Build your glutes with a new take on the clam raise

You had the boring-ass clam exercise brought to you by Jane Fonda et al. Then you had the lying clam-raise exercise brought to you by Bret ‘Glute Guy’ Contreras – one of my favourites of all time and a frequent part of my client’s programming. 

The Clam-Raise

Start by doing these with bodyweight only, then add band resistance either above or below your knees to increase intensity. Here’s how I like to set them up:

Another way you could progress clam-raises is by adding a deficit. The deficit is a progression in range of motion, loading your glutes in a deeper stretch position. There are a few ways you could set up for these, but using a couple of steps I’ve found easiest for most to grasp. Notice the degree of hip drop:

Now you know what a clam-raise look like, here’s something new for you to try and the true focus of this article:

Hybrid Glute-Raises

The hybrid glute-raise is a cross between a clam-raise performed on an incline bench and a side-lying abduction. As you’ll see from the video above, the bottom leg is working hip abduction and external rotation, while the top leg isolated hip abduction only.

What you might not notice, too, is that the use of incline bench helps both lock you in and take your bottom hip in to a slight deficit. Oftentimes I’ve found in my own coaching practice, some struggle with the elbow position on the floor when doing clam-raises – their hips can do the work but their shoulder strength might be lacking. The incline bench helps overcome this obstacle, and sets you in stone better to focus on the intended hip action. 

Here’s a 2-minute of me explaining how to correctly perform a hybrid glute-raise:

Key points:

  • Lock yourself in to the bench. Your anatomy and the bench will influence how/where your arms(s) are locked-in, so have a play.
  • Maintain a side-lying position throughout.
  • Start and finish with your hip below the height of the bench (watch the video for more).
  • Drive your bottom knee in to the space between the seat and the backrest to initiate the raise.
  • Abduct your hips getting as high as you can.
  • Lead with your top heel and hip slightly internally rotated – toes pointed down. This will help minimise hip flexor involvement.


If you’re interested in fitness nerd stuff I’ve an article coming soon to covering more the mechanics, as well as a nasty mechanical drop-set variation. I’ll update the link here when its out.

Hybrid glute raises are a particularly useful glutes isolator and hip strengthener. Not only will they help you build glutes that’ll melt the internet, they’ll improve your knee and back health, as well as your ability to execute squats and deadlifts. Just 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps on each leg would work great at the end of your workouts.

Tried these yet? Feel free to comment with your experience, or click the social media share icons to spread the love.

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