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Protect Your Back: How To Hip Hinge

           The Hip hinge, also known as the bend pattern is usually ‘forgotten’ by the body from sitting down so much and bending through your spine instead. Which leads to chronic back pain and muscle imbalances. Common bending patterns are deadlifts, kettlebell swings, Olympic lifts, and picking stuff off the ground (shocking, I know).           

The key points to keep in mind while performing the hip hinge:

·       Feet: On your toes, pointing straight, weight on your heels, toes down.

·       Legs: Straight and braced for stabilization. Knees over toes, not caving inwards.

·       Hips/Torso: Abs and glutes braced while keeping a neutral spine and pelvis

·       Shoulders: Neutral and should not round forward

·       Neck/Head: Neutral, chin down. Be mindful if your head protrudes forward.

·       Keep your chest up, shoulders back, and brace your core and glutes.

·       Bending from your ankles, knees, and hips.


Here are the 5 hip hinge variations that I will demonstrate today. Try doing 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps in a safe and proper manner before advancing to the next variation:



1.     Body Weight Hip Hinge:

a.     If you have never done a hip hinge pattern or have trouble doing one, start here.

2.     Single Leg Toe Touch:

a.     When the hip hinge become too easy on two legs, try it out on one leg.

3.     Single Leg Deadlift:

a.     Similar to the single leg toe touch, except with added weight on one hand.

4.     Kettlebell Swings:

a.     Quick tip: Make sure your shoulders do not round excessively while holding the kettlebell.

5.     Deadlift:

a.     Start off with your feet shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward, bodyweight on your heels,  neutral pelvis and spine (back not rounding or arching), bracing your abs and glutes, shoulders rolled back to neutral state, shoulder blades neutral (not shrugging) and eyes looking forward.

b.     Have your toes go over the barbell on the ground, then reach for the barbell with your arms shoulder width apart.

c.      Maintain a solid grip on the barbell, keep your elbows pointing behind you and bend forward from your ankles, knees, and hips.

d.     Straighten your legs while pushing the ground with your heels and bracing your abs, glutes, and legs.

e.     Remain upright and then proceed to bend again from your hips, knees, and ankles to lower the weight while keeping a neutral spine.



Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!


Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness