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Use The Clam Exercise To Strengthen Your Glutes And Prevent Knee Injuries On The Soccer Field.

With soccer players, knee injuries can often be associated with a lack of strength in your gluteus medius muscle. Weakness in this muscle usually leads to unstable hip rotation, which inadvertantly leads to an unstable knee. This can cause  injury and hinder your performance on the soccer field. Doing the clam exercise can help strengthen the gluteus medius muscle and prevent knee injuries from occurring on the soccer field. 

Here’s how to do it: You will need a comfortable surface to lie on and a mini-band with some resistance.

  1. Lying on your side, make sure your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders are stacked on top one another.
  2. With the band around your legs, approximately 2-3 inches below your knees, bring your knees towards your chest forming a 40 to 60 degree angle at your hips and knees.
  3. To execute the exercise, slowly rotate the top hip outward, causing your top knee to separate from the bottom knee, and rotate back down.

Key pointers while performing this exercise:

Your goal here is to simply isolate and activate the glute medius muscle. So your focus should only be on small movements. Excessive movements of the hip will involve your torso and you won’t get the desired results. You should focus on higher repetitions. The gluteus medius muscle plays a supporting role in a variety of movements, so it’s vital that it can “carry its proper burden” and sustain those movements for a long period of time. Performing 2-3 sets of 15-20 repetitions should suffice.

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