Hip hinging involves bending forwards and backwards primarily at the hips, while minimizing any bending movement occurring at the low back.
Here is how to practise hip-hinging at home:
• Place a dowel or broomstick behind your back so there are three points of contact – the back of your head, the upper back, and the tailbone
• While maintaining these points of contact with the dowel, have your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing forwards, with the knees slightly bent (picture 1)
• Start to bend forward at your hips while maintaining the points of contact with the dowel, leading backwards with your bum (picture 2)
• Go as far as you are able to while maintaining the points of contact – you should feel a strong pull at the back of your thighs
The dowel/broomstick provides us with immediate self-feedback, allowing us to self-correct the movement if we lose contact at any point during the hip hinge.
Practicing this pattern everyday will be beneficial – start with 3 sets of 10 reps spread out throughout the day. However, the most important takeaway is to try and incorporate the hip hinge in our day-to-day activities like bending over to pick something up or when washing our hands in a sink – all without the use of the dowel/broomstick!
For more tips/advice on how to make the hip hinge more or less challenging, ask for advice from a qualified health professional.
By: Mujeeb Duranai
MSc. PT, BSc. Kin (Hon), CSCS