The hip hinge is the foundation of a lot of the movements you do in the gym. From the deadlift family of movements, to swings, getting into the position of bent-over rows and even putting your damned weights away. Mastering it is key to be able to dominate your training and keep your back safe and healthy.
The benefit of getting the hinge movement right makes sure you get your hips back and out of the way, and are better able to keep the load you are lifting below your centre of mass, limiting the stress going through your low back.
New client, new approach
I had a new client start last week, and like many people, he had trouble getting to grips with the hinge. Most folks tend to be good at squatting, but have failed to think about the partner movement, the hinge. They then try to squat the deadlift movements and struggle to “get” the right feel. Then there is another group who are paranoid about feeling any kind of effort going through their back, they then try to stay more upright and as a result have their knees shoot forward and turn the hinge into a squat.
So with this new client, we tried a few different cues to get the right movement happening, but none were doing the trick. So instead of using purely verbal cues, I tried a verbal and tactile cue. Setting him up in front of a bench, his instructions were to get his hips back and maintain contact between his calves and the bench.
This helped him understand the vertical shin component of the movement, and from that, the rest flowed nicely.
If you are struggling with getting to grips with the hinge movement, try this set up next time and you’ll find it helps massively.