Foundational Movement Series: HINGE

Posted by Jane Diack on

This week we explore the third foundational movement in the series, the Hip Hinge

A hip hinge is movement (flexion and extension) through the hip joint, keeping a neutral spine and the knees slightly flexed.

The primary muscles involved in the hinge motion are the Gluteals, Hamstrings and Abdominals.

A common trend in both clients and athletes is quadriceps dominance. This can be caused by increased hip flexor tightness, gluteal inhibition from less than optimal running and/or lifting techniques. Also, many people spend a significant amount of time sitting, leading to tight hip flexors, triggering reciprocal inhibition, and ultimately gluteal inhibition, robbing us of strength. Reciprocal inhibition in simple terms means, if one muscle is overactive active the opposing muscle shuts down and does not pull appropriately.

When performing hip hinging motions with your client it is important they have good stabilization of the core musculature. Make sure you move around your client to view them from all angles to pick out common compensations.

Watch for spinal alignment above all else. Your client should be able to maintain a neutral spine throughout all exercises.

Watch for the head to push forward during movement due to poor upper body posture and rounded shoulders. You should be able to draw a straight line from the ear down to the shoulder and then down to the hip.

Frequent verbal cueing is needed for clients to stabilize appropriately before increasing the amount of exercise intensity. In my experience it will take 1-2 sessions before the client is able to get the correct pattern before increasing the amount of intensity and/or resistance.

Remember Pattern and Posture Before Intensity.

The exercise I like to use for hip hinging is the Bent Over Barbell Row. This is a great Stability exercise. Barbell rows performed in a hip hinge help teach proper hip-hinging mechanics and help protect the lower back.Keep your back straight and pull the bar towards chest keeping a straight bar path. You have to maintain a flat back position when you row, you'll need to brace the abs and hold that position while driving the elbows back and pulling the bar to your torso, building a resilient core in the process.



Description: In an Open Bent Over Stance, Perform Barbell Push/Pulls


Keep Knees Slightly Bent.

Hold Bar Shoulder Width Apart,

Hinge Forward at Hips Keeping Back Straight.

Keep core buttock engaged.

Possible Compensations:

Rounded Spine

Forward Posture

Rounded Shoulders

Knees Too Far Over Toes

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