Your hips are your powerhouse and the hip hinge is a vital weapon in your movement arsenal, but there are a great many of you that don’t use them too well. Whether it’s a straight leg bend at the waist or staying too upright through a hip movement, you are asking your body to move in a way that can result in damage in the long run.
While repeated poor hip hinge movements may not cause any kind of catastrophic injury, repeated stresses on your back will eventually lead to low back issues limiting you in the future. Lets fix it now and turn you all into badasses!
To illustrate how powerful your glutes and hip movements can be, try this:
Standing long jump test:
First do the the jump by squatting half way down and just using your thighs, straighten your knees explosively and jump as far as you can.
Then, go back to the same start point and this time, dont bend your knees so much but push your hips right back and bend over at the waist, now, throw your hips forward and see how far you can go.
A lot further right? That’s the power of your hip hinge when done right.
A little anatomy first…
The glute max muscle attaches on the ilium along the line of the meeting of the ilium and sacrum, it wraps around and down inserting on the femur. It is responsible for extending the hip and externally rotating the leg. It also acts as a knee stabiliser by acting on the IT band.
The extension part is primarily what we think about when we look at the hip hinge movement, that is, straightening your hip from a flexed position where the knee is closer to your chest than normal. From an exercise standpoint think deadlift, RDL, hip thrust or KB swing.
Learning the hinge
The way I usually teach the hinge is to use the wall drill. Stand 3 or 4 inches away from a wall with your back to it. Chest up, head forward. Now, push your ass back towards the wall until it touches. Don’t fall back onto it, don’t rest your cheeks on it, just touch it and straighten right back up. Your back should be straight, your knees will bend a little. Now, move forward another 2 inches or so. repeat the movement, hips back, not down, till you bump the wall.
Remember, it’s a hip movement, most of the movement comes from your hips, your knees stay in the same place, they just bend enough to allow you to move your hips the necessary amount. Keep moving further away until you reach a point where you can’t reach the wall any longer and your hands are around knee level.
Well done, that’s the hip hinge. Now go practice.
Your weight should subtly transfer to your heels. Don’t rock back onto them, just shift your weight.
Think brace, not arch for your low back. Maintain a neutral spine.
When you have a load in your hands, work hard to keep your shoulders “back.” Don’t let them get pulled forwards by the weight when you hinge forward.
Keep the bar as close to your shins as you can. Don’t let it float away, tight lats and shoulders down.
Any questions or comments would be welcome, get me here or over on the Facebook page!