We’ve all heard the saying, “Lift with your legs, not your back.” We know it’s important to protect our lower back from injury by engaging the right muscles and using proper form. But what exactly is that proper form? Should we use our legs and drop our hips down into a squat to lift something heavy off the ground? While this is a good solution, it can be challenging to maintain a straight back when dropping low in a squat. Additionally, some people lack the mobility required to use proper squat form when lifting heavy items.
That’s where the hip hinge comes in. It allows us to pick up heavy items while still protecting the lower back and providing more stability and range of motion. With the hinge, we can lift primarily with our glutes and hamstrings instead of our quads. However, many people have misconceptions about proper hinge form. Some believe they should keep their legs straight and locked out, or that it’s the same movement as a toe touch. What they don’t realize is that proper hinge form involves pelvic control and increasing mobility through the hips and thoracic spine.
Learning how to hinge properly is essential because it offers many benefits. The hip hinge is the foundation of exercises such as deadlifts and kettlebell swings. It also improves everyday activities, such as picking up heavy objects, and athletic performance in sports like golf. The hinge strengthens the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, which helps prevent injury when bending over. It also increases mobility and flexibility.
If you’re curious to learn if you’re hinging correctly and how to use this critical movement to improve your everyday life, join us for the second workshop in our Movement for Longevity series, “Unhinging the Hinge,” on Tuesday, May 23, at 6 pm. Sign up here, or reach out to Nate or Jacquie at email@example.com with any questions.