10 Effective Hip Hinge Exercises

The hip hinge is a movement which involves bending forwards at the hip whilst keeping the spine in a neutral position.

Importance of the Hip Hinge:

  • Encourages a more optimal lifting technique
  • May reduce the chance of a lower back injury whilst in the bent forwards position
  • Builds strength in the posterior chain muscles (Erector Spinae, Glutes and Hamstrings)
  • Improves hip mobility

This blog post covers 10 different ways to perform a hip hinge (… all of which can be performed in the comfort of your own home!).

10 Hip Hinge Exercises

KEY POINTS: (READ THIS!)

1. The hinge movement should be coming from the hip joint. (… and not the lower back!)

2. Only hinge as far as you can maintain a neutral position of the pelvis/lower back.

3. There should be no relative movement between the pelvis and Lumbar spine when performing the hip hinge movement.

4. Remember to engage your core to lock the lower back/pelvis into the neutral position.

5. DO NOT over arch or round your lower back.

6. If you are having difficulties with the hinge exercises, check out this list of potential reasons why.

1. 4 Point Kneel

hinge hinge exercise

Instructions:

  • Assume the 4 point kneeling position.
  • Start with your knees underneath your hips and hands underneath your shoulders.
  • Maintain a neutral lower back position.
  • Engage the core to lock this position in place.
  • Without losing the relative position of the pelvis and lumbar spine, move your hips backwards.
  • Find the end range of movement where you can still maintain the neutral spine.
  • Perform 30 repetitions.

2. Sitting Hinge

sitting hip hinge

Instructions:

  • Sit up right on the edge of a chair.
  • Maintain a neutral lower back position throughout this exercise.
  • Spread your knees apart.
  • Lean your torso forwards as far as possible without losing neutral spine.
  • Perform 30 repetitions.

3. Kneeling Hinge

kneeling hip hinge exercise

Instructions:

  • Kneel down on to the floor.
  • Start in an up right posture.
  • Make sure that you maintain neutral spine/pelvis throughout this exercise.
  • Push your hips backwards as you hinge forwards at the hip.
  • Perform 30 repetitions.

4. Standing Hinge With Dowel Stick

hinge with dowel stick

Instructions:

  • Hold onto a stick behind you.
    • Make sure that the stick stays in contact with the base of your spine (Sacrum) and the middle of the upper back.
  • Bend your knees slightly.
  • Maintain neutral spine and pelvis throughout the exercise.
  • Push your hips backwards as you hinge forwards at the hips.
  • Lower yourself as far as you can go until you feel a firm stretch sensation at the back of your thighs.
  • Perform 30 repetitions.

5. Staggered Leg Hinge

staggered stance hip hinge exercise

Instructions:

  • Place your feet in a staggered position.
  • Bend the front knee slightly.
  • Shift most of your body weight onto the front leg.
  • Keep a neutral spine and pelvis throughout this exercise.
  • Push your hips backwards as you hinge forwards from the hips.
  • Perform 30 repetitions.
  • Progression:
    • Hold onto an appropriate amount of weight.

6. Kettle Bell Swing

kettle bell swing hinge technique

Instructions:

  • Hold onto an appropriate amount of weight with both hands.
  • Have your feet spread apart.
  • Push your hips backwards as you hinge forwards at the hips.
  • Hinge as low as you can keep a neutral pelvis and spine.
  • Swing the weight forwards/upwards as you stand up right.
  • Perform 30 repetitions.
  • Progression: Use a heavier weight.

7. Hinge with A Resistance Band

hinge exercise with resistance band

Instructions:

  • Tie a resistance band onto a immovable object at ground level.
  • Hold onto the resistance band and move away from the anchor point to increase tension in the band.
  • Have your back facing towards the anchor point of the resistance band.
  • Allow the resistance band to go between your legs.
  • Have your feet spread apart.
  • Push your hips backwards as you hinge forwards at the hips.
  • Hinge as low as you can whilst keeping a neutral pelvis and spine.
  • Return to the starting standing position.
  • Perform 30 repetitions.
  • Progression: Use more resistance on the band.

8. Hip Thrust

hip thrust hinge

Instructions:

  • Support your upper back onto a chair.
  • Have both feet on the floor.
  • Maintain the neutral position of the lower back.
  • Push your hips upwards.
  • Perform 30 repetitions.
  • Progression: Place an appropriate amount of weight in front of the hips.

9. Dead Lift

deadlift hinge exercise

Instructions:

  • Hold onto an appropriate amount of weight with both hands.
  • Have your feet spread apart.
  • Push your hips backwards as you hinge forwards at the hips.
  • Hinge as low as you can keep a neutral pelvis and spine.
  • Return to the up right position.
  • Perform 10 repetitions.

10. Single Leg Hinge

single leg hinge exercise

Instructions:

  • Stand on one leg.
  • Keep your pelvis leveled throughout this exercise.
  • Hinge forwards.
  • Make sure to keep your foot and knees facing forwards.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Having difficulty with the Hip Hinges?

If you are having difficulty performing the hip hinge exercises, you may need to consider addressing any of the following issues that relate to you.

a) Hip Impingement

anterior hip impingement

If you experience a pinching sensation at the front of your hip as you hinge forwards, you may have an issue called Hip Impingement.

This is where the structures at the front of the hip are compressed as the hip moves into end range hip flexion.

Having a hip impingement may limit how far you can hinge forwards with good technique.

Would you like exercises to address this issue?

See Post: Exercises for Hip Impingement

b) Tight Hamstring

Tight hamstring muscles will limit the amount of movement in the hip as you hinge forwards.

Would you like exercises to improve your hamstring flexibility?

See Post: Hamstring Stretches

c) Poor Hip Internal Rotation

hip internal rotation

Limitations in Internal Rotation of the hip can limit the amount of hip flexion available in the hip.

This may reduce the ability to hinge properly.

Would you like exercises to improve internal rotation in the hip?

See Post: Hip Internal Rotation Exercises

d) Weak Core

The core muscles are responsible maintain the neutral spine and pelvis whilst performing the hinge exercise.

Weakness in these muscles may lead to the incorrect hinge technique.

Would you like exercises to strengthen the core?

See Post: Core Exercises

e) Sciatica

Sciatica refers to neurological symptoms (such as pain, tingling, numbness and/or weakness) that run down the back of the leg.

This is usually associated with irritation of the Sciatic Nerve.

The hinged position tends to place stress on the Sciatic Nerve which can limit ones ability to do the hinge exercises.

Would you like exercises to address this issue?

See Post: Sciatic Nerve Stretches


Conclusion

The Hip Hinge is an important movement that I strongly recommend that you practice on a regular basis.

It’s great for daily activities that require you to adopt the forward bending position such as picking things up from the floor, gardening, house chores etc.

Mastering this movement can help encourage a more optimal lifting technique, reduce the chance lower back injury when bending forwards and improve posterior chain strength.

This blog post offers 10 different ways for you to perform hip hinge exercises.

Give them a try!


What to do next

1. Any questions?… (Leave me a comment down below.)

2. Come join me:

Facebook | Instagram

3. Start doing the exercises!


Disclaimer: The content presented on this blog post is not medical advice and should not be treated as such. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the content provided on this blog post is at your sole risk. Seek guidance from a healthcare professional before attempting any exercise. For more informationMedical Disclaimer.

4 thoughts on “10 Effective Hip Hinge Exercises”

  1. Your site is very helpful, thank you for all the detail you’ve put into these pages. I’ve discovered, after a year of all sorts of problems, that I tuck my rear underneath me and I definitely bend from my lower and upper back. I am very tall. I cannot squat. I’m becoming more aware of my posture issues as I work through the Glute Activation Exercises, How to Fix Posterior Pelvic Tilt, and Hamstring Stretches. And I bought a decent office chair to hopefully quit slouching. So my question to you is — I am tall and I’m definitely bending from my lower back and upper back to do daily activities in the kitchen and bathroom. The counters are too low for me. So the question is — should I be hip-hinging to reach the counters while preparing dinner? It feels awkward, and my mid-to-upper back cramps. It’s especially difficult when reaching down into the sink to do the dishes. I don’t understand what my posture should be in this case. Help!

    Reply
    • Hi JK,

      Many thanks for your comment.

      In regards to how to position your body when in front of the sink: If you spread your legs apart whilst standing, this can essential lower your height so that you don’t need to reach down to the sink as much.

      The other option is: You will need to consider strengthening the muscles on the back (lower to upper back) so that it can tolerate the load that is placed upon them as you lean forwards.

      This can be achieved by performing back extension exercises on the “Roman Chair” which a machine that is found in most gyms.

      Standing with a hip hinge, although is doable, will probably get a bit awkward after awhile. Better to strengthen the back muscles so that it can tolerate any position in my opinion.

      Mark

      Reply
  2. Hey Mark,

    I work at a Chiropractic Clinic and I do digital marketing for them. I happened to come across your website when doing SEO research for different keywords. Did you create the website and all content yourself or did you hire someone to help you do it? If so would you be able to hop on a quick call with me for 2-3 minutes so I could ask you some questions on how I can improve my clinics online presence?

    Kolton

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.