First you had the silly "clams" and leg raises brought to you by Jane Fonda et al. These got a much-needed upgrade by combining them with a resistance band.
Then you had the clam raise brought to you by Bret Contreras – a highly effective exercise for the glutes that trains hip external rotation and abduction. Now try this twist: the hybrid glute-raise.
We're taking the clam raise to an incline bench, working the bottom leg. We're then combining it with some straight-knee abductions working the top leg at the same time. We're also take it into a slight deficit since your bottom hip will drop slightly while your top leg is taken behind.
Even if you train your glutes regularly, this is an extremely humbling exercise to perform correctly.
How to Do It Right
- Grab an incline bench and set the backrest to roughly a 30-degree angle. Set the seat to an incline too, if your bench allows it.
- Position yourself sideways with your bottom knee wedged in the groove and your elbow on the top part of the bench. (Tall person modification: If the bench backrest is too short, then you can do this on the floor with your elbow on a bench and knee on a pad or low step).
- Keep your bottom knee bent and top knee completely straight throughout.
- Start by letting your straight leg drop slightly behind. The bottom hip should hike out below the bench. This creates a slight deficit for both the bottom and top hip, further loading your glutes in their more lengthened position.
- Crush the bench with your bottom knee and drive your hip up as high as it'll go. Try to keep your sideways angle as you reach the top.
- Attempt to lead with the heel of your top leg (toes slightly down). This will help take your hip flexors out while somewhat loading your glutes more.
- Drop to the start position, returning to the deficit. Your knee will touch your calf and act as a stopper each time.
Make It Even Harder
I'd recommend nailing clam raises off the floor before progressing to these. Once you're hitting double-figure reps (10-plus) with the hybrid clam raise then you can start using a small ankle weight for your top leg or even a booty band around your thighs.
As if these aren't painful enough, you could even make a form of mechanical drop-set out of them:
Once you hit near failure with the hybrid glute-raises, continue with just with the straight-knee abductions to failure. Notice in the video I'm trying to keep tension on the bottom hip too. By not allowing the bottom hip to touch the bench, your glutes get a nice pump from the isometric contraction.
If you're particularly masochistic, you'll get a lot of kicks out of these. Just 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps on each leg will make for a perfect glutes finisher.