
• Keep the heels touching each other, and squeeze the glutes to drive the movement. It’s very important not to let your pelvis roll backwards as you raise your upper leg.
• Use your free arm and place your hand on your upper glutes, so you can feel the glute muscles working throughout the exercise. This kind of ‘palpating’ for muscles working can actually increase the amount of muscle recruitment and activation.

Perfecting Your Form ▪ Keep the spine in a neutral position – neither arched or hunched.
▪ Keep the hips stacked vertically one on top of the other, and perfectly still while you perform this movement. This ensures the glutes provide the movement, not the hips.
▪ Slow, controlled movement while maintaining a mental focus on the butt muscles will make this exercise most effective.
▪ Squeeze the glutes and pause for a moment at the top of the movement to work the butt even more.


Slow, controlled movement with perfect form is the key to reaping the benefits of this exercise. Aim for 20 reps per side with no exercise equipment initially, then step it up with a resistance band around your knees to add extra difficulty to the exercise.