The hip hinge is one of the most important movement patterns for your body and everyday life. It helps you move properly when bending over to pick something up, prevent injury, and lift more weight. A hip hinge simply put, is hinging at the hips to bend forward. As you send your hips out behind you, your back remains straight avoiding a rounding through your spine. You’d be surprised at how many times a day you actually do a hip hinge outside of the gym, which is why it’s so important to make sure you’re doing it right! We want to avoid low back pain and the common occurrence of “throwing out your back” when picking something up by making sure we are hip-hinging properly.
Your glutes are the main muscles working to extend your hips, bringing you back to a standing upright position. In order to activate your glutes and work your way up to a proper hip hinge, follow the below progressions. Throughout all of these exercises, think about squeezing your glutes together to bring your hips in line with your shoulders. Always keep your weight in your heels, back straight, core engaged (avoid arching your low back).
Glute Bridge: Squeeze your glutes together to lift your hips up in line with your shoulders and knees. Progress to an elevated glute bridge on a bench, progress to a weighted glute bridge
Kneeling Hinge: With a flat back, reach your hips back to your heels
Wall Taps: Focus on reaching your hips out behind you to touch the wall, activate your glutes to bring you back to a standing position
Hip Hinge with Rod: Hinge with added focus on maintaining your flat back
Resistance Band Hinge: Let the resistance of the band pull your hips back, keep your weight in your heels, squeeze your glutes and return to standing. Don’t over-arch your low back.
Cable Pull Through: Using the rope attachment, allow the weight to be pulled in between your legs, recruit your glutes and thrust your hips forward to return to standing.
Kettlebell Deadlift: Now you’re ready for the deadlift! Use everything you’ve learned thus far by keeping your weight in your heels, reaching your hips behind you, and maintaining a flat back. You can continue to progress your deadlift into a Kettlebell swing or barbell weighted deadlift