How to Properly Hip Hinge

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If there’s one skill that we love to teach to all of our patients, it’s how to properly hip hinge.  Why? For starters, the hip hinge is a fundamental movement pattern that you use throughout your day, especially when it comes to picking things up off the floor.  It’s also a heavy-hitter in terms of strengthening, targeting your entire posterior chain as well as your core.  The hip hinge is a central move in tons of different exercises, including deadlifts (all types!), kettlebell swings, good mornings, and more.  So, how do you do it?

With your feet hip width apart, push your hips back and stick your butt out like you’re trying to close a door with it. At the same time, lower your torso until it’s midway between parallel and perpendicular to the ground. Your knees should be relatively straight (a soft bend is ok) and your core should be engaged.  Now, reverse the movement, using your hamstrings and glutes to push your hips forward, and keep your core engaged as you raise your torso.  A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • If  you had a dowel running from the back of your head down the length of your back, you should be able to maintain contact with it at your head, mid back, low back, and sacrum through the entirety of the movement. 
  • A hip hinge is not a squat!  In a hip hinge, the movement is initiated from your hips, as opposed to a squat, where your knee joints determine your movement. 
  • Your core should stay engaged the entire time – this will ensure you keep your back safe, especially if you’re lifting a heavy load. 

If you’re new to the movement, skip the weights for the time being.  Once you start to get more comfortable, feel free to make it more challenging by using the hip hinge to master a kettlebell swing or deadlift! 

Pro+Kinetix Physical Therapy & Performance specializes in helping active individuals in Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, and San Francisco get back to exercising and working out pain free without having to take time off or relying on injections/pain medication. Pro+Kinetix offers physical therapy and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services

Oakland, CA Pain Management Clinic

Dr. Ben Bagge

Pro+Kinetix Physical Therapy & Performance

"We Help Active Adults & Athletes Get Back To Workouts and Sports They Enjoy without surgery, stopping activities they love, or relying on pain medicine."
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