Sitting and maintaining this low crouch position stretches your hips, and adding a rotation mobilizes your thoracic spine.
The portion of your spine that is located in your upper and middle back.
Clamshells require you to engage both your glute maximus — the largest muscle in your butt.
The glute medius is essential for stability and strength; additionally, the hip lift forces your core to assist in stabilizing your body.
A plank alone engages your core, buttocks, and shoulders.
In addition to extending your hamstrings and back, the transition to downward dog will also stretch your hamstrings.
Within the small range of motion of scapular push-ups, there is a substantial amount of effort being performed.
This active stretch enhances shoulder stability by strengthening the serratus anterior muscle.
In order to maintain a flat back and remain upright while stretching your hamstrings from a half-kneeling position, you must engage your core.
Transition from this half-kneeling stretch to a deep runner's lunge on the same front limb for even more active stretching.
This active stretching move raises your heart rate by requiring you to move rapidly from an upright to a plank position.
It is an ideal dynamic warm-up prior to a cardio exercise.