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How to hip hinge

It doesn't matter what your training goal is, your strength programme should include the following four movements:

  • Squat

  • Hinge

  • Press

  • Pull

This week I am going to talk about the Hinge!


The hip hinge is one of the most important movements to learn to help protect the spine from injury. Despite the spine having the capability to bend it is at its strongest and safest when in a neutral position. To find out more information about this check out the work by Professor Stuart McGill, PhD.


We often neglect this movement on a daily basis and instead of using our full potential and hinge from the hips we bend from our back resulting in back injuries later on in life.


The hip hinge can be a difficult movement to master and depending on your current level of body awareness can make a big difference on how quick you learn the action.


So what is a hip hinge?

It is the movement when the torso bends downwards and the body folds in half. When performed correctly the movement allows you to distribute weight across the body, with your posterior chain being the prime focus.


What is posterior chain?

Your posterior chain refers to the structure of the back of your legs and your spine. The main muscles that make up this structure are the calf's, hamstrings, glutes, lats and the erector spinae muscles. These are all important muscles to train to ensure good muscular balance through out the body.


How to hip hinge:

  1. Stand with feet hip width apart.

  2. Begin to bend at the waist pushing your hips backwards.

  3. Allow knees to bend slightly and keep your chest proud as you lower your torso midway between vertical and parallel to the floor.

  4. Squeeze glutes as you begin to return to your start position.

  5. Brace core throughout the entire movement maintaining neutral spine.


Hip hinge exercise examples:

  • Deadlift

  • Sumo Deadlift

  • Hex Bar Deadlift

  • Rack Pull

  • Romanian Deadlift

  • Pull Through

  • Kettlebell Swing


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