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Lift More -- Master the Hip Hinge

The hip hinge is a fundamental component of pulling weight from off the floor.

Mastering the powerful muscles of your posterior chain - glutes, hamstrings etc. - around a stable spine is the key to pulling more weight in lifts such as the deadlift (snatch, clean, straight-legged deadlift, good morning, kettlebell swing . . . you get the idea).

A solid hip hinge also reduces your risk of back injury in these lifts. Lifting with a flexed (rounded) spine is a recipe for disaster as far as your back is concerned. Here's a great video to explain why. A proper hip hinge requires a stable, neutral spine, which dramatically reduces the stresses placed on your spine when lifting.

In other words, if you want to lift more and hurt less, dial in your hip hinge.

What does the hip hinge look like?

What are the most common mistakes?

  • Rounding your back instead to increase your range of motion

  • Extending your neck to look up as you hinge

These issues are so common that when I google searched “stiff leg deadlifts”, they are both shown within the first three image results.

Both disrupt your neutral spine position, rob you of power, and increase your risk of injury.

To correct these mistakes, use a PVC pipe to ensure you maintain a neutral spine when you practice your hip hinge, as demonstrated in the video above.

How do you train your hip hinge?

After you have dialed in your hip hinge, add resistance with exercises such as stiff-leg deadlifts and good mornings. These can be done with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, bands, etc.

Bodyweight movements such as airplanes and dipping birds are another way to work on this movement pattern.

The most important thing is maintaining a neutral spine throughout your entire range of motion. So dial in the movement pattern before you even think about adding resistance.

Contact Dr. Dwayne to learn more ways to improve your hip hinge:

  • Visit our clinics at CrossFit Connection and/or CrossFit Streets

  • Email

  • Follow us on facebook, Instagram or Twitter

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