Improving movement with the Hip Hinge

As clients you hear us coaches harping on about the squat.  “Knees out” “Squat Deeper” “Chest up”. By now ours words have turned into mantras while you squat. The problem I see now is clients bring the mechanics of the squat into the Deadlift or hip hinge movements. The two movements should not only feel but visually be different.

Why should you care about the hip hinge?  Well, it’s the foundation for a healthy back, glutes and hamstrings as well as being essential in movements like kettlebells swings, RDL’s, Snatchs, and Cleans. Most importantly, it helps in correcting posture.

To test whether or not you have a good hip hinge all you need is a broom stick or PVC pipe and do the following:


Hip Hinge Test


Hold the PVC behind your back by placing your hands behind the small of your neck and the small of your back (which hand goes where doesn’t really matter). For you to PASS this test, the PVC must stay in contact with your head, upper back, and butt throughout the entire hip hinge. Give it a go! If you passed the test you have a solid hip hinge. If not, here are some quick ideas on what might be wrong:

  1. If the dowel is coming off of your butt, you are rounding your back

Quick fix: Arch your back instead!

  1. If the dowel is coming off of your back, you are squatting too much

Quick fix: Maintain vertical shins and push your butt back!

  1. If the dowel is coming off of your head, you’ve got too much rounding by the shoulders

Quick fix: Try moving the shoulders back and down. Keep a neutral neck and good posture!

If you are still struggling come find me and we will get to work!

Aaron Davis