Week 24

Welcome to week 24 and the fifth week for Hey Fit Mama. The idea behind these intros for each week is to help discuss what our focus for each week is and also to take the opportunity to have a chat about different forms of exercise. You'll recap from the last four weeks that we have focussed on pelvic floor and lower abdominal exercises, introduced some standing theraband exercises, worked on single leg balance and added in new abdominal exercises with the swiss ball. Remember that the glossary is there to help you with any exercise covered in this program. In the short time we have together I don't want to get bogged down in the descriptions too much, but ensure that you know how I love the exercises to be done. 

So week five is about clams. An exercise that has been filtered throughout many of the programs already. I love clams because they allow us to exercise our buttock muscles in a non-functional position. Ever done heaps of squats or lunges or bridges and just not been able to feel your buttock muscles? Well clams are a gateway to these exercises. If done well they really teach you about activating the muscles in the back of your hip. In this program I have offered a wide variety of clams but just know that if done well, the first version is hard enough. It all comes back to technique and precision. 

There are clams 1, 2 & 3. Clams 1 & 2 can be progressed by wrapping a theraband around your knees. Clams 1 your feet are on the floor. Clams 2 they are lifted. Clams 3 the top leg straightens out at the top of the opening movement. All are done the same way. Begin lying on your side with your knees bent curled up in front of you. Keep you back straight and feet should line up with your tail bone. Before you begin to move squeeze your heels together and you should feel the muscles behind your hip bone tighten. Not the front of the hip or thigh. If this is tough start by first squeezing and lifting your pelvic floor muscles (they help activate the deep hip muscles too) and then reattempt the heel squeeze. Once you feel the squeeze, keep your heels together and open up the top knee. But not too high (see the pictures) and the movement should be an opening of the hip, not a rolling backwards through the upper body. 


Strength work
Perform each exercise for 45 seconds on each side with 15 seconds rest.
‘x’ indicates the number of sets x 1, x 2, x 3

Perform each stretch for 60 seconds or 30 seconds on each side if required.