Let’s Explore the Hip Hinge!

by | Apr 29, 2022 | Articles, Workout

Each month in Fitness Foundations at INVIVO Wellness, we feature the nuances of a different aspect of exercise basics. Let’s delve into the movement details of the hip hinge. The hip hinge, quite simply, involves a forward bend at your hips. But why is this important, and how is it done properly?

What is a hip hinge exercise?

The hip hinge, sometimes referred to as the butt/glute and hip exercise, is the movement pattern found in good mornings and deadlift exercises. This movement pattern is a fundamental and foundational exercise with practical every day applications.

We use a hip hinge every time we pick something up on the ground or put something down on the floor. We use it every time we pick up grocery bags, boxes, or a child, and even when unloading or loading the dishwasher.

Our bodies are amazing machines that can accomplish incredible things with the right resources. Whatever task we want our body to do, our body will find a way to do it. Unfortunately, how our body moves for a particular task may not be the best or most efficient way.

Sometimes, due to certain muscle imbalances, our bodies can develop improper movement patterns known as synergistic dominance which can lead to injury or pain. Pain can often lead to more movement compensations and more improper movement patterns. Teaching our bodies to move correctly in an efficient manner and strengthening the proper muscles helps keep our bodies healthy and injury free!

Learn to maintain a healthy back with proper hip hinge technique

When you bend over to pick something up it’s very tempting to relax the core and reach with rounded shoulders. Bending over at the lower back instead of the hips when picking something up is a compensation movement. Unconditioned muscles in our center of power—the core— and the muscles all along the back side of our bodies may not be strong enough.

Over time, this can lead to back issues that are rarely given time to recover. Performing a hip hinge is a skill like any other. Learning how to keep our shoulders back by engaging/squeezing our shoulder blades together and maintaining a neutral spine will be a big part of INVIVO’s Fitness Foundations class.

In addition to working our core musculature, the proper hip hinge relies on the appropriate conditioning of the muscles of our posterior: the glutes, hamstrings, erector spinae, adductors, and quadriceps.

Practice makes progress

single leg glute bridge exercise
Matthew Konkel performs a single leg glute bridge.

Learn to practice and establish a proper hip hinge movement pattern to gain optimal back body (posterior) strength and balance in the coming months. We will focus on exercises that target the right areas of our body to perform the best hip hinge possible. These exercises include various forms of glute bridges, quadruped bird dogs, hip hinge progressions, as well as classic good mornings, and deadlifts.

Fitness Foundations with fitness instructor Matthew Konkel takes place at INVIVO Wellness on Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. See you there! Register online or call us to be added to the class.