The Hinging movement is one of the six core movements in strength training. The video illustrates proper hinging technique first, and improper hinging second. The hinge is not a squatting movement. You’ll notice that my knees bend, however I’m not explicitly bending my knees like you would do in a squat. Also, notice that my knees are not hyper-extended.

This exercise can be challenging for folks who sit a lot. When we sit, we tend to bend at the thoracic spine (lower back), versus hinging at the hips. If you do sit at a desk all day, you can help train your posture by placing bottle caps on your chair right at each of your glute muscles. THis will remind you to sit up straight. 😉

Set Up:

  • Hold a stick (broomstick, golf club, yardstick, whatever. Just something about 3 feet long & straight) vertically along your spine.
    Place one hand on the stick at the nape of your neck; the other hand at the small of your back.
  • Stand straight so that the stick touches your head, upper back, and sit bone.
  • Place your feet parallel to each other, closer than hip width apart.
    Your feet should not be touching, however they shouldn’t be wider than hip width either. The wider your stance, the more difficult it is to hinge at the hip.
  • Chest up. Roll your shoulders back and down away from your ears.
  • Look forward.

The Movement:

  1. With your knees straight, but not locked, Push your hips back.
  2. As you press your hips back, hinge at your hips to lower your upper body.
  3. Stop the movement when you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, or lower back.
  4. Pause
  5. Reverse the movement.

Specific Cues:

  • Make sure that your weight is on your heels and not the balls of your feet.
  • Keep your back flat/neutral.
  • Don’t let your knees track forward—press them back.
  • Pull your chest forward.