PILATES FOR CYCLISTS PART 3: GLUTE ACTIVATION – THE CLAM

Words: Olivia Bloomer SSISA

While the Glute Max is out powerhouse, we also need to focus on activating our Glute Medius, a smaller muscle on the outside of the hip. This muscle plays a major role in stabilizing the pelvis. A cyclist with a weak glute med will typically be seen rocking the hips side to side on the saddle. This can cause other muscles to compensate and lead to various injuries. Try this next one out and let us know how it goes.

  1. Lie on your side, knees bent. Make sure your feet, hips and shoulders are all in one line.
  2. Place your hand on your top hip and hold it firmly in place above the bottom hip.
  3. Keeping the sides of the feet together, lift the top knee as high as you can without the top hip rocking backwards.
  4. Hold for a second at the top, squeezing the buttocks.
  5. Slowly lower down with control. You may not get very high whilst holding the hip, but it important in order to activate the correct muscle.
  6. Repeat 15 reps each side x 2 rounds.

You can intensify this clam exercise by adding a band. It is important to still keep the hips stacked and not loose the form when adding resistance. When you lower down, try slowing it down, you controlling the band, not the band just pulling you down.

If you are really struggling to keep the hips stacked, another option is to do this exercise leaning against a wall. Feet, hips and shoulders against the wall prevents the hips from being able to roll back.

15 reps x 2 sets each side

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